Elisha, like his predecessor and mentor, Elijah, was God’s prophet, sent primarily to the Northern Kingdom.
While they were at war with Syria, God used Elisha to give the home-field-advantage to the northern ten tribes. “When the king of Aram (Syria) was waging war against Israel, he conferred with his servants, ‘My camp will be at such and such a place.’ But the man of God (Elisha) sent word to the king of Israel: ‘Be careful passing by this place, for the Arameans are going down there.’ Consequently, the king of Israel sent word to the place the man of God had told him about. The man of God repeatedly warned the king, so the king would be on his guard” (2 Kings 6:9-10).
The Syrian king was ticked-off, thinking that he had a traitor among his closest advisors. “The king of Aram was enraged because of this matter, and he called his servants and demanded of them, ‘Tell me, which one of us is for the king of Israel?’ One of his servants said, ‘No one, my lord the king. Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in your bedroom.’ So the king said, ‘Go and see where he is, so I can send men to capture him’ ” (2 Kings 6:11-13).
They located Elisha in the little village of Dothan.
Long before Elisha, Joseph had once gone to visit his ten older brothers who were pasturing their flocks at Dothan. Remember? At Dothan, Joseph was accosted by his jealous siblings, thrown into a well, and later sold into slavery (Genesis 37). But I digress...
The Syrian king “sent horses, chariots, and a massive army there. They went by night and surrounded the city” (2 Kings 6:14).
On the way to the coffee pot, Elisha’s servant peeked out the window. To his astonishment and horror, he saw Syrian’s heavy artillery. Trucks, tanks, canons, guns, hovering helicopters... With fear and trepidation, he woke the prophet. “Oh, my master, what are we to do?” (2 Kings 6:15).
Elisha had a supernatural faith, freely given by the “Father of mercies and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3). He could see what others couldn’t.
“Elisha said, ‘Don’t be afraid, for those who are with us outnumber those who are with them.’ Then Elisha prayed, ‘Lord, please open his eyes and let him see.’ So the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw that the mountain was covered with horses and chariots of fire all around” (2 Kings 6:16-17).
Unarmed and unfortified, in the little cottage at Dothan, Elisha knew that Syria’s battalions of infantrymen were no match for Heaven’s Armies! He faithfully reasoned, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31, ESV).
Oh Lord, please open our eyes and let us see!
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.