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The king of Syria was convinced he had an "Edward Snowden" in his inner circle. Every time the Syrian king attempted to trap Israel, his plans were thwarted by a little help from Elisha the prophet.
In 2 Kings 6:8-23 we read the incredible, and even funny, story of God's rescue of his people in the face of doubt and discouragement. At night the Syrians circled the city in order to seize Elisha, the one tripping up the Syrian king. When morning came Elisha's servant stepped outside for a breath of fresh air and was overcome at the site of a surrounding Syrian army ready to attack. He saw overwhelming circumstances; a situation that brought instant fear and discouragement with no apparent way out.
Sometimes it seems that happens to us. We're trying to serve God and our families in our daily routine. Then, out of nowhere, an inescapable situation arises that we didn't see coming. We're gripped with doubt and discouragement. So, what do we do? Hopefully what Elisha's servant did. He cried out for help.
Discouragement will come. But so will God's help. What is that help? Encouragement. God rescued Israel. He encouraged the servant by opening his eyes to the thousands upon thousands of God's angels in chariots of fire, ready to pounce the enemy. The rest of the story is the funny part. The Syrians are struck with blindness, led into a trap, fed a feast (God's grace) and sent back home with their tails between their legs.
Lastly, let me point you to Psalm 27 (below). It parlays perfectly into the story in 2 Kings 6:
- Reliance on God in verse 1. The Lord is my light. (Light means sight. God's servant was given sight; the enemy blindness).
- The adversary stumbles and falls in verse 2 (like the Syrian army struck with blindness).
- Look at how even a surrounding army will not cause the heart to fear in verse 3.
- And verse 14 sums it all up with the command to wait on the Lord and take COURAGE!
(1) The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
(2) When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.
(3) Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
(14) Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Isaiah 10:1-25; Rom. 11:17-21; Prov. 15:33b Starting in Isaiah 10, we see Israel being unfaithful and committing evil deeds like enacting evil statutes, recording unjust decisions, depriving the needy of justice, etc. God, speaking through...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
God's Word speaks for itself. Enjoy! -Doug Prinz Psalm 51 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. 51 Have mercy on me,O God, according to your steadfast love;...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Luke 12, 22-34 I've been pretty anxious lately. Anxious about work, anxious about housing, bills, family, the future. It seems like as soon as I wake up, the adrenaline starts flowing. Add a bit of caffeine and for the first part of the day my...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Isaiah 40:27-31 These frequently quoted verses are often used as words of encouragement for those who are weary or tired. I know the congregation at Pinelands sometimes may feel tired and frustrated about the length of time it is taking to find a...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Doing church can be hard work. Our Pastoral Search Committee is deep into it. We are pressing on with interviews, reference checks, and the many hours of reading essays and listening to sermons. But why bother? Some very hip, nonconventional...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
The Pulpit Search Committee continues its weekly meetings reviewing candidates' paperwork, listening to sermons, and prayerfully considering whether or not a candidate fits the profile of our church. One would think this is an easy task, but...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Read Mark 8:22-25 This healing episode, recorded only in Mark’s gospel, is a peculiar little story. The man is indeed healed of his blindness but the process is slow. We notice that his vision is restored in stages. In this case Jesus...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Here's an encouraging note to the Pastoral Search Committee from our sister in Christ, Flo...Since hearing from Mark of the upcoming changes in his life that will impact on the body of Pinelands and in the work of the pulpit search committee,...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
With great difficulty he struggled to sing the words of the gospel song "What A Day That Will Be". But it was moving. His name is David Ring, a man crippled by cerebral palsy from birth. I was amazed as I watched him fight to speak clearly simple...[ abbreviated | read entire ]