There are More of Those Who Are With Us Than Those Who Are With Them
Ben-Hadad, the king of Syria was angry with Israel. And he was all set to take them down, but everytime he tried, it was if they knew what he was going to do. As if there was a spy in his ranks sharing all the information with the enemy. And that made an already angry king positively furious. Then one of his men told him it wasn’t a spy. That Israel had this holy man who could predict what Syria was going to do and passed that info along to the king. That’s why Ben-Hadad couldn’t win.
So, the Syrian army headed to Elisha’s house. They didn’t have snipers or drones to take out an enemy back then, so they just sent the whole army.
Now one might posit that, being a prophet, that Elisha should have known it was coming. But his servant didn’t. Can you imagine waking up on a Saturday morning, slowly getting out of bed, making your way to the front door to pick up the paper before you sit down with some coffee and finding yourself surrounded by the entire Syrian army?
They were completely surrounded. The enemy far outnumbered them and were closing in. Elisha’s servant chose to do what most of us what do in a situation where we are outnumbered and unarmed…he panicked. Which, given the circumstances seemed a pretty reasonable thing to do.
But Elisha is all calm and collected. Do not be afraid, he says. A phrase we hear over and over and over again in our scriptures–around 272 times (depending on who is counting and what translation they are using). Do not be afraid. There are more of those who are with them than those who are with us.
Are you kidding? Have you just completely lost your mind? Probably what Gehazi said.
And Elisha asks God to open his servant’s eyes and all of sudden Gehazi can see that the army of the lord of actually surrounding the army that is surrounding the city of Dotham.
Though I imagine most of us cannot share a story quite so dramatic, we all have one story about a time when we felt completely surrounded by the enemy—out numbered, out gunned and outsmarted.
We all have those times when we abandon our claimed theology and are sure that we have got some bad Karma going on, or that the universe has turned against us or that the odds will never again be in our favor.
And in those times, even if we can’t see the armies of the Lord backing us up, we are never alone. Be not afraid. There will always be more of those who are with us than those who are with them.