Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏹️

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And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
2 Kings 6:17-18

This episode is all about sight, or more accurately perception—and balance. Elisha's servant was blind to hope, and was given sight. His eyes were opened to possibilities. The Syrians, arriving in their arrogance and assuming to know the outcome of their mission were struck blind, causing them to rely on another (Elisha) to guide them. God gives faith to the fearful, and to the arrogant he gives humility. This way the tables are turned and the inevitable outcome is undermined. Elisha and his servant are two, the army many, yet it is the two that have the courage of faith and can lead the many to salvation.

Salvation in this story is represented by the feast the king serves to his captives, and their release back to their own people. The soldiers fully expect to be put to death once they find themselves inside the city walls of Samaria, but again events take a surprising turn for them. Full of arrogance they were made humble, and full of fear they were granted salvation.

Sight is used as a metaphor for faith many times in the Bible, perhaps most famously in the story of Jesus healing the blind beggar Bartimaeus, who on Jesus's word immediately received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.1 There is nothing in the story of Elisha and the Syrians to indicate that they changed their faith following their release, but it seems their hearts were changed, and their opinion of their enemy recalibrated. A few verses on we read, So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel's territory.2

1 Mark 10:46-52
2 2 Kings 6:23