By Shawn McMullen
The nation of Aram was at war with the nation of Israel. (You can read the account in 2 Kings 6:8-23.) The Arameans had a formidable army, but their king faced an unusual problem. Every time he planned a move against the Israelite forces, the prophet Elisha revealed it to the king of Israel.
The enraged king of Aram demanded that his officers come clean. Who was feeding information to the enemy? “None of us,” came the reply. “The culprit is Elisha the prophet. He knows even what you say in secret!”
The king of Aram knew he had to silence the troublesome seer. He learned that Elisha was staying in Dothan, so the king sent horses, chariots, and a large company of soldiers there by night to surround the city.
Christians today face an aggressive enemy. Satan prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). He is cunning, crafty, and full of evil intentions. He doesn’t play fair and he doesn’t give up. He relentlessly pursues us to pull us away from God. Sometimes we feel overpowered by his aggression and overwhelmed by his influence. But he has the same problem the king of Aram faced. God isn’t on his side.
Early the next morning, Elisha’s servant went out and discovered that an army of soldiers, horses, and chariots had surrounded the city. He panicked and cried out, “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” (v. 15).
Have you ever asked that question—or thought about asking it? Sometimes life seems so hard and our circumstances so difficult that we’re thrown into a panic. We don’t know what to do. Taking the next step—placing one foot in front of the other—seems next to impossible. Even so, there’s still hope.
Elisha wasn’t the least bit worried. He said to his fearful servant, “Don’t be afraid,” and added, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (v. 16). Then Elisha asked God to let his servant see what he saw. When the servant looked again, the hills surrounding the city were filled with horses and chariots of fire.
Like Elisha, we have an army of help just beyond the realm of the senses. The psalmist wrote, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them” (Psalm 34:7) and, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore” (125:2). When trouble comes, God delivers. He may not always deliver as we wish, but he always delivers.
At Elisha’s request, God blinded the Aramean army and delivered them to the king of Israel. As a result, “the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory” (v. 23).
Satan may oppose and discourage us, but he’s fighting a losing battle. God’s side is always the winning side.
There’s no doubt about it. Life is hard. Circumstances disappoint. People hurt us. We get sick. We grieve. But because we’re on God’s side, this will always be true: Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.
This editorial is adapted from one that first appeared in a special NACC edition of The Lookout on June 23, 2002.