Wednesday after the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 2 Kings 6:1-23
1 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.
The Lord, through the prophet Elisha, delivered Israel from their enemy, the king of Syria, twice in this reading. First, the Lord revealed to Elisha where the Syrian armies would be so that he may advise the King of Israel to avoid those places. The Lord protected the king of Israel by informing him of the enemy’s schemes. Second, Elisha blinded the eyes of the Syrian army when they came looking for him. He showed his servant how the enemy, for as strong as he may seem, is nothing compared to the heavenly host which protect them. Elisha then shrewdly took the Syrians captive and led them to the King of Israel’s doorstep so that he could take them prisoner.
In a similar fashion Christ our Lord leads us in our daily battle with the enemy the devil. In His Word Christ informs us of the schemes of the old evil foe, so that we are not ignorant of his weapons and machinations. Knowing how the devil works through temptations to misbelief, despair, and other great shame and vice, we know to be vigilant against such attacks. Second, like Elisha, Christ our Lord routes the devil and makes a public spectacle of him on the cross, destroying his power over all who believe in Christ’s atonement for the forgiveness of their sins. He takes the devil prisoner on our behalf so that we no longer need to fear him, though we do remain vigilant against his continual schemes.
We pray: Lord God, heavenly Father, grant us vigilance to withstand Satan’s fiery darts and assaults against our souls through manifold temptations. Remind us always that Christ is victorious over the enemy, and that by faith in the promise of the gospel, we daily receive the victory He won on our behalf; in Jesus’ Name. Amen.