Today I have donned my story telling hat and have decided to share one of my favorites with those who read my blog. To make it an even better story, it is a true story from the Bible about real people, real drama and real intervention by a real God. In 2Kings 6 we read that Israel was at war with Aram. The King of Aram was furious. No matter how he strategized and planned, he was foiled at every turn. He began to suspect a traitor and questioned his own men. They were quick to point out it wasn’t them, it was Elisha.
Now, Elisha was no ancient time James Bond. Nor was he a spy. He was a prophet. As a prophet he heard from God Himself. He had inside information. He was privy to details that he would have otherwise never known. He saw things differently because God gave him the ability to see what others could not see. God had opened his eyes in a very unique manner. What a gift! However, it was not always appreciated. Some people don’t appreciate hidden things being revealed.
Once the king of Aram was told about Elisha he called for quick action. “Go and get him”! Now, why he thought they could catch Elisha unaware when he was being made aware of all their other skirmishes, I don’t know. I suppose he was angry enough to stop thinking straight. I’ve seen that happen many times. Haven’t you?
“So one night the king of Aram sent a great army with many chariots and horses to surround the city. When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:14, 15 NLT)
They were surrounded! The enemy had come during the night and caught them unaware! Or so it seemed. Elisha’s servant was panicking and you can hardly blame him under the circumstances. I can almost envision the terror in his eyes, the cold sweat of fear on his brow, the tremble in his voice as he asked, “What will we do now?”. Now that the enemy is upon us! Now that all hope is lost! Now that we are trapped! Now that there is no way out! Now that all options are gone! Now that we are sure to be defeated by this formidable enemy before us.
You know what else I can envision, some of you with pained expressions relating to just how Elisha’s servant must have felt. There are those of you reading this who are feeling a bit blind-sided by the enemy and his sneaky attacks. You know exactly how it feels to look out over what you thought was a wall of safety to find yourself hemmed in by those who would harm you, destroy your family and snatch away your hope. And there you stand, just like Elisha’s servant, asking “What will we do now?” Take heart, that’s not the end of our story. It is not the end of your story.
While Elisha’s servant was greatly distressed, Elisha himself was not distressed at all. Why not? How could he see the same scene before him as his servant and not fall into despair? Aha, now we are on to the crux of the matter. They did not see the same scene. God had given Elisha an ability to see beyond the natural into the supernatural.
“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.”
(2 Kings 6:16, 17 NLT)
Wow! What about that? Can you just imagine? Suddenly everything was very different. The look of despair surely instantly transformed into a look of amazement! And what had changed? Not what was before them! Not the circumstances! Only what he could see had changed and let’s face it, that changed everything. Now, there are those of you reading this and a knowing look has settled itself across your face as you recall, remember and relate. That’s certainly the case for me.
Just because we can’t see the Lord at work in a situation or it looks like there is no hope, doesn’t mean that is the case. We must keep in mind that we are limited in what we can see, what we can understand, what we can do. But God is not limited. He is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. He is enough. We don’t have to be enough because, He always is.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (II Corinthians 5:7 NKJV)
The rest of the story is filled with an amazing victory and more miraculous intervention by God. At one point He blinded the entire enemy army. “Close their eyes” was Elisha’s prayer that led to a peaceful defeat of the enemy. Excellent strategy and prayer for those who need protection from an enemy in hot pursuit. I can’t help but think of the Elvish cloaks given to the Hobbits in _The Lord of the Rings_ movies. Those special cloaks hid them from the view of the enemy.
Whatever you are facing today, you do not have to face it alone. No matter how bleak things appear, ask God to open your eyes to a glimpse of what He is doing and even if you can’t see it, choose to believe it. No matter how close the enemy is at hand, ask God to distort the vision of the enemy and escort you to safety. He loves you and He is enough.
Sometimes the best strategy for the battle at hand requires no additional, no blows and no blood.
“But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord ’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!” (2 Chronicles 20:17 NLT)