Tuesday after the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 2 Kings 6:1-23 (NKJV)
And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us. 2 Please, let us go to the Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell.” So he answered, “Go.” 3 Then one said, “Please consent to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” 4 So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5 But as one was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, master! For it was borrowed.” 6 So the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And he showed him the place. So he cut off a stick, and threw it in there; and he made the iron float. 7 Therefore he said, “Pick it up for yourself.” So he reached out his hand and took it.
8 Now the king of Syria was making war against Israel; and he consulted with his servants, saying, “My camp will be in such and such a place.” 9 And the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are coming down there.” 10 Then the king of Israel sent someone to the place of which the man of God had told him. Thus he warned him, and he was watchful there, not just once or twice. 11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” 13 So he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him.” And it was told him, saying, “Surely he is in Dothan.”
14 Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 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?” 16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 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. 18 So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
19 Now Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” But he led them to Samaria. 20 So it was, when they had come to Samaria, that Elisha said, “LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and there they were, inside Samaria! 21 Now when the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?” 22 But he answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those whom you have taken captive with your sword and your bow? Set food and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 23 Then he prepared a great feast for them; and after they ate and drank, he sent them away and they went to their master. So the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel.
Elisha was not afraid to warn the king of Israel of the threat of an imminent Syrian invasion. That action quickly translated itself into personal danger for Elisha when the king of Syria deployed horses, chariots, and a great army to surround the city of Dothan specifically to capture or slay him. The Lord opened the eyes of Elisha’s young servant, revealing that the mountain bristled with an angelic army poised to repel the enemy forces.
Like Elisha, we should not be afraid to speak God’s Word of truth, even in the face of stiff opposition, whether that results in mere unpopularity or more difficult things, like financial repercussion. In the inspired words of the Psalmist, “Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident. … For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.” (Ps.27:3, 5).
He has promised, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you.” (Ps. 50:15). The angelic army stood at the ready, although not a sword was drawn. Similarly, twelve legions of angels were at the ready, awaiting a word from Jesus on the night of His betrayal. But God had other plans. Sometimes the path before us seems too frightening to bear, but our Good Shepherd remains with us even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Through Word and Sacrament our eyes are opened to look upon Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.