Our Daily Bread (ODB) + Insight: 4 October 2020 – Strange Comfort
By Tim Gustafson for ODB
Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.
Read: 2 Kings 6:15–17
Bible in a Year: Isaiah 20–22; Ephesians 6
The verse on the card Lisa received didn’t seem to match her situation: “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 6:17). I have cancer! she thought in confusion. I’ve just lost a baby! A verse about angel soldiers doesn’t apply.
Then the “angels” began to show up. Cancer survivors gave her their time and a listening ear. Her husband got released early from an overseas military assignment. Friends prayed with her. But the moment she most felt God’s love was when her friend Patty walked in with two boxes of tissues. Placing them on the table, she started crying. Patty knew. She’d endured miscarriages too.
“That meant more than anything,” Lisa says. “The card made sense now. My ‘angel soldiers’ had been there all along.”
When an army besieged Israel, a host of literal angels protected Elisha. But Elisha’s servant couldn’t see them. “What shall we do?” he cried to the prophet (v. 15). Elisha simply prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see” (v. 17).
What’s your first reaction when you receive bad news? When you endured a crisis, how did you view God in new ways?
Loving God, thank You for the complete reliability of Your presence. Open my eyes so that I may see You in a new way today.
Elisha had been both a protégé of and a servant to Elijah for some seven to ten years when Elijah departed this world in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:9–12). Once Elisha assumed the role of prophet of Israel, however, his ministry would have a very different nature and character than that of his mentor. While in Elijah’s ministry miracles were often destructive and negative (drought, famine, calling fire from heaven to destroy enemy troops, etc.), Elisha’s ministry was usually positive and helpful. Performing exactly twice as many miracles as his predecessor, Elisha was God’s instrument to purify polluted water, cleanse a poisoned stew, restore a lost axe-head, heal a leper, and more. Although these two men served in the same era and both were instruments in the hands of the God of Israel, the overall tone and spirit of their respective ministries were very different.
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