In 2 Kings 6, we read an account of how the king of Aram, frustrated that his battle plans were constantly being thwarted by the prophet Elisha, sets out to capture him. The king is told that Elisha is in the city of Dothan, so he uses force to surround it and capture Elisha.

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.

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

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.

2 Kings 6:15-17 (NIV)

When the army advanced on Elisha to capture him, he prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness” and the Lord blinded the army (2 Kings 6:18 NIV). Elisha then tells the army, “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 takes them to Samaria (2 Kings 6:19 NIV).

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.

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

2 Kings 6:20-21 (NIV)

King Jehoram’s request to kill the Aramean army is denied by Elisha.

“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.”

2 Kings 6:22 (NIV)

This might not seem unusual to us since we live in a day and age of The Geneva Conventions that dictate how prisoners of war should and shouldn’t be treated. However, the Israelites were expressly told by the Lord in Deuteronomy how they were supposed to treat prisoners of war when they refused to make peace with them.

When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it.

Deuteronomy 20:13 (NIV)

Although this verse describes a city that refused to make peace with Israel, the practice of executing male prisoners wasn’t unheard of. In fact, I can only recall that every man wasn’t executed when David defeated the Moabites and killed two-thirds of the men (2 Samuel 8:2). Other than the apparent reason that it’s wrong to kill prisoners of war, why else might Elisha have saved the lives of the Arameans?

At the time, the king of Israel was Jehoram, Ahab’s son. Jehoram was a wicked king, like his father. When Elisha prayed to the Lord to blind the eyes of the Aramean army, it was a miracle. We know the military didn’t need to be blinded because the forces with Elisha and his servant were greater. If there had been a battle, the Arameans would have been destroyed. We can surmise that Elisha’s servant was comforted when he saw the army of the Lord protecting them, so the miracle wasn’t for Elisha and his servant.

After blinding the Aramean army, Elisha and his servant could have left them behind in Dothan and fled. Instead, Elisha leads them to Samaria. I believe that the miracle here was to demonstrate God’s power, mercy, and grace to Jehoram, the Arameans, and their king Ben-Haddad. And of course, us.

After the Aramean army feasted and left Samaria, the bands of raiders raiding Israel stopped. However, King Jehoram didn’t turn from his wicked ways, and King Ben-Haddad laid siege to Samaria.

I see in this story that God does miracles, and sometimes we might think those miracles are for us when they aren’t. Yes, they benefit us, but we already know God’s power, mercy, and grace. The world, on the other hand, does not. Our unsaved family and friends do not. I will go one step further and say that sometimes our trials aren’t just for us.

Since we interact with the world, the trials we sometimes go through affect us and the world around us. There’s a testimony to share when we’ve gone through a trial. This is one benefit of the problems we go through. How we go through the test and respond to it, especially in the sight of those who do not yet know the Lord, is equally, if not more important.

Years ago, when the Lord moved me to Sacramento, I had difficulty adjusting to my situation. Since leaving home to join the military at 18, I rarely had roommates beyond those required while serving in the military. After leaving the military, my place was my place. When I moved to Sacramento, I became housemates with my brother. His house is large enough for me to have my own kitchen, etc. Yet, there was the rub of living with someone else. My brother is yet unsaved, and I’ve learned since I’ve lived in Sacramento that the Lord isn’t just working on me. He’s also working on my brother, who sees how I live in the Lord.

Thus, I am constantly reminded that my hardships here in Sacramento bring my brother closer to God and salvation. For this, I am eternally grateful and whatever difficulties the Lord brings my way. I am happy to go through them for His glory.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.