Now You See Me, Now You Don't

And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria. - II Kings 6:15-19

In the above passage, the king of Syria was upset with Elisha because the prophet continued to thwart the king's plans to destroy Israel.  So, the Syrian king sent out an army to "deal with" the prophet.  When Elisha's poor servant exited the tent in the morning, he was greeted by an enormous army surrounding their camp, and in his fear and despair, he asked a logical question:  "Um, Master, what do we do now?"

Elisha's answer, I'm sure, seemed rather odd to the fearful servant.  "No worries.  There are more of us than there are of them."  Now, at this point in time, Elisha and his servant are camping out with the sons of the prophets, so I'm not sure how many people Elisha actually had on his side, but I am of the opinion that it wasn't many compared to the number of battle-hardened soldiers surrounding them.  But that's okay because Elisha wasn't referring to the sons of the prophets.  He was referring to the unseen heavenly army that was currently surrounding them.

There are so many things I could say about this passage, so many blessings within these verses, but for now, I want to focus on the thing that hit me last week as I read through this account.  Did you notice that the heavenly army didn't actually do anything?  They were there, but they didn't battle the opposing army.  In fact, no one did.  Elisha simply prayed that they would be struck blind and then the prophet led them away to Samaria, which, I'm sorry, but I find very comical.  I mean, seriously, the man for whom the army had been sent is saying, "Sorry, guys.  You're in the wrong place.  Here, let me show you the way."  And they followed!  Not the brightest crowd evidently.

Anyway, back to my point.  If the heavenly army wasn't there to fight against the opposing army, why were they there?  I mean, as far as we know, the only ones who even saw them were Elisha and his servant, so it's safe to assume they weren't even there to intimidate the Syrian army.  So why were they there at all?  Honestly, the Bible doesn't say, but I have a pretty good idea.  I personally believe that the heavenly army was a reminder to Elisha's servant that, no matter what he faced in this life, he would never have to face it alone.  God was with him even when he couldn't see His hand at work.  In essence, I think God was telling that poor servant, "Don't worry.  I've got your back.  I've always got your back."

I don't know about you, but that gives me glory bumps.  Some days, we need God to step in and fight our battles for us, but some days, we just need that heavenly reminder that we're not alone.  No matter what we face.  No matter how many obligations the day may hold.  No matter how big and fierce the enemy may appear.  It doesn't matter because compared to God, our biggest foe doesn't stand a chance.

You may be facing a situation today that seems so overwhelming, and despite your prayers, you cannot see God at work.  Elisha's servant learned that just because you can't see Him doesn't mean that He's not there.  My prayer for you today is that God will open your eyes just as He opened the eyes of this servant and help you to see the ways He is working all around you.  If nothing else, simply as a reminder that you're not facing this situation alone.  God's got your back and He's far bigger than anything else that may come your way.