I was reading in 2 Kings 6 today and came across a story that reminds me that God’s way of dealing with the enemy is not what comes natural to us. Let me give you a quick overview.
As verse 8 starts out, “The king of Aram was at war with Israel.” He would try to overcome the Israelites by setting up ambushes at different places they would travel. The prophet Elisha would tell the Israelites the plans of king Aram. Every time the king of Israel would send a delegation ahead of them and it was exactly as the prophets told them so they were ready for them. This enraged the king of Aram and he began to look for a spy amongst his people that was leaking out the information. Come to find out it was not one of his men but it was Elisha and the prophets who were the informers. Word got back that Elisha and the prophets tell the king of Israel the very words king Aram speaks in his bedroom. The last time I checked, they did not have access to spying equipment or camera device, it was all from the Lord.
Well, the king of Aram sent out men in search of Elisha and the prophets who were responsible for informing the Israelites of their plans. They found them in Dothan and sent horses, chariots and a strong force there to overcome them. A servant of Elisha woke up early the next morning and saw a huge army surrounding them and he was frightened. Elisha simply said, “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” The servant must have thought that Elisha was dreaming or losing his mind because the last time he looked, there were no others around except the enemy. But Elisha saw what the servant could not see because Elisha was driven by faith and the servant was driven by fear.
Elisha’s first response was not to pack up and go, it was to pray for the Lord to open the eyes of the servant to see the reality of the situation. The Lord answered Elisha’s prayer and the servant’s eyes were opened and he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. The servant must have been relieved.
Elisha prayed for the Lord to strike the army blind and he proceeded to tell them that they were in the wrong location. He led them to Samaria which is right in the middle of the Israelites. The tables were turned on them. They are now being surrounded by a huge army of their enemies.
Now here is where God shows us that His ways are greater than ours. The king of Israel was chomping at the bit to kill his enemy once and for all. Elisha instead told them to prepare a big feast and then send them back to their master. What? They were thinking that if they let them go then they will try to overcome them at another time and another place. Again, God’s ways are greater than ours. After he sent them back, the Scripture says that they stopped raiding Israel’s territory. This kind act terrified the king of Aram. It was the grace shown to them that frightened them the most because they knew that they could have been toast.
Let me remind you that God is bigger than all of your problems combined. He may choose to deal with them in a way you would have never thought of. Let Him show you an unconventional way of dealing with the enemy once and for all. Let me warn you, it may not make sense, but it works.
This Sunday we will be looking at another parable of Jesus and it will also begin our District Camp Meeting week. Have you ever gone to St. Marys and attended a camp meeting service? Our church is a part of the Northwestern Ohio District and every year we gather together for services held at our district center located in St. Marys, Ohio. It is one hour southwest of our church. I want to encourage you to attend a service throughout the week. More information is in the bulletin on Sunday morning.
May your faith show you that the Lord is surrounding you with more than you need to be victorious today.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene