2 Kings 6:8-23 (Part 1) – Opening Your Eyes To See God At Work In Our Lives

Posted: May 14, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 6:8-23 (Part 1 of 2)

Elisha Traps the Arameans

This past weekend, I was supposed to come home from my trip to South Carolina for Session 2 of the 2019 pastoral training school for the South Carolina United Methodist Church on Sunday morning. However, due to it being Mother’s Day weekend, the airport was swamped with people on Sunday morning. It was filled with people either heading home from seeing Mom or going to see Mom in addition to the normal Sunday travelers who are leaving on business trips. Every line to do everything was extraordinarily long. Everything was taking twice as long as it normally does in Charlotte’s airport. It’s a big city airport so everything takes awhile anyway, but on this Sunday it was simply astonishing.

I bet you can already tell where this is going. I missed my flight home by mere minutes. I got to my gate but the boarding door had already been closed. The plane was still at the gate. I could still see the plane sitting there through the glass behind the ticket agent at the gate. If I had just gotten through security even two minutes sooner, 120 seconds, I would have been able to run on the plane and make my flight. It is such a sad situation when you can see the plane right there but you can’t get on it. Immediately, I started working with the gate agent to see if I could get on a later flight and not necessarily all the way to the Quad Cities Airport, at least to Chicago O’Hare, so I get home on Sunday. I needed to be back at work on Monday morning. Monday mornings are incredibly busy days for me because of all the weekly financial reporting that has to be done (after the counting and crediting of the Sunday collection – where 70% of the church’s donations come from). In addition, I just wanted to get home to my wife. I have been gone related to pastoral training down in South Carolina more than I have been home lately. So, I just wanted to get home. However, it was not to be. Because of the el-cheapo ticket that I had purchased, the options were limited and so I was booked on a flight at the same time the next morning. As I was talking to the ticket agent, the jetway begins to pull back from the plane. And that was it. The plane was still right there. Just right there. I was frustrated, angry, and upset. More mad at myself than anything else. I should have remembered that it was a holiday weekend of sorts and everything was going to take longer than usual.

So, I had spent the night with my brother-in-law and his wife that live about 15 miles from the Charlotte airport. I had to call him to come pick me up. And they ended up having company for an extra day that they did not plan on. But it being Mother’s Day, part of their day was going to be a visit to Elena’s mom in the nursing home where she resides. I decided to quit feeling sorry for myself and go with them to visit her. It would be the first time that I had seen her since Christmas Eve 2018. She was incredibly happy to see me because it was so unexpected. I was glad I got to see her. She is the last surviving parent that Elena and I have. Who knows when I will get to see her again? With the move and the new church, I am going to be swamped for a while going forward just learning the ropes at the new church and adjusting to my new role as the solo pastor at the church, no other staff pastors to help, just me. So, the learning curve is going to be steep and time spent learning how things work is going to be demanding. Therefore, being able to see Elena’s mom may not happen as much for me as it will for Elena. That’s the way I had to come away from this situation. Without having missed my flight, I would have not gotten to see Elena’s mom. And the next opportunity will be uncertain as to when it would happen.

Sometimes, in the midst of trouble, we can get so wrapped up in the trouble that we fail to see the blessing that may come out it. We have to open our eyes to see these things at times. I am thankful that I got to see Elena’s mom for my own sake but to see the happiness that it brought her to have an unexpected visit from me was worth all the trouble. We have to open our eyes at times to grasp what God is doing in our lives. That’s what I thought of this morning as I read 2 Kings 6:8-23 this first of two reads. You’ll see why I thought that as you read through it for yourself. Let’s read it now:

8 When the king of Aram was at war with Israel, he would confer with his officers and say, “We will mobilize our forces at such and such a place.”

9 But immediately Elisha, the man of God, would warn the king of Israel, “Do not go near that place, for the Arameans are planning to mobilize their troops there.” 10 So the king of Israel would send word to the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he would be on the alert there.

11 The king of Aram became very upset over this. He called his officers together and demanded, “Which of you is the traitor? Who has been informing the king of Israel of my plans?”

12 “It’s not us, my lord the king,” one of the officers replied. “Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in the privacy of your bedroom!”

13 “Go and find out where he is,” the king commanded, “so I can send troops to seize him.”

And the report came back: “Elisha is at Dothan.” 14 So one night the king of Aram sent a great army with many chariots and horses to surround the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha.

16 “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” 17 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.

18 As the Aramean army advanced toward him, Elisha prayed, “O Lord, please make them blind.” So the Lord struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked.

19 Then Elisha went out and told them, “You have come the wrong way! This isn’t the right city! Follow me, and I will take you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to the city of Samaria.

20 As soon as they had entered Samaria, Elisha prayed, “O Lord, now open their eyes and let them see.” So the Lord opened their eyes, and they discovered that they were in the middle of Samaria.

21 When the king of Israel saw them, he shouted to Elisha, “My father, should I kill them? Should I kill them?”

22 “Of course not!” Elisha replied. “Do we kill prisoners of war? Give them food and drink and send them home again to their master.”

23 So the king made a great feast for them and then sent them home to their master. After that, the Aramean raiders stayed away from the land of Israel.

In this passage, we see that Elisha’s servant was no longer afraid when he saw God’s mighty army. Faith reveals that God is doing more for His people that we can ever realize through sight alone. When you face difficulties that seem insurmountable, remember that spiritual resources are there even if you can’t see them. Look with eyes of faith, and let God show you His resources. If you don’t see God working in your life, the problem may be with your spiritual eyesight, and not God’s power.

My prayer for myself and for you is to open your eyes to see God at work in your life even in the midst of what seems like a deep, dark valley. That requires faith. Faith opens our eyes to the fact that God is doing, God is working, in our lives even when we are in the midst of a bad situation. Let us be a people who can see. Let us be a people who has trust in the Lord. Let us be a people who can trust that God will see us through the hard times. Let us be a people who can see blessings even in the midst of trouble. Let us be a people who believes that God really does have a plan for us even when things seem to have fallen apart. That takes trust. That takes faith.

Amen and Amen.

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