Whew! I have finally finished my lesson to finish out 2 Kings. I love spending time in God’s Word, but truly the books of 1 and 2 Kings were bogging me down.
My group is most interested in learning the bible… the whole bible. They want character studies and connections to our everyday lives. I am happy to oblige. I mean, really, I am learning more about the bible than I ever have before. I cannot honestly say that I have read the entire bible from Genesis to 2 Kings… I have a great commentary that I am working with and I sometimes skip the hard chapters and opt for the “cliff notes”. There is, after all, a lot to take in within the old testament. There are many rules to read, many names to pronounce… it can be overwhelming.
And making a connection to our everyday lives? Whew! That’s a toughy! There are amazing stories of forgiveness and God’s grace, stories of devotion and God never leaving you, and stories of how God always triumphs over evil… but then there are a lot of other stories we just cannot relate to. I find myself, more often than not, pointing out how much we (as God’s people) need a SAVIOR. I have also pointed out that the heroes of the bible are often flawed sinners, just like you and me, who God chooses to use anyway. And use in MIGHTY ways.
One story from 2 Kings has stuck in my mind, and this is what I want to focus on.
15 Elisha’s servant got up early, and when he went out, he saw an army with horses and chariots all around the city. The servant said to Elisha, “oh, my master, what can we do?” 16 Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid. The army that fights for us is larger than the one against us.” 17 Then Elisha prayed, “Lord, open my servant’s eyes, and let him see.” The Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:15-17 (NCV)
The servant had cause for concern. They were surrounded! By an army!! The end was obviously near!! How could Elisha remain so calm? Shouldn’t they call someone? Was there a Jerusalem 9-1-1?? Panic was setting in.
But Elisha knew something the servant did not know. He prayed to God to let his servant in on their little secret… and his eyes were opened. They were surrounded… by an army of angels poised and ready to protect God’s people from pending doom.
There are times we feel overwhelmed by this world. We may not be surrounded by an enemy army, but we may be surrounded by complaining co-workers, griping children, an angry spouse, a heavy workload, a pile of bills… you name it! Panic may even begin to set in. But we can rest assured that, like Elisha, we are covered! We are surrounded by God’s angels, filled with His Holy Spirit. We are protected! Pray for God to open your eyes to His presence. He is there, holding us all during our very trying times. He will not let us go, he will not let us sink.
33 “I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble, but be brave! I have defeated the world.”
John 16:33 (NCV)