Summary: This may be the information age, but God is the ultimate information regulator. He determines what we do and do not perceive.
Elisha the Eye Prophet
We are all vulnerable in different ways:
1. “In 1991, an organization called Michigan’s Timid Motorist assisted 830 motorists across the MacKinac Bridge that is five miles long and 200 feet high. The drivers were so scared of heights that they couldn’t drive their own cars. In the same year, more than a thousand motorists received assistance at Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge – also 200 feet high and four miles long.” [Andrew Drury].
2. We Vasiceks have been on many, many cave tours. Guides always turn off the lights at a certain point so that we can appreciate total darkness.
3. Some people are so blind, that is all they see. Others can see shadows or make out images out of the corners of their eyes. Low vision vs. legally blind. Blindness of one sort or another — and its alleviation — play a prominent role in today’s text.
Exodus 4:11, “Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?”
4. The Bible also suggests the idea of a spiritual blindness. (Mt. 15:14) Jesus talks about the blind leading the blind. The apostle John talks about walking in the darkness, another imagery for spiritual blindness and even defiance.
5. Our eyes are an important source of gathering information, understanding. But we can only take in so much. And we simply do not know everything.
Main Idea: This may be the information age, but God is the ultimate information regulator. He determines what we do and do not perceive.
I. Elisha, As God’s Representative, Grants the Power to See or NOT See.
A. Elisha “Sees” the Syrian King’s PLANS (8-12)
B. Elisha Sees the INVISIBLE Chariots of Fire (13-17)
My favorite angel joke: A young mouse and its mother are scurrying near a cave when they see a bat fly overhead. “Look, mom, “ said the youngster, “an angel!”
A legion of stories about people encountering angels, usually as men who disappear or even as a bright light. Some probably true, some undoubtedly not. Maybe you?
We should never give glory to angels; they are merely God’s servants. God doesn’t need a crew and He doesn’t need you. But He pleasures in working through agents.
If God were to open our eyes in this manner, we would see many angels and demons in our lifetime.
C. Elisha Removes the SIGHT of the Syrian Army (18-20)
Matthew 26:53, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?”
D. Elisha RESTORES the Sight of the Syrian Army (21-23)
• Treated more like guests than captives. After all, they freely came to Samaria.
II. What Can We Learn from All This DRAMA?
A. Some people prefer denial to WARNING.
1. I understand the “Boy who cried ‘Wolf!’” syndrome.
2. But God’s Word is filled with warnings that we must take seriously.
3. Many people cope with life’s fears via denial.
B. God does not honor PRIVACY laws.
Psalm 139:4, “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.”
Hebrews 4:13, “ And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
• Despite the fact that God sees all and knows all about us, He still loves us!
C. Why reveal the heavenly army that was never called into ACTION?
D. Are heavenly armies ever a REALITY today?
E. Why didn’t Elisha allow the captives to be EXECUTED?
F. How did this event stop RAIDS but not a full-blown war?
• A man convinced against his will is unconvinced still.
• The shock wears off in time, and people become emboldened.
G. Note a reality we often see: God doing good but also allowing EVIL.