“Open My Eyes, Lord”
By: Lt. Colonel Dean Hinson
The story is told of Elisha during the war between Israel (Northern Kingdom) and Aram (modern Syria). In 2 Kings 6 it says that every time the king of Aram planned to attack Israel, Elisha would warn the king of Israel of these plans. This happened so often that the king of Aram believed that one of his officers was a traitor, informing Israel of his battle plans.
When he was told that it was the man of God, Elisha the prophet, who was telling their plans, the king of Aram sent his great army with many chariots and horses to surround Dothan where Elisha lived.
The next morning when Elisha’s servant woke up and went outside, he saw the army of Aram everywhere. He rushed to Elisha and said, “What will we do now?”
As we rise each morning of 2020 and open our eyes, we also are surrounded by problems and difficulties. We battle COVID health concerns, worry about our financial resources and if they will cover our expenses, face hurricanes and wildfires larger and more often than ever before, deal with racial unrest – sharing the concerns of our brothers and sisters of color and in some situations fear for our safety, and are overwhelmed by the political conflict leading up to an election; on top of the daily trials that come – loss of family members, suicide, abuse, addictions, meanness, rudeness, human trafficking, gun violence, selfishness, anger and the list goes on. It can seem like the enemy is everywhere.
Back to our story in 2 Kings 6, Elisha tells his servant cowering at the sight of the army surrounding them, “Don’t be afraid.” This is a theme of Scripture; the angels said it to Zechariah, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds. This phrase is said to Abraham, Hagar, Moses, Joshua and many others. The prophets repeated this thought, bringing comfort to their hearers. Jesus often said, “Peace be with you,” and Paul used the idea of peace and “fearing not” in his letters.
Elisha tells his servant why he should not be afraid. He said, “For there are more on our side than on theirs.” Then he prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” Following this prayer, the servant looked at the surrounding enemy and saw the hillside filled with horses and chariots of fire. God’s army was always there. He just needed his eyes opened to the presence and protection of God.
In the chaos of today’s world events, we too need our eyes opened. The problems can often crowd from our minds the promises of God. We need to hear again Scripture that says, “Fear not!” in the face of life’s dilemmas – whether they be natural disasters, racial protest and injustice, loss of loved ones from virus or disease or the chaos of politics. May God open your eyes today to see his Army surrounding you – bringing you peace!
He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4