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Time for fear or faith?

Elisha and the Army of God
Elisha and the Army of God

The world is experiencing perilous times. Perhaps they haven’t touched the average American yet, but our political leaders and military personnel grapple with them constantly. Tragic and traumatic events are re-shaping nations and people groups every day. News reports overwhelm us with threats to a peaceful existence.

Do they cause you to fear or to seek solace in Someone beyond human wisdom and resources? An incident in Scripture illustrates the two choices before us. It deals with two men—one filled with fear and the other one calm and confident because his faith was in God.

“And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’

“So he answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them’ And Elisha prayed, 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” (2 Kings 6:15-17 NKJV).

The king of Syria had sent a whole army to capture Elisha because he was preventing Syria from defeating Israel. So when Elisha’s servant saw the whole city of Dothan surrounded by the enemy, naturally he thought they were doomed. But Elisha knew something that Jacob had discovered in Genesis 32:1-2.

“So Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. When Jacob saw them, he said, ‘This is God’s camp.’ And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.”

Similar to Elisha’s experience, at this point in Jacob’s life, he was facing an enemy. His brother Esau, who had vowed to kill him 20 years previously, was coming to meet him with 400 men. Jacob “was greatly afraid and distressed,” but he prayed, and God delivered him.

Thus he learned the significance of Mahanaim—two camps. The camps where Jacob and where Elisha lived were not the only reality. God’s camp was there too, surrounding and protecting them.

God allowed the spiritual eyes of Elisha’s servant to be opened temporarily so he could see God’s invisible angel army camping around them, ready to defend and deliver them.

So it is with us. We can fear or we can have faith that God is in control. That’s because we know what happens at the end of God’s book. Have you read the last chapters?

Satan and his minions are cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20). God makes a new heaven and new earth, which is Paradise Restored (Revelation 21). And Jesus comes again to live among His own (Revelation 22).

We can fear the power of man or we can trust God’s plan. God created all things and gave His created beings the ability to choose. Wrong choices brought wickedness into this world, but God demonstrated His love to us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

When we accept Christ’s death as payment for our sins, God justifies us and saves us from sin’s wrath (Romans 5:8-9). Then, like Elisha, we can know that God who is with us is far greater than any enemies in the world.

Are you choosing fear or faith? Mahanaim!

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