Holding crime in check

The book of Second Kings records that the servant of Elisha the prophet went out one morning to find that the king of Syria had sent horses and chariots and surrounded the city by night. He was afraid and said to his master, "Alas, my master! how shall we do?" The disturbing news did not impress Elisha; he declared with conviction, "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." Then he prayed that the servant's eyes be opened. "And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." See II Kings 6:8–17.

What happened? Did the scene change materially or did the servant's view of it change? Through Elisha's prayer the young man was able to see things from the prophet's point of view—with the assurance of encompassing protection and strength that comes from the recognition of God's allness and nearness.

Many flowers make a garden
May 20, 1985

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