2 Kings 6:1-6
And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with you is too strait for us.…
Few questions are more perplexing than the question as to what should be the character of the relationship between the old and the young. Many of our young people are impatient of the restraints which older people would put upon them, while those who have had long experience of the world are apt to be equally impatient of the impulsive ardour and restlessness of youth.
I. CONSIDER THE CHARACTERISTICS OF YOUTH. These are well known, and failure to recognise them must mean failure in all dealings with them. "Wisdom comes not to the child." We must deal with people as they are, not as we wish them to be. Among the characteristics of youth we select a few: — Dissatisfaction. The sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, "Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us." Elisha seems to have been very content; not so the young men. They wanted a larger place. Desire for improvement (ver. 2). This is the outcome of the other. The desire increases, and the young want to measure their strength against the world.
3. Strength. Compared with the old, the young possess a large amount of energy, so much indeed that they cannot rest.
4. Thoughtlessness. "As one was felling a beam, the axe-head fell into the water." With the least care on his part that would never have happened. What, then, ought the young to do? Seek the help of those who are older and wiser than themselves.
II. CONSIDER THE POWERS POSSESSED BY AGE.
1. They have knowledge of the world. They know its temptations, how subtle and how persistent they are.
2. They have experience of human life. They have seen lives begun in promise go out in darkness.
3. They know the power of God. They can tell which way victory lies. They have seen Jesus and learned of Him.
(1) Let no one think the time wasted which is spent in cultivating the friendship and love of the young. Some shallow people would have said that the prophet was wasting his time.
(2) What attention we ought to pay to ourselves. Every man is reproducing his own character in others. "No man liveth to himself."(3) To do this, we must become friends of Jesus. Elisha is a type of Christ.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us.