Zev Porat

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Peace During Uncertainty: 2 Kings 6:8-23

In 2 Kings 6:8-23 lies one of the most encouraging stories regarding the ever present nature of God. In this account, the prophet Elisha was used of God to warn the Israelite king about the plans of the Aramites during a time when the two armies were engaged in war. This, of course, infuriated the king of Aram because he could not make a strategic move without Israel already having a countermove in place. Once the king of Aram discovered that Elisha was the dispenser of such information, the king ordered his men to find Elisha. Upon discovering Elisha in Dothan, the king sent a "strong force" to capture Elisha. Early the next morning Elisha's servant went outside to find a great multitude of horses and chariots surrounding the city. With uncertainty and the outlook of impending capture or death, the servant asked Elisha, "…what shall we do?"

Let us examine this for a second. Elisha is God's prophet who succeeded Elijah. As God's prophet, Elisha was responsible for speaking for God as God directed and he performed physical actions for God as God directed and empowered. One example of Elisha speaking for God is the account described above from 2 Kings 6. An example of Elisha performing an action only possible through God Almighty is the floating of the axe head in 2 Kings 6:1-7. The point is God used Elisha for His work. However, the King of Aram did not appreciate Elisha's work for God. Thus, the king of Aram wanted Elisha captured. Therefore, when the servant wakes up and goes outside, he is terrified to find the Aram army posted around the city. If you or I were to awaken to an enemy army surrounding our city of residence, we would ask the same question as the servant, "…what shall we do?" Let us not make light of this account or demean the servant; a real army of horses and chariots looking to capture him or kill him surrounded him.

In reply to the servant's question, Elisha said, "Don't be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." Then Elisha prayed for the servant's eyes to be opened to the things of God. When the servant looked again, he saw the hills filled with God's army of horses and chariots of fire. God's army was surrounding, even standing amongst, the army of Aram. Elisha's servant needed a change of perspective; he needed to view the situation through God's eyes not his own physical eyes. When this happened, the servant became intimately aware of God's work in the current situation. A situation of doubt and wonder became a situation of hope, peace, and humility.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you wondered where God is or what He is doing? I know I have experienced this before and chances are you have as well. These times of uncertainty seem to arrive at the most inopportune times, but as humans, we cannot know nor understand all God is doing because God is infinite and we are limited to acquired knowledge. However, when God opens our eyes and allows us to see His work all around us in the midst of perceived gloom and destruction, we stand in amazement and wonder at His power and work. However, there is also a humbling and peaceful nature to this revelation because we understand that God has never left His people. An individual who has surrendered his life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior can rest in the understanding that God is at work in his life even when uncertainty seems to prevail. Just this week I experienced a time where God offered me a change of perspective in a given situation so I will testify to the need to view life, present struggles, and circumstances of uncertainty through God's eyes as He is all knowing and all powerful. When I was encouraged with a new perspective, I could only cry because of how awesome God is, but also because of how narrow-minded I had been.

James Christopher Powell has served as assistant minister in Northwest Florida for ten years. 
He studies at The Baptist College of Florida where he is working on a Master's degree in Christians Studies.
He married his wife Jennifer in March 2014.

1 comment:

  1. This message was beautifully said and gratefully received. Thank you.