Summary: Spiritual blindness, its cure, and a challenge for modern Christians.
Invisible Armies II Kings 6:15-17
INTRO.: after the division of the kingdom of Israel into Judah and Israel, the prophet Elisha ministered in the northern kingdom of Israel. Syria, also known as Aram, was a relentless enemy of Israel and conducted raids into Israeli territory. The king of Syria, at one point, determined to capture or kill the king of Israel, whose name was Jehoram.
The king of Syria set ambushes and made raids to try to capture Jehoram. Elisha, who received information from God, warned Jehoram again and again so that the king of Syria was frustrated. He became enraged and started looking for a "mole" among his officers. The officers claimed innocence, saying, "Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom." (II Kings 6:12)
when he had determined Elisha was in the town of Dothan, the king of Syria sent his armies to capture Elisha. They came by night and surrounded the town with soldiers, horsemen, and chariots. Our text begins with the discovery by the servant of Elisha that they were surrounded.
I. The servant of Elisha was suffering from spiritual blindness:
A. Thus, Elisha’s prayer, "open his eyes so he may see."
1. He wasn’t literally blind because he saw the Syrians.
2. He was simply unable to perceive spiritual reality. The army of God was made up of invisible spiritual beings.
3. He was like people in our day who can look out at the creation and see all the wonders of God’s making and not see God in it.
4. It’s because the god of this age has blinded their eyes and they became unbelievers. II C. 4:4
B. The spiritually blind are content with the things of this world. They can’t see beyond it.
1. They know of no better life and have nothing to look forward to.
2. They see no need to prepare for a future after death. Like Elisha’s servant, they can’t see God or Heaven, and so tremble in fear because of their unbelief.
3. They handle it by simply denying God’s existence. They are degraded to the level of :contented cows," or become just another hound in a "dog eat dog" world.
C. Regrettably, some of these blind folk become respected teachers or philosophers and lead others astray, doing great damage. " If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." Matt. 15:14
1. They believe they can "live and let live" and do no harm to others.
2. This is part of their blindness. They fail to perceive the damage their example does to the their children and other loved ones and even to strangers they may never meet.
3. Even some nominal Christians claim allegiance to God but are unable to see His power and authority in their lives. I Cor. 2:14
II. Elisha opened the servants eyes to spiritual reality:
A. The simple truth is, if we can see it, God is greater than all the armies of men and forces of evil.
1. The spiritually blind don’t realize what power is available to them.
2. We serve the same God Who spoke the worlds into existence and designed the most powerful computer of all time, the human brain.
3. An ancient question comes to mind; "If God is for us, who can be against us?" Rom. 8:31
B. Our God can make all the circumstances of our lives work out for the good. Rom. 8:28
1. A prime example is how He made the most cruel and unjust act ever committed by men, the crucifixion of Jesus, work out to the redemption of men.
2. When we are surrounded by the "Syrian armies" of temptation, affliction, and injustice, we can know God’s will is supreme. Trust Him.
C. In order to avail ourselves of His help, we must acknowledge His existence and power.
1. Realize God is the center of the universe, not us. Our personal welfare must not be our only concern.
2. Cease to rely on your own power. Pray for help.
3. When we have done all we can, there is still more needing done. It must be done by God. Allow Him a chance to work by having faith in Him.
III. This story holds a real challenge for us:
A. We need to open our spiritual eyes: Heb. 12:1, 2
1. We can overcome sin by the power of God. "the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." I John. 4:4
2. Open your eyes to the power of God’s Spirit living in you.
3. Recognize the existence of evil and reality of Satan. There are evil forces at work in the world today.