It started out as an ordinary day. The servant of Elisha got up early and went about his normal routine. Then he stepped out the door and . There were soldiers, chariots and horses surrounding the city!
Have you ever had a morning like that? I have and I am pretty sure you have as well. In fact, perhaps you are having a moment like this right now. You're going about your daily business, serving God and then you suddenly find yourself surrounded by the enemy. The situation appears to be hopeless and you fear you are going to be taken captive or even destroyed.
Filled with terror, the servant rushed back inside the house and reported what was going on to Elisha. "What will we do now?" (2 Kings 6:15) I can totally relate to Elisha's servant. There have been many times in my life when "surrounded by the enemy", I too have cried out to God, "What will I do now?"
Now you would have expected Elisha to at least race to the window and take a peek outside. Or perhaps he would have gotten down on his knees and spent some time asking God why on earth He had allowed them to get into this mess. After all, the very reason this had happened was because Elisha was simply doing what God told him to do. God would reveal to Elisha the attack plans of the king of Aram, Elisha warn the king of Israel and the attack would be thwarted. We need to get it through our heads that true obedience to God will eventaully lead to attacks by the enemy in one form or another. In fact, if you never experience such attacks that's a pretty good indicator that you are on the wrong road.
Elisha remained calm. He knew he had nothing to fear regardless of what happened for he knew he was in God's hands. Now he could have just told his servant this but he didn't. Why? Because his servant needed to see this truth for himself so Elisha prayed. He prayed and asked God to open the eyes of his servant. He asked God to allow his servant to see the same thing Elisha saw and when he did, the servant's eyes were opened.
When the servant looked up, he saw something he had not seen previously. The hills were filled with horses and chariots of fire. Elisha and his servant were not surrounded by the enemy. They were surrounded by the army of the Lord. The Lord would fight the battle against the army of the king of Aram that day and that is exactly what He did. As a result of that battle, the Bible tells us after that the Arameans never raided the land of Israel again. (2 Kings 6:23)
Whenever I read this account, I remember these words written years before this event:
I will lift up my eyes to the hills - from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2 (NKJV)
When we are surrounded by problems and fear, it is easy to look at them instead of God. We begin to notice how big they are and how fierce they look. With our eyes focused on them, we become easily overwhelmed by them.
Instead, we need to tear our eyes away from them and look up to "the hills" where the army of the Lord is. We need to ask God to open up our eyes of faith so that we too might see Him. With our eyes wide open, not only will we see but we can also become like an Elisha who can pray for and encourage others when they are "surrounded" as well. "Oh Lord, open their eyes and let them see!" (2 Kings 6:12)
Indeed we are and even when we think we have learned our lesson... well... there we go again.
I am firm believe that the Word of God has many layers to it. I believe the "stories" we read in the Word of God are not just the stories of the individuals. They are our "stories" as well and applicable to our lives. You can read something once and glean one thing from it. Then another time, you glean something new that is relevant to you at that moment. I think that is incredible!
Last Sunday night I was with a group of about 14 people who were discussing the weekend sermon we had all heard. Fourteen different people carried away 14 different "nuggets" away from it. Oh, they were all interrelated but at the same time, they were different, each relating to a particular situation in our life. This is why it is important to not only read and hear the Word of God but gather together to discuss it as well. It is like... well... sitting down to a banquet table together, enjoying the food and fellowship as opposed to sitting down to that same table alone.
[quote]When we are surrounded by problems and fear, it is easy to look at them instead of God. We begin to notice how big they are and how fierce they look. With our eyes focused on them, we become easily overwhelmed by them.[/quote]
This is a good point you've made, K , because fear has such a powerful way of consuming our thoughts or maybe I should say paralyzing our thought process to the point whereby the Word of God has little to no chance of governing our thinking. But thank God for His mercy and for His ability to work through all of these weak areas for us.
Hi again, K. I just read your blog about God answering before we call and enjoyed it. This one is even better! I have been going through what has been an unexpected, intense battle and your writing on Elisha has really helped put things into perspective for me. Your insight is amazing and this one is truly a God Sent, right on time. Thank you