God is always doing much more in our surroundings than our eyes can see.
The story of Elisha and his servant uniquely teaches this truth. Unfortunately, we often become so familiar with the amazing accounts in the Bible that we develop a kind of spiritual crust over our hearts. Eventually we can read them with hardly a blink at the awesome details.
It's not that we deny their truth. But we end up placing them on a lofty shelf of our mind’s library, up in a section reserved for things God did a long time ago, to people in a different world than ours. And so, we distance ourselves from the facts and consider them totally irrelevant to our modern lives.
If that's the way we read the Scriptures, we have put on spiritual blinders, and will miss one of the important purposes behind them.
So let's look at this passage with an eye to understanding what it's there for.
A Syrian general is told that God's prophet is exposing each one of his most secret military plans. Unbelievably, that same commander thinks that by moving his troops at night he can catch the servant of the Lord by surprise! Unknown to him, his foolish maneuver does nothing more than set the scene for God to teach Elisha's assistant a powerful lesson. And because it was included in the sacred text, it becomes a most encouraging one for us too.
With a short little prayer the man of God merely asks that his servant be able to see. He does not ask for protection, for wisdom to know what to do, or for any calamity to happen to the enemy. All he wants is for his helper to truly see what's out there.
Wouldn't you like to see the expression that came over the servant's face when he saw things as they really were? I sort of think Elisha was smiling.
Notice what the truth was and how it applies to every one who is in God's will.
They were never in real danger, nor had God abandoned them. However, the servant, who had seen only the visible circumstances, came to the normal, logical, human conclusion . . .
They were doomed!
But he was simply and completely wrong. He thought that what he saw with his physical eyes was the whole scene.
I think if we are honest we will recognize that often this man's mindset is firmly lodged in our own thinking habits.
We read, "I am with you alway", but live as though Jesus is a universe away.
We hear about the "cloud of witnesses", but act as though we are totally alone and unwatched.
We know the Bible says, "the just shall live by faith", but we insist on wanting to see and understand everything that is going on around us.
We would do well to remember the words Christ spoke to Thomas: "blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."
Dear Father, please increase my faith, that I be able to see without having to see. Help me live according to reality as given in Your Word, as I would see it if You opened my eyes like Elisha's servant. Amen.