Posted by: rcottrill | July 5, 2009

Lord’s Day Meditation – Outnumbered!

Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them….If God is for us, who can be against us (II Kgs. 6:16; Rom. 8:31).

Second Kings 6:8-17 tells how Elisha had been warning the king of Israel about the troop movements of the Syrians. God had revealed the information to him, and he had passed it on, time after time, thwarting the Syrian battle plans. To put an end to this, the enemy king sent a great host of soldiers, with horses and chariots, to capture the prophet. During the night, the force surrounded the valley town of Dothan where Elisha was.

When his servant awoke next morning, he was greeting with a terrifying sight. In a panic he alerted Elisha: “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” (vs. 15). And he must have thought the prophet had lost his wits when Elisha responded, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (16). It was two unarmed men against an army. What on earth was the man talking about?

Did you notice something? Elisha does not say, “Those who are with us are more than them.” No, it is “those who are with them.” Who was with the army of the Syrians? Possibly it is intended to parallel “those who are with us.” And we learn from vs. 17 that the latter are angelic beings sent by the Lord to protect Elisha and his companion. Therefore, those “with them” would seem to be demonic forces bent on destroying these servants of God.

“And Elisha lifted his heart to God and said, ‘Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then 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” (vs. 17). Had Elisha seen the supernatural host before this? Perhaps not. But he knew they were there. He accepted, by faith, that God would protect them by whatever means necessary.

Spurgeon comments, “Let us keep our spirits up, and walk with the gait of men who possess a cheering secret!” Nothing can touch the child of God that He does not permit to do so. We may not be given the privilege of seeing the armies of the Lord, but they are there to do His bidding (Heb. 1:14). In the words of a hymn by John Peterson:

So now the future holds no fear,
God guards the work begun;
And mortals are immortal here
Until their work is done.

The Lord could have warned Elisha in time for him to make his escape. Why did He not? Perhaps to give occasion to teach his servant (and teach us) the extent of God’s protection of His own. Would they have been any safer away from Dothan? Hardly, when they had the armies of the Lord to protect them there.

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31). Good question! And how do we know God is “for us”? Look at the next verse in Romans, “He…did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all.” We know the Lord cares for us because of Calvary. “Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). So, as you meet with the people of God today to worship and serve Him, encourage your heart with this thought: God is for us!


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