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Bible Commentaries

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae
2 Kings 6

 

 

Verse 15-16

DISCOURSE: 368

ELISHA PROTECTED BY CHARIOTS OF FIRE

2 Kings 6:15-16. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

IT has been justly said, that a servant of God is immortal, till his work is done. He will indeed be exposed to many dangers; and probably to more, in proportion as his zeal is exercised in the service of his Lord: but the promise made to Jeremiah is fulfilled to every faithful champion; “They shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee.” The prophet Elisha eminently experienced this blessed truth. He had been enabled by God on different occasions to reveal to the king of Israel the plans which the king of Syria had laid for his destruction. The king of Syria at first thought that his plans were all betrayed by some confidential servant of his own: but when he learned that they were revealed by God to the prophet Elisha, he determined to destroy the prophet; and for that end he sent not a small band, such as had failed in apprehending Elijah, but a large army to besiege the city wherein he was. This was effected with such rapidity, that the city was encompassed before any one suspected that an army was near: and Elisha’s servant, conceiving that the enmity of the king of Syria was chiefly directed against his master, was filled with despondency; taking for granted now that no possible method of escape for him remained. But Elisha knew that God was his protector, and therefore bade him dismiss his fears, assured that, whilst he had the Creator on his side, he need not feel the smallest anxiety, though the whole creation should be against him.

Now from this answer of Elisha we shall take occasion to shew you the excellency and efficacy of faith, in its discoveries, its consolations, its triumphs. Let us consider,

I. Its discoveries—

[The affrighted servant saw nothing but the invading army: but Elisha saw that there were invisible hosts of angels engaged in his defence: and he begged of God to open the servant’s eyes, that he might have ocular demonstration of that fact, which he had beheld by faith.

Now this is the proper effect of faith [Note: Hebrews 11:27.]: it discerns God as every where present to succour and support his people by his providence and grace. Faith beholds myriads of angels also waiting upon God, and flying at his command to execute his will, and to minister to his people. The chariots of fire and horses of fire were not more visible to the eye of sense, when God withdrew from the servant’s face the veil that concealed them, than they were to Elisha by the eye of faith. If we could only conceive aright of Elisha’s views at that moment, we should have a perfect idea of the proper office of faith, and of the high privilege which belongs to every believer— — —]

From the discoveries of faith we may judge of,

II. Its consolations—

[The servant was full of fear and terror; “Alas, my master! what shall we do?” But Elisha was as composed as if no enemy had been nigh. Thus it is that faith uniformly operates. However we be menaced by persecutors, it keeps us tranquil [Note: Psalms 3:6; Psalms 27:3 and 1 Peter 3:14-15.]: however exposed we be to troubles of any kind, it preserves us in a peaceful state [Note: Isaiah 26:3.]. How calm were Daniel and the Hebrew Youths, when menaced with the most cruel death! It assures us that though the waves and billows rise ever so high, there is at the helm a Pilot, who can guide our vessel in safety to the desired haven. The language of the heart on such occasions is, “If God be for me, who can be against me?” or, ‘Who is he that shall harm me, if I be a follower of that which is good?’]

They who in conflicts experience the consolations of faith, shall after their conflicts enjoy also,

III. Its triumphs—

[Whilst the servant was yielding to despair, the master was deriding the vain efforts of his enemies, and laughing them to scorn. In this light we must understand his address to them: it was not a solemn assertion, but a derisive banter; ‘You are come hither to seek the prophet, but you are all under a mistake: come all of you with me; I will shew you the man whom you are seeking after:’ and thus did he, alone and unarmed, lead captive, as it were, the armed hosts that came to apprehend him. Innumerable are the instances in holy writ where faith has triumphed in like manner, even before the conflict has been begun. How did Moses exult over the Egyptians [Note: Exodus 14:13-14.]; David over Goliath [Note: 1 Samuel 17:45-47.]; Jehosaphat over three confederate armies [Note: 2 Chronicles 20:17; 2 Chronicles 20:20.]; and Hezekiah over the proud Sennacherib [Note: 2 Kings 19:21.]! and with what glorious confidence did Paul glory over all the enemies of his salvation [Note: Romans 8:34-39.]! Thus it is our privilege also to “know in whom we have believed,” and to be assured that we shall be “more than conquerors through Him that loved us [Note: In confirmation of this, see Isaiah 8:12-14; Isaiah 26:20.].”]

From this subject we may learn,

1. Our chief danger—

[The agency of spiritual beings is here confirmed beyond all doubt: and, if holy angels are active in our preservation, we may be well assured that evil angels are active in seeking our destruction. The truth is, that we are more in danger from the agency of evil spirits than from all other causes whatever; because of their malice, their subtlety, and their power. Were our eyes opened as those of Elisha’s servant were, we should see ourselves surrounded with myriads of those malignant foes, all acting in concert with each other under Beelzebub their head, and combining their efforts to destroy us. Let us remember how they are “working in all the children of disobedience,” and actually “leading the whole world captive at their will.” Let us particularly call to mind also the power which Satan exerted over Judas, Ananias, and even the Apostle Peter himself: and let us, under a sense of our insufficiency to withstand him, cry mightily to God, “to arm us for the combat, to strengthen us with might, and to bruise him under our feet [Note: Ephesians 6:10-18; Isaiah 41:10; Romans 16:20.].”]

2. Our great security—

[Of ourselves we have no sufficiency for the smallest thing: all our sufficiency is of God. Let us beg of God then to “hold us up, that we may be safe.” Let our eyes be directed to him in every danger, temporal and spiritual; and let us “commit the keeping of our souls to him in well-doing.” Then, how numerous soever our enemies may be, “we shall not be ashamed or confounded world without end.” He will not leave us in the hands of any enemy, but will “keep us by his power through faith unto everlasting salvation.”]

 


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Bibliography Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on 2 Kings 6:4". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/2-kings-6.html. 1832.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, December 9th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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