The king of Syria had a big problem. He would meet with his counselors and carefully plan out his attack against Israel.
Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, "I will set up my camp in such and such a place." 2 Kings 6:8
He would gather his army together, head for the appointed place and discover that the forces of Israel were already there waiting for him. The king was enraged. Someone was a traitor! He didn't know God was fully aware of his plans.
The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: "Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there." So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places. 2 Kings 6:9-10
The king gathered his officers together and demanded to know who the traitor was.
None of us, my lord the king, said one of his officers, "but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom." 2 Kings 6:12
I find it interesting that the Syrian army was aware of who Elisha was. Elisha's impact had obviously extended beyond his own four walls!
The king was a man of action. He immediately started a manhunt for Elisha. Once he located Elisha, he sent out an army to surround Dothan which was were Elisha resided.
"Go, find out where he is," the king ordered, "so I can send men and capture him." The report came back: "He is in Dothan."
Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. 2 Kings 6:13-14
Think about this for a moment. An army is sent out to capture a single man. I've never been in the military but common sense tells me that this would only happen if the individual was viewed as a very serious threat. The type of threat which could completely topple and destroy everything the enemy desired to do.Do we present that sort of threat to the enemy?
When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?" the servant asked.
"Don t be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 2 Kings 6:15-16
I can imagine the look on the face of the servant of Elisha. He might have thought that the strain of being God's prophet in those difficult times must have pushed Elisha over the edge. Apparently, unlike the other times, the king of Israel and his army was no where to be seen. That was okay with Elisha. You see, Elisha's never put his trust in them anyways. Sure, God had used them to stand between the enemy and the Israel before, but that was never who was responsible for protecting them. It's easy for us to forget that God is our strength and our deliverer and focus on the tools he uses to deliver us instead! Elisha has compassion on his servant. He knows that he is afraid.
And Elisha prayed, "Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:17I can only imagine the reaction Elisha's servant must have had. One moment, he is in a panic. What are they going to do! How are they going to escape? Will they be tortured and/or killed? Will they be taken as prisoners? He had to be feeling utter despair!
Then in a moment, one beautiful moment, everything was changed. Despair was replaced by hope. No, it was replaced by something even greater than hope. The fear was replaced by the utmost confidence that they were not alone. Those with them were truly more numerous than their enemies. The hills were filled with horses and chariots of fire! Victory was imminent!
As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, "Strike this army with blindness." So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.
Elisha told them, "This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for." And he led them to Samaria. 2 Kings 6:18-20
God answered the prayer of Elisha and he hears and answers the prayers of his other children as well. Elisha leads the blind men to Samaria. Why Samaria? That was where the king of Israel lived. Remember, this was during the time of the divided kingdom and while Jerusalem remained the capital of the Judean kingdom, Samaria was the capital of the kingdom of Israel. This was the last place these soldiers wanted to be. They had wanted to ride into Samaria as conquers. Instead they rode in as prisoners and were delivered up to the king. When God conquers our enemies he also delivers them into our hands and they no longer have power over us...unless we choose to let them.
And the Bible tells us:
When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, "Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?"
22 "Do not kill them," he answered. "Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master."
So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel s territory. 2 Kings 6:21-23
*8/18/11--This blog is now part of a series entitled Walking With God In The Midst of Cancer