“‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’” 2 Kings 6:16 (NIV)
My brother was 13 years old when I once saw a band of bullies on bikes encircle him like buzzards taunting their prey. He was outmanned and outnumbered. I thought it was the end.
But then my dad pulled up in his Pontiac. He didn’t even get out of the car but simply rolled down the window and gave a look that said, “I dare you.” The bullies scattered like mice do when the lights come on.
As we pray for ourselves and the ones we love, it’s easy to think of the spiritual forces surrounding us as looming bullies: too strong to defeat, too shrewd to outsmart, or too slippery to take hold of. The prophet Elisha’s servant felt the same way when he was encircled by enemies in 2 Kings 6.
In 2 Kings, Elisha was really getting on the king of Aram’s nerves. Every time the Arameans planned to attack the Israelites, Elisha prophetically told the Israelites where and when the assault would come, which led to Aram’s defeat. Thinking there was a traitor among his men, the king “summoned his officers and demanded of them, ‘Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?’ ‘None of us, my lord the king,’ said one of his officers, ‘but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom’” (2 Kings 6:11-12, NIV). So the enraged king sent an army to track down Elisha and his servant, surrounding the city they were in.
I’ve felt like this before. Haven’t you? Difficult circumstances press in from every side. My story looms large while I shrink small. I cry, This is too much for me! I can’t do this anymore. I don’t even want to go out of my house. Where are You, God? You promised You would never leave me or forsake me, but if You are here, why aren’t You doing anything? I want out of this story!
Honest. Raw. Somewhat embarrassing to admit. We wake up in the mornings and sense the enemies all around us — surrounded by problems we cannot solve and people we cannot control.
But Elisha’s faith was strong. He told his servant, “‘Don’t be afraid … Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:16-17, NIV).
And there you have it: “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Elisha knew there was more power and strength in the unseen reality of God’s heavenly host than the seen reality of the enemy’s army.
Notice that the passage doesn’t say Elisha prayed that God would send an army. The warring angels on chariots of fire were already there. He simply prayed that the servant would be allowed to see them.
Even though we may never see God’s angels surrounding what’s surrounding us, we can trust they are there. And most importantly, Jesus Himself is Immanuel, God with us, in every situation. Always.
Lord of hosts, thank You for the angels that surround me and all of Your people today. Even though I can’t see them with my eyes, I trust they are present. Thank You that angels are surrounding whatever is surrounding us. We have no need to fear. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Check out our next episode of The Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast, “If You Don’t Know Who You Are Anymore” with Carole Holiday. Through her divorce, job loss and heart surgery, Carole has learned that deep grief carves space for a deeper ability to love. She shows us how God can bring good back to life through faith, food and fellowship. Click here to listen now!
Click over to Sharon’s website for her library of FREE resources, such as “20 Lies and the Truth that Replaces Them for Moms” and “10 Verses to Help You Trust God in Difficult Times.”
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 91:11, “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways …” (NIV).
Who are you praying for today? How does it comfort you to know that God’s angel armies are surrounding what is surrounding His people?
We’d love to pray with you. Leave a comment and share the name of one person you’re praying for today. Then pray for the name after yours.
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Proverbs 31 Ministries
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