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Daily Devotional

May 17


by Henry T. Vriesen

2 Kings 6

There was a constant war between Israel and Syria during all the years of Elisha. And the king of Israel found Elisha to be a greater help to him than his chariots and horses. For whenever the king of Syria arranged his attacks, Elisha would send word to the king of Israel, saying; “Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down.” Then the king of Syria called his servants and said to them, “Will ye not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?” And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king: but Elisha … telleth the king of Israel the words thou speakest in thy bedchamber … Behold, he is at Dothan.”

Then the king of Syria sent to Dothan a large army with horses and chariots. They came by night, and compassed the city, ready to seize the prophet. And when the servant of Elisha rose early and went out, behold, a host with horses and chariots was round about the city.” And his servant said unto him, “Alas, my master! how shall we do?” But the prophet was not frightened. “Fear not,” he said, “for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, open his eyes, that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw what no other men could see, that the mountain on which the city stood was covered with horses and chariots of fire, sent by the Lord for the protection of his prophet.

All this the Syrians could not see; they came up to the gates of the city to take Elisha. Then Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Smite this people I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek.” But he led them to Samaria, where the army of Israel was. And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, “My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?” It seemed to him a splendid opportunity to do so. Elisha replied, “Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.” And he prepared great provision for them. And when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away; and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel for eight years.

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