The prophet Elisha had been a constant thorn in the side of the king of Aram. 2 Kings 6:1-12 tells us that Aram had been warring against Israel, and the prophet Elisha kept informing the king of Israel the whereabouts of the Arameans.
And finally the king of Aram became enraged wondering who the spy was in his ranks. “Will you tell me which of us is for the king of Israel?” he demanded to know. Then one of his servants said, “No, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.”
The king of Aram then embarked on a search, not for the king of Israel, but for the prophet Elisha. Having learned that Elisha was in Dothan, the king sent “a great army” to surround where Elisha was staying. When Elisha’s attendant went outside he was dismayed to see the army and the horses and chariots. Trembling with fear he asked Elisha, “What are we going to do!”
But Elisha was not afraid. In fact, when I read these verses I get the impression that Elisha was content to finish his cup of coffee. Elisha’s peace in the matter was not out of ambivalence to the threat. He could see the army outside his door too. But he could also something his servant couldn’t. “Do not fear,” Elisha assured. “For those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
There was something going on in the spiritual realm, that was just as real as the physical realm, but for which spiritual vision was needed to see. Elisha’s servant could see the problem, but not the help. So Elisha prayed, “’O, Lord I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
Unlike Elisha’s servant, I have never been given such a glimpse into the spiritual realm. But there have been many times in my life I have felt overwhelmed by the odds of my circumstances; where, from my vantage point, I saw no way out of my problem. And seeking assurances I have asked God to give me a glimpse into the spiritual realm to see what is really going on—only to quickly back off from the request realizing that I might not be able to handle what I saw.
But I find it comforting to know there is more going on than what my eyes can see. And that God is the one commanding those armies on my behalf. When Paul wrote, “We walk by faith not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) he did not mean we shrug our shoulders or roll the dice wishing for the best. But that we are to live in confidence that though the world may be against us, God is for us.
And knowing that means, well, that there is nothing more we need to know. That is enough.
Prayer: Lord, give me peace in what I can see, through faith in You for what I can’t see.