2 Kings 6
Those Who Are With Us
Once the king of Syria sent a great army to capture the prophet Elisha. During the night, the Syrian army surrounded the city where Elisha was staying. When Elisha’s servant “arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’” (v. 15). Confidently and calmly, Elisha answered: “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (v. 16).
The servant might have said to himself, “What is he talking about? Where are they? We have no army in this small town.
Perhaps the confused look on the servant’s face encouraged Elisha to pray: “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see” (v. 17). The servant didn’t understand this prayer. What was he not seeing? His eyes WERE open. Who else was there to see other than the great enemy army? 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 all around Elisha.” (v. 18)
This episode helps us understand how God expresses His providence on our behalf, even though we cannot see it because we are spiritually shortsighted—and sometimes even blind. Without faith, the unseen things that are all around us will remain unseen, and we will remain insecure.
Interestingly, the only thing that happened to the Syrian army was that they became blind following another prayer of Elisha’s. The horses and chariots of fire demonstrated God’s active care of Elisha, who could see them (by faith). And because of his prayer, his servant saw them as well. But only they needed to see it. The Syrian army didn’t see it, and was there to experience the effect of God’s hand, but interestingly, also His great mercy later on. (See 2 Kings 6:19-23 for the rest of the story.)
Our human senses cannot capture anything beyond what is in our material world, yet much happens in the supernatural realm, which we “see” only with faith. What we see with our eyes is not the big picture, just as our perspective about our circumstances and the behavior of others is incomplete. As believers, “those who are with us” are always greater than we perceive.