Posted by: goodmorningmystic | September 23, 2021

Angels Among Us…

Angels Among Us…

Chubby babies? Ethereal women in gossamer gowns? Warriors in Chariots of Fire? What are angels and what are they for?

I confess that I don’t know much about angels.  I’ve never thought about them very much.  They’re not on my radar.  But maybe they should be…

Why?

The story of Elisha in 2 Kings 6: 8-17 is a good place to begin in order to answer this simple question.

*Before we begin, let’s get to know Elisha.  He was a young protégé of Elijah, who was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Old Testament prophets.  When Elijah died he gave Elisha a double portion of his power and Elisha went on to perform twice as many miracles as his mentor.  Elisha held the office of Prophet of Israel for 60 yrs.  We see him in his role as advisor to the King in the biblical account below.

I note that I was going to paraphrase this story but on second thought, the Word itself has tremendous value so I’ve presented it as written.  Here goes:

Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”

The man of God (Elisha) sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.”

 10 So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God.  Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.

11 This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

12 “None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

13 “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.”  The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” 14 Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” 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.

18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.

19 Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria.

20 After they entered the city, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.

21 When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?”

22 “Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow?  Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.” 23 So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.

This story of Elisha and his servant and the deadly threat from the enemy Arameans is about the ability to know the difference between illusion and truth; and it’s about fear and courage.

Elisha’s servant is petrified at the sight of the Aramean army at the door.  Horses and chariots, oh no.  Death was imminent.  How on earth would they survive?

We know what happens when you act out of fear.  The outcome is generally not good. 

Elisha was concerned for his servant.  It was important that the servant “see” the truth, that they were safe and protected; it was a matter of life and death.  The servant’s fear and lack of courage would have betrayed Elisha to the enemy.  His fear would most certainly have endangered his own life. So Elisha prayed that the servant’s eyes be opened and he saw their salvation…the army of angels.

And as the Arameans advance toward Elisha he prays to God to strike them blind. 

Blind. 

Now, were they literally sightless?  I don’t think so.  It would have been pure chaos, right; blind guys at the reins of horse and chariot.  I believe the “blindness” was a mask to the truth.

We know what happens when we are led unawares, blinded by a lie.  The outcome is rarely good.

But in this case, Elisha spared the Arameans. Why did he do this? He says the the Arameans had been delivered to Israel by a spiritual force and not by the sword of the King of Israel.  It was for God to determine their fate. I note that even though the Arameans ceased to harass the Israelites for awhile, they returned and laid siege to Samaria which resulted in a great famine. Anyone who says that the Bible is boring has not read the book.

Anyway, this particular story in 2 Kings is about faith.  With faith we can see.  Without faith we are blind.  When we walk with God, we see the Truth.  When we don’t walk with God, we are blinded by lies. 

And the angels in this story?  They are there to protect.  They bolster confidence.  They move us to trust.  They inspire faith.  Their message…be not afraid. 

Fear is a powerful force.  It keeps you from God.  You look inward and not upward.  Elisha told his servant, “Don’t be afraid.”  And then Elisha prayed and the Lord opened the servant’s eyes.  He saw the Lord’s protectors standing at the ready and his fear dissipated.  Everything changed.

There is an element of fear at play when you don’t want to open your eyes, when you don’t want to see.  It takes a willingness to trust and a bit of faith to let go and perceive the truth.  When God opens your eyes, there’s no going back.  You can’t “unknow” what you know.  Everything is changed. 

Elisha already saw the angels; it’s why he wasn’t afraid.  But the servant didn’t see them and Elisha knew that the servant needed to see them in order to conquer his fear.  Elisha prayed that the servant “see” the truth of their situation.  The Lord had sent his angels to help.  God was on their side. 

He’s on our side, too.

We can live fearlessly in faith – not recklessly – because we are protected.  

I should probably pay more attention to angels…and the One who sent them to me.

***

*I note that Ancient Aram was a historical region located in/around present-day Syria, Southeastern Turkey and parts of Lebanon and Iraq.


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