This is the ‘amazing things’ I mentioned yesterday.
In 2 Kings 6, the Syrian king sends an army to surround the little city of Dothan to capture Elisha. Elisha’s servant, from his point of view, has every right to be anxious.
Elisha prayed that this young man would see reality:
He (Elisha) said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:16-17
Not a few – a mountain-full, more numerous than the army that surrounded Dothan! I imagine the young man was no longer anxious.
Matthew Henry talks about it this way:
He (Elisha) saw himself safe, and wished no more than that his servant might see what he saw (emphasis mine), a guard of angels round about him; such as were his master’s convoy to the gates of heaven were his protectors against the gates of hell—chariots of fire, and horses of fire. Fire is both dreadful and devouring; that power which was engaged for Elisha’s protection could both terrify and consume the assailants.
Are we not in the same position as Elisha? We should have the desire to help others see what we see – the great reality and heinous depravity of our own sin, that Christ is beautiful beyond compare, that God is powerful beyond comprehension, “and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).” Even things like disability.
There is also another part to this – we deserve all the terror and wrath that God could rightly pour out on us. Only because of Jesus and his righteousness being freely extended to us do we have any hope. What a hope it is!
Yet, only because God opens our eyes to this reality do we get to see and feel and understand this hope. Just like Elisha’s young man.
Until Elisha prayed and God granted him vision, this young man thought that what he saw was real: an invading army that looked mightier than anything the little city of Dothan could withstand. But then he saw reality.
God didn’t even use the horses and chariots of fire, but answered Elisha’s prayer for the Syrian army to be struck with blindness.
So, God grants eyes to see for one young man, and then blinds an entire army. And everybody goes home.
As opposed to the Assyrian army with leaders who defied God and taunted the people of Israel. Their encounter with God was very different:
And that night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 2 Kings 19:35
One angel, not a multitude!
And our one Savior Jesus opens our eyes to him, covers our sins. It is truly amazing that any of us get to see the precious reality of how sinful we are and how Jesus’ righteousness covers it all, to the praise and worship of our glorious God.