And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, a host with horses and chariots was round about the city.
And his servant said unto him, “Alas, my master! how shall we do?”
And he answered, “Fear not; for they that are with us are more than they that are with them.”
And Elisha prayed, and said, “O 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 (2 Kings 6:15-17).
By all accounts, the situation looked grim.
The Aramean king learned that Elisha was foiling his plans to raid Israel, and sent his army to end the threat. The Aramean army comes toward Elisha– a terrible sight indeed. Who can stand against the foe? The Israelite army has enough problem, let alone some prophets!
We can understand and sympathize with the great concern of the servant. According to the physical reality on the ground, there was little reason to hope.
Yet Elisha is unperturbed. He recognizes the spiritual reality in their midst. He knows that there are more on his side than there are for the enemy– even if such are invisible to man’s eyes.
We can only imagine what the servant felt when he suddenly sees the angelic host with its fiery chariots. He, no doubt, felt amazement and wonder. Stupefied is probably more like it. None of it was visible a moment earlier. Yet, in the blinking of the eye, everything was different.
Yet nothing was really different. The angelic host was always there. The servant simply did not perceive them!
This passage seems to teach us that there is a spiritual reality in our very midst that we do not perceive. If our eyes were opened, we might feel amazement and wonder, utterly stunned at all that is around us. Everything would seem different, but nothing would really be different. It is always there, just past our physical senses.
Let us remember this when we feel alone or discouraged, believing that our situation is hopeless. We may be struggling with a temptation to sin; we may feel some persecution for our faith; we might be experiencing some kind of trial, physical, spiritual, or otherwise. It may seem that the forces of evil and darkness are too numerous, and we despair of victory.
Yet, as it is written,
Ye are of God, my little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
In Jesus Christ we will have the victory. There is no force greater than His Lordship. We just need to have faith that an overwhelming spiritual reality is all around us, and that there are more for us than there are for them!
Ethan R. Longhenry