“O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.”
2 Kings 6:17
The king of Syria is perplexed as to how the king of Israel is evading him and his army. When he learns that the prophet Elisha is foiling his attacks, he sends his horses, a great army, and chariots at night to surround the city of Dothan, where he plans to capture Elisha.
The next morning, when Elisha’s servant saw what was happening, he said to Elisha, “Alas, my master, what shall we do?”
Elisha is not bothered at all by the situation and answers his servant with assurance, “Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” 2 Kings 6:15-16
Elisha then prayed the prayer that revealed God’s presence and power. He said, “Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see.”
The Lord answered Elisha’s prayer and opened the servant’s eyes so that he saw a “mountain full of horses and chariots of fire” around them.
Elisha prayed again, but this time for the Lord to blind the army. When the Lord answered this prayer, Elisha led them to Samaria.
Again, Elisha prays – this time for their eyes to be opened. When this happens, they see that Elisha has brought them to the king of Israel, who could have killed them; but Elisha tells the king to give them food and water.
“So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again on raids into the land of Israel.”
2 Kings 6:23
This story reminds me of three references in the New Testament. The first is of Paul’s words in Romans 12:20.
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Then the words of John come to mind, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
But, more than these, we have an example of Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew 5 and Luke 6 to “love your enemies.” (See related article and sermon links below.)
We do not have prophets like Elisha in the world today. The prayers he prayed were for a different time. Now we have the Spirit of Christ to assure us of His love, His protection, and His wisdom. We don’t see the supernatural work of our heavenly Father with human eyes, but our eyes are opened spiritually to see and to know that He is always with us and how He works through us to respond to our enemies.
Before leaving His disciples, Jesus said to them:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Throughout the Old and the New Testaments, God promises to be with us. Elisha’s first words to his servant are, “Fear not.” Many of the books of the Bible quote these words from the Lord. In Isaiah 41:10, KJV, we read,
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for the prayer you gave Elisha so that his servant could see your marvelous work on their behalf. Give us faith to believe, and not fear what man may do to us. Thank you for bringing us into your presence, and opening our eyes to see the King of kings – not to receive your wrath upon us, but heavenly food and drink, and eternal blessings. Keep our eyes focused on the wonders of your great salvation in and through your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And enable us to love our enemies as you have loved us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Fran (Excerpt from PRAYERS That Bring the House Down)