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"Open His Eyes"

2 Kings 6:16-17 So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, and said, "LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

The interesting events leading up to this story include the attempts of the King of Syria to engage in surprise attacks against the King and army of Israel. However, each time plans were made and ambushes set up, they were thwarted because Elisha, having received divine communication about them, warned the King of Israel. This happened repeatedly and the Syrian King was infuriated, thinking he had an informant in his midst. Once the truth came out, the King of Syria immediately dispatched a large regiment of soldiers to go to Elisha's house and seize him. This is the background and occasion for the verses quoted above, for when Elisha's young servant went out early in the morning and saw such a huge military attachment surrounding the house, he panicked. Of course, this would be a normal and expected reaction from the human point of view. After all, there was nothing either the young servant or Elisha could do. They were impossibly outnumbered and out-weaponized.

Here is where the story takes an interesting and unexpected twist, because Elisha's very calm reaction to all of this needed some kind of explanation in order for the young man to make sense of it. Elisha was "seeing" something that the young man wasn't, and so a request was made of the LORD to "open his eyes." Indeed, what this young man saw changed his outlook on everything. This young man's initial problem was not seeing too much (all of the soldiers, etc.), but seeing too little (no perception of divine realities). Of course, as this story unfolds, all of these human soldiers were struck with blindness and were not able to carry out their orders.

The lesson is clear for us. While we might fear the numerous opponents lined up against Christians these days, we need to offer up the prayer of Elisha, "Lord, open our eyes!" He will graciously answer our prayers and help us to see that the battle is not ours, but the Lord's, and since "God is for us, who can be against us?" Having such clear insight into these spiritual realities will give us courage to face an enemy with ultimately no power at all. May God grant us the spiritual vision to see what way Elisha did and respond as he did. Stories come from the mission field of these very same things happening, and so this incident has more than just passing historical interest. It has direct relevance for us today!

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