Through the works of God and the boldness of Elisha the number of those training for the ministry is exploding. So much so that they along with Elisha move to another area to build larger dwellings. While chopping down trees an ax head flies off and sinks into a pool of water. Because iron was hard to come by, they were quite distressed by this. Elisha is called and as he calmly follows God’s leading the ax head floats to the surface. Though it is seemingly such a small thing, it is still important to God. He cares about the little things as well as the big, which we are about to see.
Here comes a much bigger problem. The king of Syria is planning an attack on Israel. The Lord provides all of the Syrian king’s plans to Elisha which he then shares with Jehoram the king of Israel. He was not a good king, but much more reasonable than his father Ahab. When word of this gets back to the king of Syria he at first thinks there is a spy, but is then told that it is the prophet Elisha sharing his plans.
In response he sends a huge band of Syrian mercenaries after Elisha. When they arrive and encircle the city, one of Elisha’s young men comes with the terrible news. Just like with ax head, Elisha calmly assess the situation. He knows that God is in control and he asks the Lord to show this boy what is really surrounding the city. God reveals the unseen and the boy sees a massive spiritual army with flaming chariots protecting the city.
It is this Godly perspective that gives Elisha such confidence no matter the circumstance. So Elisha asks God to blind these Syrians, thus rendering them harmless and He does just that. Elisha then leads them to Jehoram and instead of letting him kill these men, he tells him to feed them, then let them go. Elisha’s counsel is followed and this threat vanishes off the scene.
The mercenaries might be gone, but the king of Syria is not giving up. This time he surrounds Samaria and decides to starve them out (This is called a siege.) It is so effective that families eventually start eating their own children. This is prophesied in Deuteronomy 28:52-57. It is a desperate time and king Jehoram instead of looking at his own sin or the sin of the people, decides to blame Elisha.
How many times do see people blame God or someone else for what is wrong in their life, but never look in the mirror? Have we done this? It’s easy to point fingers at others and deny the truth of our own failings. What God wants for us is that our eyes be opened to not only where we failed, but also to the glorious deliverance He has prepared for us.
Scripture is constantly pointing us towards a greater dependence on God and a decreased dependence on self. Elisha was not fearful because he knew in whom he believed. (2 Timothy 1:12)
Let’s take responsibility for where we fail and trust the Lord for the solution. This is the essence at the center of our salvation and the key to a life of victory through Christ.
2 Kings 6