Text: 2 KINGS 6:8-23
By: ADEOYE, EMMANUEL (EVANG.)
2 KINGS 6:17 – And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
Elisha didn’t trouble himself about the army; his first concern was for his frightened servant. If he was going to walk with Elisha and serve God, the young man would face many difficult and dangerous situations, and he had to learn to trust the Lord. We probably would have prayed that the Lord would give peace to the lad’s heart or calmness to his mind, but Elisha prayed for God to open his eyes. The servant was living by sight and not by faith and couldn’t see the vast angelic army of the Lord surrounding the city. Faith enables us to see God’s invisible army (Hebrews 11:27) and trust Him to give us the victory.
The grievous fright which the prophet’s servant was in, when he perceived the city surrounded by the Syrians, and the effectual course which the prophet took to pacify him and free him from his fears. It seems, Elisha accustomed his servant to rise early, that is the way to bring something to pass, and to do the work of a day in its day.
Being up, we may suppose he heard the noise of soldiers, and thereupon looked out, and was aware of an army compassing the city (v. 15) with great assurance no doubt of success, and that they should have this troublesome prophet in their hands presently.
What a consternation he was in. He ran straight to Elisha, to bring him an account of it: “Alas, master!” (said he “what shall we do? We are undone, it is to no purpose to think either of fighting or flying, but we must unavoidably fall into their hands.” Had he but studied David’s Psalms, which were then extant, he might have learnt not to be afraid of 10,000 of people (Ps 3:6),
no, not of a host encamped against him, Ps 27:3. Had he considered that he was embarked with his master, by whom God had done great things, and whom he would not now leave to fall into the hands of the uncircumcised, and who, having saved others, would no doubt save himself, he would not have been thus at a loss.
If he had only said, What shall I do? it would have been like that of the disciples: Lord, save us, we perish; but he needed not to include his master as being in distress, nor to say, What shall we do? How his master quieted him, By word. What he said to him is spoken to all the faithful servants of God, when without are fightings and within are fears:
“Fear not with that fear which has torment and amazement, for those that are with us, to protect us, are more than those that are against us, to destroy us—angels unspeakably more numerous—God infinitely more powerful.” When we are magnifying the causes of our fear we ought to possess ourselves with clear, and great, and high thoughts of God and the invisible world.
If God be for us, we know what follows, Rom 8:31. By vision, It seems Elisha was much concerned for the satisfaction of his servant. Good men desire, not only to be easy themselves, but to have those about them easy. Elisha had lately parted with his old man, and this, having newly come into his service, had not the advantage of experience;
his master was therefore desirous to give him other convincing evidence of that omnipotence which employed him and was therefore employed for him. Note, Those whose faith is strong ought tenderly to consider and compassionate those who are weak and of a timorous spirit, and to do what they can to strengthen their hands.
He saw himself safe, and wished no more than that his servant might see what he saw, a guard of angels round about him; such as were his master’s convoy to the gates of heaven were his protectors against the gates of hell—chariots of fire, and horses of fire. Fire is both dreadful and devouring; that power which was engaged for Elisha’s protection could both terrify and consume the assailants.
As angels are God’s messengers, so they are his soldiers, his hosts (Genesis 32:2), his legions, or regiments, (Matthew 26:53), for the good of his people.
For the satisfaction of his servant there needed no more than the opening of his eyes; that therefore he prayed for, and obtained for him: Lord, open his eyes that he may see.
The eyes of his body were open, and with them he saw the danger. “Lord, open the eyes of his faith, that with them he may see the protection we are under.” Note, First, The greatest kindness we can do for those that are fearful and faint-hearted is to pray for them, and so to recommend them to the mighty grace of God.
Secondly, The opening of our eyes will be the silencing of our fears. In the dark we are most apt to be frightened. The clearer sight we have of the sovereignty and power of heaven the less we shall fear the calamities of this earth.
The shameful defeat which Elisha gave to the host of Syrians who came to seize him. They thought to make a prey of him, but he made fools of them, perfectly played with them, so far was he from fearing them or any damage by them.
He prayed to God to smite them with blindness, and they were all struck blind immediately, not stone-blind, nor so as to be themselves aware that they were blind, for they could see the light, but their sight was so altered that they could not know the persons and places they were before acquainted with,
They were so confounded that those among them whom they depended upon for information did not know this place to be Dothan nor this person to be Elisha, but groped at noon day as in the night (Isa 59:10; Job 12:24,25); their memory failed them, and their distinguishing faculty.
See the power of God over the minds and understanding of men, both ways; he enlightened the eyes of Elisha’s friend, and darkened the eyes of his foes, that they might see indeed, but not perceive, Isa 6:9 For this twofold judgment Christ came into this world, that those who see not might see, and that those who see might be made blind (John 9:39).
LESSONS TO TAKE HOME
- ALLOW GOD TO OPEN YOUR EYES – PS 13:3-6, PS 119:18
- TELL GOD YOUR NEEDS – Numbers 14:28, Jeremiah 33:3, Philippians 4:19
- FEAR NOT – JOB 3:25, DANIEL 1:8 AND 15
- SEE BEYOND THE OBVIOUS –2 KING 7:1
- NATURAL EYES PS 91:8
- WITH YOUR IMAGINATION
BE NOT DISMAYED