By Henry Mahan
2 Kings 6:8-23
The king of Syria made war against Israel. Calling together a council of his servants, he made plans to camp in a certain place and ambush the king of Israel. Elisha sent word to the king to take another route. Each time that the Syrians secretly planned to attack Israel, Elisha warned them and they escaped.
Finally, the king of Syria was convinced that he had a traitor among his servants, who was leaking information to Israel. One of his servants said, 'There is no traitor; but Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel everything, even what you say in your bedroom.' The king of Syria was told that Elisha was in Dothan; so he sent horses, chariots, and a large army to surround the city and capture Elisha. The servant of Elisha arose early and went out of the house. Seeing the great army of the enemy surrounding them, he cried unto Elisha, 'Alas, my master, what shall we do?' Elisha calmly replied, 'Do not be afraid; they that be with us are more than they that be with them.' This is what King Hezekiah told the people of Judah when the king of Assyria came against them (2 Chron. 32:7-8). 'With them is the arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.'
When men truly know the Scriptures and the power of God, there is no reason to fear what men can do (Matt. 22:29; Psalm 56:3-4). We do not underestimate the power of Satan, sin, and the world; but our God is greater than all, and he will deliver us.
However, the greatness, grace, and power of God to redeem and deliver sinners, in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, from the overwhelming curse of the law, from the power of sin and Satan, and from death, judgment, and hell, is only seen with the eyes of faith (Matt. 13:15-16). Elisha prayed that God would open the young man's eyes that he might see. May God open our eyes that we may see.
1. The natural eye is blind to spiritual truth as the natural ear does not hear and the natural heart does not understand (1 Cor. 2:9-14; Isa. 64:4). Men read the word of God with a veil over their eyes and minds. Sinners pass, blindfolded by sin, through all the testimonies of redeeming love and grace and see them not nor hear them.
God is everywhere, but the blind see him not.
His great law touches the thoughts and intents of the heart, but men do not see.
Men themselves are guilty, fallen, and far from God; but they do not see their wounds, bruises, and putrefying sores.
Death, judgment, and hell move to meet men at their coming; but they see not. They dance blindly on the edge of hell.
The Lord Jesus came into the world to save sinners, but they saw no beauty about him and knew him not.
Natural blindness keeps a man content in filth, false refuges, and spiritual poverty.
Natural blindness makes men proud, for they see not their ignorance nor his glory.
Only God can open a sinner's eyes, for the hearing ear and the seeing eye are of the Lord (Prov. 20:12). We may put truth before men, but only God can make them to see (Isa. 42:6-8; 2 Cor. 4:6; Psalm 146:8). Once Satan promised to open a man's eyes, but the man saw shame, not glory (Gen. 3:5-7).
2. The Lord does open men's eyes and by his grace gives them spiritual sight and understanding. (v. 17.) 'And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw.'
The eye of faith sees what others do not see! Noah saw the flood coming (Heb. 11:7). The disciples saw the deity of Jesus Christ (Matt. 16:13-17). Isaiah complained about the blindness of men, but the Ethiopian saw the glory of Christ when Philip preached Christ from Isaiah's account of his sufferings (Isa. 53:1-6).
The eye of faith produces a calm spirit of assurance. The servant in our story was afraid and cried, 'Alas, master, what shall we do?' But Elisha was not afraid, for he saw the army of the Lord and was confident of deliverance. Job was confident of God's care even in the deepest trial (Job 1:20-22).
The eye of faith does not grow dim with the passing of years but sees better. The young man saw the enemy but no Redeemer; he saw danger and no deliverance. The old prophet had seen the glory and grace of God often; and, like Abraham, he knew 'the Lord will provide.' With age and maturity come better sight and understanding (1 Peter 3:18).
The eye of faith desires to see more (1 John 5:20).
More of the wonders of his word (Psalm 119:18).
More of Christ, the Lord (Phil. 3:8-10).
More of his righteousness revealed in the gospel (Rom. 1:16-17).
More of his redemptive glory (Exo. 33:18-19).
And the blessed hope of saving faith is to see him and to awake with his likeness (1 John 3:23; Psalm 27:4.).
One important thing to remember is that, like Hagar's well in the desert (Gen. 21:19), deliverance is there in Christ all the time; we only need spiritual eyes to see.