Summary: Shows how God 1. protects, 2. provides, 3. plans for us -- with out permission.
August 26, 2012
“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.”
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.
This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”
“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.”
“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.
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.”
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.
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.
After they entered the city, Elisha said, “LORD, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the LORD opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.
When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?”
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.
I love this story! I love the idea of God’s invisible army encamped around God’s people. I love how God reveals Himself and how He works with His people. Through this prophet – we see God’s Protection; God’s Provision; and God’s Plan.
Let’s take a little closer look and see if we might find something that God can teach us from this event.
First of all, we see God’s protection. One of my favorite verses says,
“For the LORD God is a... shield” (Psalm 84:11)
I think it is important to understand that we are under God’s Protection. There is nothing ---NOTHING--- we have to fear. The New Testament says,
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Temptation, trials, tribulation – you name it! We don’t have to fear it. As Paul said, “If God is for us – who can be against us?!” As Children of God – we are under God’s protection. I love the many ways God protects. In this Scripture we see God protecting His children by warning them of danger in advance. He would whisper to His Prophet where the enemy was headed – and time and again they were protected. I think God does that for us sometimes. We may call it an impression or a ‘feeling’ but we are given a warning to not take the road we normally would or do something we were going to normally do. God still warns us through the Holy Spirit. We need to listen to that still small voice. We need to heed the impressions the Spirit makes on our hearts. As God’s people would listen to the voice of the prophet and obey – so we need to live in a spiritual place where we can stay in tune with that still small voice of God.