2 Kings 6:8-23 – Chariots of Fire

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2Kings 6:8-10

  1. The prophet Elisha was no fan of Israel’s wicked king Jehoram (2 Kings 3:1-2), who was the son of the now-dead king Ahab, who was married to Jezebel. Ahab and Jezebel saw the prophet Elijah as an enemy and persecuted God’s people. While Joram is also wicked, he is not quite as bad as Ahab and Jezebel. Elisha therefore has the opportunity to help Israel by prophetically conveying to King Jehoram the location of the Aramean army.
    1. Through prayer, you can gain knowledge from God that you can pass on to other people. In the New Testament, this is called “the word of knowledge” (1 Corinthians 12:8).
    2. God’s time of judgment on King Jehoram and Israel has not yet come, and therefore there is still time for repentance. Even though King Jehoram lived in sin and far from God, God was not far from Jehoram. It was not too late for Jehoram to repent.
  2. When King Jehoram sends his servants to verify the prophetic words of the prophet Elisha, he shows that he believes in God’s word, but still wants to verify that it is true. This is actually a healthy and balanced approach to prophetic words. One should not just blindly obey what prophets say, but check it for accuracy and compare it with God’s word in the Bible.

2Kings 6:11-13

  1. Ben-Hadad, the king of Aram, is angry at his failure to surprise Israel, does not understand how King Jehoram can know the positions of his army all the time, and therefore suspects that there must be a traitor in their midst. But one of the king’s servants knows the truth; that it is Elisha the prophet who supernaturally conveys the prophetic knowledge to King Jehoram.
    1. After the servant informed Ben-Hadad of the spiritual truth, Ben-Hadad should have realized that God was protecting Israel and that he was fighting against the Lord himself. But instead of repenting, Ben-Hadad decides to try to arrest God’s prophet Elisha.

2Kings 6:14-17

  1. The fact that Ben-Hadad gets the idea that it is a good idea to try to surprise the prophet Elisha after he has learned that Elisha has repeatedly received knowledge from God about Ben-Hadad’s attempts to surprise Israel, shows that Ben-Hadad does not want to convert to the true God but rather wants to try to defeat Him.
  2. Elisha’s servant looks at Ben-Hadad’s army with human eyes and is terrified, thinking that all hope is gone. But Elisha looks at the army with God’s eyes and knows that God is with them. If God has helped Israel against the Arameans before, he will do so now. With human eyes Elisha was surrounded, but with spiritual eyes the Arameans were surrounded. The eyes of faith see the spiritual reality, the presence and protection of God.
    1. People of God have always seen spiritual reality through the eyes of faith:
      1. Abraham ate with angels (Gen 18).
      2. Moses met God at the burning bush (Ex 3).
      3. Joshua meets an angel outside Jericho (Josh 5).
      4. Ezekiel saw spiritual visions (Ezek 1).
      5. Daniel was protected by an angel in the lion’s den (Dan 6).
      6. Peter is rescued by an angel from prison (Acts 12).
      7. Paul was protected by an angel in the storm (Acts 27:23).
  3. God has a great grand plan of salvation for all mankind that includes Israel and the Messiah. God uses many different means to protect his people, including angels and supernatural miracles. God will see to it that his plan comes to fruition, even if humanly speaking it looks dark at times. The prophet Elisha had insight into this and was used to seeing God’s actions “behind the scenes”, but now Elisha’s servants were seeing this too.
    1. In the same way, today we can trust that God has a great plan to spread the gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus all over the world. When we participate in this mission of God by, for example, witnessing to someone about our faith, we often find that God has already prepared that person for the message, and that God is working miracles in that person’s life. This is part of the spiritual reality that goes on “behind the scenes”, and that the person with the eyes of faith can see.
  4. However, the spiritual world does not consist only of angels serving God. The devil and many of his angels rebelled against God and fell like a star from heaven to earth (Isaiah 14:12, Luke 10:18, Revelation 9:1). Possibly as many as a third of all the angels followed the devil in his fall (Revelation 12:3-9). These fallen angels of the Devil (Matt 25:41) are considered by many Christians to be synonymous with the “demons” of the New Testament.
  5. In church work, it is important to see with both human and spiritual eyes. Of course, one always needs to look at the stark reality and talk about all the practical issues. But one must not forget to also pray to God to see the possibilities that God has planned. Maybe God will then put a vision on someone’s heart, which they can believe in even if the reality is different. Through continued prayer and steps of faith, the spiritual vision will eventually be realized even in human reality and one will realize that “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

2Kings 6:18-20

  1. The Aramaeans go towards Elisha without seeing the spiritual army that is on Elisha’s side, ready to fight. After Elisha’s prayer, the Arameans are suddenly blinded because it is Elisha who is standing before them. Elisha can then easily lead the Arameans to King Jehoram in Israel’s capital city of Samaria.
    1. What Israel could not do with its army, a man of God could do with a simple prayer. No matter how hopeless a situation may seem, we should never underestimate the power of prayer (Jas 5:12-18).
  2. Once in Samaria, the Arameans’ eyes are opened after Elisha’s prayer, and they realize that they are defenseless and at the mercy of Israel.

2Kings 6:21-23

  1. King Joram’s instinctive reaction when he sees enemy soldiers in the middle of his own capital city is to want to kill them all. But God, not Jehoram, has captured these soldiers, and God’s plan was to save the Israelites, not to kill the Arameans. By giving the enemy food and water, he responds to evil with goodness, an action that led to Israel’s subsequent avoidance of more Aramean marauders inside its own land.
  2. Through this victory, Elisha showed that God is the protector of Israel, not the soldiers of Israel.
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