The Lord Is with Us
It was an interesting time in Israel’s history. Jo-ram, son of Ahab and Jezebel, was the king of Israel. Elisha, successor to Elijah, was the prophet in the land. We are told “Joram did evil in the eyes of the Lord, but not as his father and mother had done” (2 Kings 2:24). Joram turned away from Baal worship but didn’t return to the proper worship of the Lord. Nevertheless, the Lord is faithful.
As was common in that day, Ben-Hadad, the king of Aram, went to war with Israel and King Joram. But every time Aram moved against Israel, the prophet Elisha warned the king of Israel of what the army was doing. Ben-Hadad was furious and wanted to know how the Israelites anticipated their every move. He suspected a mole within his inner circle. He was surprised to hear that it was the prophet Elisha.
New plan: Get Elisha! They found out he was in Dothan, and Ben-Hadad sent troops during the night to capture him. They surrounded the city with an army of cavalry. When morning came, Elisha’s servant looked out the window and saw the army. No surprise, he was afraid.
Elisha told him, “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) They were safe be-cause of God’s army.
That’s not the end of the story. Elisha prayed, and Aram’s army was struck blind. He then led them to Samaria and the army of Israel, where they were captured, treated kindly and re-leased. Because of this, the king of Aram stopped attacking and raiding Israel.
While this is a unique account in the history of Israel, the Lord’s providence and protection were any-thing but unique. He promised to be with his people, and he was faithful to that promise. Even when Israel was unfaithful, the Lord remained faithful.
Look back at Elisha’s words. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” He was talking about angels and the angelic army that was revealed to his servant. The Lord continues to promise that his angels will watch over us, will “guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11). How often are we scared because we don’t see the angel armies around us?
A couple of months ago, we celebrated Christmas and the birth of Immanuel, “God with us.” Remember the comfort that name gives us. God has not abandoned or forsaken us. God is with us. God came down in the flesh. God became one of us to bear sin for us. Christ redeemed us and crushed the head of the serpent. And Christ continues to rule all things for glory of his name. He continues to serve as our Prophet, Priest, and King.
It is true, we walk in danger all the way. There are evil people who seek to do us harm, steal from us, and destroy our reputations. But the Lord is faithful. He watches over us and protects us, more than we ever realize. Because the Lord is with us, we need not be afraid. We ought not be foolish, but we don’t need to be afraid.
Let me close with a verse from Psalm 46. The verse was so important, it was repeated. “The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (vv. 7, 11).
~ Pastor Ben Golisch