2 Kings 6:8-23 Looking at things Gods way / ELISHA (ə līʹ shȧ) my God is salvation.
God used enemies to chastise Israel: Deuteronomy 28:47–48 / 47 “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you,
Enemies of Israel and Judah / Divided Kingdom : Throughout their history, Israel and Judah contended with enemies committed to their destruction.
Characteristics of Israel’s enemies: They were often more numerous than Israel / often better equipped / cruel and oppressive / determined to destroy Israel
Psalm 83:4 They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
The Egyptians, Amalekites , Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians / Those opposed to the rebuilding program under Ezra and Nehemiah /Haman the Persian (Esther 3), Greeks, Romans, Edomites, Sihon, king of the Amorites, Og, king of Bashan, Canaanites and the surrounding nations, Syrians (Arameans) The Moabites, Ammonites, Midianites4
God protected Israel: Psalm 125:2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the Lord surrounds His people From this time forth and forever.
Story of Father who went fishing with his two friends and 8 year old Son Fishing boat sunk two friends swam to safety. Father whilst capable of saving himself decided to stay with his son. “Help me I can’t do this dad.” Father “I will stay with you. Both perished even though father could have swim to safety if he had abandoned his boy.
He delivered Israel: 2 Kings 17:39 “But the Lord your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”
- Returns to the intermittent warfare between the Arameans and Israelites.
King did not realize that God’s presence was with his people. mistake which the enemies of God’s people make always.
God’s presence with his people is not realized even amongst some believers. Elisha’s servant, no doubt, believed in God. / close to God to recognize his work
1. It is well to be on God’s side. In a time of danger or of trouble, a great many people expect God to be on their side, who have never taken any pains to show themselves on his side. / “Am I on God’s side?”
2.Undertake great things for God. We should be ashamed of how little we are attempting to do for God.
3. Never be daunted or depressed by difficulties. The greater the difficulties, the greater should be the determination of the Christian. Proof of Gods doing / not our work.
Example of Dealing with opposition / Keeping a right perspective
Prayer: Nehemiah 4:4 Hear, O our God, how we are despised! Return their reproach on their own heads and give them up for plunder in a land of captivity.
Patience: 2 Timothy 2:25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,
Prudence: Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Ver. 8. Syria warred against Israel. It may seem strange that, so soon after sending an embassy to the court of Samaria, and asking a favour, Benhadad should resume hostilities
Normal relations between the two countries were those of enmity, few years would suffice to dim the memory of what had happened.
Ver. 9.— When disaster threatened his country, Elisha felt obligation on him to warn even an ungodly king. They were delivered from ambush because of Elisha’s warning. Prophets warning in the church today?
prophets giving military information / Advice. examples of prophetic activity in the ancient Near East in their service to the kings.
Ver. 11.— Benhadad suspected treachery among his own subjects.
The prophet Elisha had “bugged” even the bedroom of the king of Syria.
Ver. 12.— Elisha’s gifts had, become widely known to the Syrians through the cure of Naaman’s leprosy; Person talking to the king may possibly have been Naaman himself.
6:13. Dothan. Located at Tell Dothan, this is an imposing site covering about twenty-five acres. Ten miles north of Samaria on the main route used by merchants and herdsmen going north to the Jezreel Valley. The area around the city (the Dothan Valley) provided choice pasture land, so it developed into a major city site as early as the Early Bronze Age (3200–2400 b.c.).
The spies were sent, Found out tha, Elisha was residing in Dothan. (Satan spaying on you today knowing where to attack you)
6:14 a great army. In contrast to the smaller raiding parties the king of Syria sent a sizable force, / horses and chariots, to take Elisha prisoner.
Focus on The spirit-world, and the power to discern it.
reality & continuous presence, around us and about us, of the spirit-world.
He knew that God and God’s strength was “with him,” and did not care who, or how many, might be against him.
1. The value of a good man to his country.
2. The source of a wicked man’s weakness. Wicked tradesmen, lawyers, statesmen, and others succeed only as they conceal their hearts from public view.
God has provided helpers for men superior to all antagonists.
the superior helpers of the good are only seen by some.
1. There is the tendency to judge after the senses. The majority of men, like the servant of the prophet, see only with the physical eye.
2. There is the habit of attributing everything to these inferior causes. This habit allows no room for God, nor for spiritual world.
Note this: What is regular it’s calls natural; what is miraculous alone is Divine.
3. There is safety in closeness with God. Being near to the inner eye and heart of God.
To see these superhuman helpers only requires the opening of the eyes.
15 Doubtless Elisha knew about plans to capture him, but allowed himself to be trapped so that the subsequent entrapment of the Arameans might work to God’s glory.
Servant was alarmed, anticipated either death or capture & being sold as a slave.
I. Eyes closed.
1. The young man’s eyes were closed. (His servant’s response / relationship needed improving) How many like him are blind to the power of God in church today!
2. The Syrians’ eyes were closed. God’s response to Elisha’s request.
II. Eyes opened.
There may be some one known to us whose eyes are closed, who is spiritually blind. Have we brought the case to God in prayer? We may not reach them by our words; but we can reach them by our prayers.
The Syrians’ eyes were opened to see their true condition. They then saw how defenseless and how helpless they were. That is the first step in the path of salvation.
Servant’s eyes were open “for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
Role of Apologetics and its relevance today opens eyes / prepared to give the answer.
6:17. horses and chariots of fire. The text does not say the horses and chariots fill the mountains (plural), but the mount (singular) and that they surround Elisha. This suggests that the “mount” is the hill on which the city of Dothan is located (some two hundred feet above the surrounding plain).
Yahweh is often portrayed as “Lord of Hosts” the commander of the heavenly armies.
- Where and in whom do you put your trust today?
Ver. 17.— As the earthly force, which had alarmed Elisha’s servant, was a force mainly of horses and chariots, so the heavenly force revealed to his eyes was made to bear the same appearance. But the heavenly chariots and horses were “of fire”.
Ver. 18.—And when they came down to him. if they were in the plain that surrounds the hill whereon Dothan was built,
They would have had to ascend in order to reach Elisha, not to descend. We may assume, “When they [Elisha and his servant] came down to them [the Syrians]. Brave undertaking!
Ver. 19.—And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city. This was clearly “an untruthful statement”
- Covert operation by people of God. In spiritual battle / wisdom.
Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. Not literal blindness, or they could not have followed Elisha’s lead, and marched a distance of twelve miles to Samaria; but a state of confusion and bewilderment.
Ver. 20.— they returned to their proper senses, seeing the size and strength of the town, recognized that they were in Samaria, their enemy’s capital, and so were helpless.
Inside the city, army discovered that instead of taking Elisha captive, they were prisoners of Jehoram (v.20).
God protects his people: watching over them and helping them personally
By sending angels to protect them: Psalm 34:7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.
Conditions of God’s protection
Prayer: Psalm 72:12 For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help, The afflicted also, and him who has no helper.
Right attitudes: Psalm 91:14 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
Father…Shall I smite them? shall I smite them? The repetition marks extreme eagerness, while the interrogative form shows a certain amount of hesitation.
When a city or country was conquered, the whole male population of full age was commonly put to death.
6:21. “father” as title. is used to designate the leader of a group in both Hebrew and Akkadian. King’s use of the title shows recognition of Elisha’s status / respect for the man of God.
Ver. 22.—And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them. By sparing the prisoners and treating them with kindness, it might be possible to touch the heart of the King of Syria, and turn him towards peace.
The power of Divine grace. Elisha did not revel in his triumph over his enemies. He did not take advantage of their helplessness.
Would you kill those you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow?
“Captives of the bow” is an expression found in Akkadian texts to describe persons who have been taken as part of the plunder. They can employ them in slave labor, sell them or set them free.
Right attitude Proverbs 25:21–22 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; 22 For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the Lord will reward you.
The feast laid before them is a banquet or even a ceremonial meal usually accompanying a special occasion or establishing a treaty agreement.
Given them provisions for the journey home to Syria.
Raids were discontinued because
- Syrians had found out that they could not accomplish anything
- brought themselves into circumstances of great peril”
However, at a later date Ben-hadad again besieged Samaria. Personal name or royal title meaning “son of (the god) Hadad. God of this world against God of heaven.
Revenge overcome. The generous kindness extinguished the flames and paralyzed the arms of revenge, Evil can only be overcome by good.
I. Frustrated plans.
Royal strategy. It was cunning more than strength that the king relied on. Men tend to overvalue cunning. This is worldly conduct, especially of political and military, affairs.
Visible attack and Invisible defense.
The visible attackers.
- Ben-hadad put trust in chariots and horses.
- Many solders to take one prisoner.
The invisible protectors. Elisha was full of calm trust. He had learned to look at thing Gods way through his time with Elijah. Personal experience of walking with God.
- One visible person and angels taken to defeat the overwhelming enemy
Story of Indian Boy / Girl he liked /she refused his advances / eventually hopping that this would stop his advances she said if you want me to marry you give me your mothers heart.
Boy thought for a while he loved his mother he loved Girl more. Decided to kill his mother and run to his love to tell her that he will marry her, in excitement he dropped his mother’s heart as he fell to the ground.
God loves even those who oppose him giving them new chances each day until thier deaths / believers must follow his example
Heard his mother’s voice coming from the heart. “My son are you OK”
God’s love for sinners: Isaiah 53:6 / 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
Sources of opposition
The world: John 15:18–19 / 18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.
The flesh: Galatians 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another,
The devil: 1 Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Spiritual protection: John 17:11 “I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.
Believers need protection from spiritual dangers
From Satan: 1 Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
From Satan’s agents in the world: John 15:18–19 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.
Thanksgiving for victory over Israel’s enemies
Giving thanks to God was the proper response to victory / Israel often forgot to give thanks to God