In the middle of chapter 6 of 2 kings in the Old Testament, there is a story about Elisha the prophet, and 3 incidents he was involved in that tells us a bit about Gods character, and shows us what happens when make ourselves available to God and others.
Before we go any further please take a couple of minutes and read 2 kings 6:8-23
Beware of passing that place
In verses 8-10 we read that the King of Aram was at war with Israel, but time and again Elisha the prophet warned the king of Israel where his enemies were. This gave Israel clear direction in battle.
We may not be prophets to kings but….
God can use us to speak prophetically to our brothers and sisters in Christ. People don’t always see the danger they are in or the possible consequences of choices they make. But like Elisha, God can use us to be a voice of wisdom, giving helpful counsel to those that need it.
That we may see
In verses 13-17 we read that the King of Aram wants Elisha out of the way, so he sent a strong force to deal the prophet while he was in Dothan. Elisha’s servant got up and went out early in the morning and was shocked to find that they were surrounded by their enemy.
Like many of us when we are overwhelmed with what is before us, he said to Elisha “oh no, what shall we do” ( surrounded by an army and that’s all he has to say? Thats putting it mildly no doubt)
Those who are with us will always be more
Elisha’s response to his servants anxiety is pretty awesome. He said “Don’t be afraid” and went on to pray and very powerful short prayer. “Open his eyes Lord, so that he may see”. And God did.
While there are probably many people in our lives that we think need that prayer, I would suggest that it’s us that need our eyes opened the most, especially when we are surrounded in challenging circumstances. Let’s make it a priority to continuously ask God to open our eyes so that we may see who is for us!
Prepare a feast for them instead
In verses 18-23 we read that Elisha led the Arameans on a bit of a wild goose chase, and led them to the last place where they would want to be. When the king of Israel saw his enemy before him, he asked Elisha if he could kill them.
We all need reminders of a better way
The prophets response appears to be a strong NO! (I imagine something to do with norms/laws of war type thing) and a gentle reminder. Instead they provide their enemy with a great feast and then sent them in their way.
Like the King of Israel was keen to kill his enemies, we are often also keen to put our enemies in their place as well. But Jesus has given us a new way (a command). We are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us…and sometimes we will be called to provide them with food and drink, sending them away feeling cared for.
Sounds crazy I know, but if we are to reflect Jesus and be light and salt to the world around us, then we must seriously consider how we can practically do this stuff.
What does this tell us about our God?
- He has a better way for us. Sometimes he sends us wise counsel and we would do well to listen when it comes
- God doesn’t want us to be afraid and wants us to see his reality,
- He wants us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds when it comes to how we treat our enemies.
God, give us wisdom to come along side others and to receive it, Open our eyes Lord so we can see from your perspective and help us to love our enemies.
Thanks for reading and if you have found anything helpful from this post, please leave a comment or share it with someone who may benefit.