2Kings 6:8-23, “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.
The world is hostile. We have enemies in every corner and greater enemies against believers. Other religions are more tolerated than Christians in dealing with challenges that face Christians. While the fierce battle against Christians is to wipe them out of the map, the strategy God has often given believers is not to engage the enemy with the same battle plan as they do but fight God’s battles God’s way. God’s given strategies are many times unconventional in our judgment, they don’t make sense but they are mighty through God and we must learn by the word of God how best to fight.
The story in 2Kings 6 is of Elisha and his encounter with the Syrians. Naaman a captain of Syria had earlier been healed by Elisha; however that did not stop his people from waging war against Israel and their prophet. This is a picture of how the enemy can be blinded even when you do good to one of their own. Elisha the prophet was able to see in the spiritual realm their plans and warned the king of Israel of Syrians pending plans, exposing their plans leading to failure. The fact that Elisha knew their plans and could advise the king of Israel to set up a troop against them was a form of demonstrating that God had delivered the Syrians in the hands of the prophet and his people. They had in every way by God’s divine providence dodged their enemies plans. God in more than once had delivered them in their hands, however they did not raise their weapons to destroy.
The enemy was persistent, worked hard to find the mole that exposed their plans only to be told it was Elisha the prophet. Elisha was deemed dangerous and was to be captured by a great army. They sent an army by night to surround the city and Elisha the prophet slept through the night knowing there was an enemy there to capture him. Those who were with them were greater than those who came against them. While they had power over the Syrian army, God did not command them to destroy them, if anything; Elisha prayed that God would strike them with temporary blindness. In one case his servant’s eyes were opened to see the greatness of God, but unto the enemy, they were blinded and sought help. Elisha then led them right into Samaria where he prayed that their eyes would be opened.
Vs. 21, “Now when the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?” What a great opportunity to destroy the enemies of Israel and here we see the king very eager to destroy them, asking for permission. Elisha answered, vs. 22 “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.” The invisible army to supporting Israel did not destroy the Syrian, Elisha who could ask the Lord for anything including the death of the enemies did not, and when the king of Israel asked for permission, he would not let him. He did something Jesus would preach about later in the NT. He told the king to set food before them and water and the king vs 23. “…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.
This was a mile of excellence, the second mile, not only forgive, but set a great feast before those who sought to destroy them. The first mile is the minimum most may sign up for, with Christ believers go the second mile, the mile of excellence, the mile that distinguishes us from the rest. Romans 12:20, “Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Jesus teaching, “43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” The first mile is forgive, the mile of excellence is love, bless, and pray for your enemies. If He said let go, that might be a little bit easy but not only let them go, love them, bless them, and pray for them? This is impossible unless you have drawn from the one who forgave, loved, blessed, and prayed for his enemies who put Him on the cross.
With the leadership of Elisha, they shut the mouth of the enemy not with a sword but by their action, a mile of excellence. They did good to those who did not deserve it, those who wanted to destroy them and sent them away “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men”, 1Peter 2:15.
Can we as believers pray to God to baptize us with such great compassion that we forgive, love, bless and pray for our enemies? That we win them by love they desperately need, Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins”. Blessings Ev