Yesterday we talked about Elisha and the army of angels that attended him. But that isn’t the entire story. After Elisha prayed that his servant’s eyes would be opened so he could see the angels surrounding them, he prayed that the eyes of the bands of Syria would be made blind. And his prayers were answered. When the Syrian soldiers asked if he was the prophet they sought, Elisha told them they were in the wrong place, but if they would follow him he would take them to the man they sought. He then led them for twelve miles until they reached the capital city of Israel, Samaria. Samaria sits on a high hill top so that the Israelite armies would have seen the approaching Syrian army and been ready with swords and shields to give battle.
So Elisha marched the Syrian army up the Samarian hillside, walked into the middle of the waiting Israelite army and prayed that the Lord would open the eyes of the Syrian soldiers. Imagine their surprise to find that they were surrounded by armed Israelite soldiers! What fear must have wrenched within them as the king of Israel stepped forward and asked Elisha if he should kill them all. But Elisha told the king to not kill them, but to feed them. The king obeyed by preparing a banquet for the enemy army and then let them go. The story ends with the writer declaring that after that the marauding bands of soldiers did not come again against Israel.
There is a powerful lesson in this about forgiveness and how to treat those who mistreat us. There is also great wisdom here. Good comes from doing good. When we fight evil with evil, we only create more evil. But when we fight evil with good, we create the possibility for more good.