EYES WIDE OPEN
(Shared by Denise Jillian Go)
2 Kings 6:8-23
Have you ever played those games that involved you being blindfolded and having to follow directions being screamed at you from all over the room? If you have then you’ve probably realized how silly you were behaving during the game. Before you get blindfolded, you probably (if not certainly) took a good look around the room to prepare you well for navigating the obstacles and yet, when you are actually blindfolded – even if they don’t make you spin around in place first – you end up being too terrified to remember any of the visual maps you’ve made. In fact, you’re so terrified that you sometimes desperately follow any instructions being thrown at you. Fear and panic turn you into a mindless drone. Or maybe you’re on of the naïve players, who don’t prepare in advance. Same result in the end. You’ll listen to anyone who sounds like they’re giving orders.
In this passage, Israel and Aram are at war and we see that what we go through during the Blindfolded Games are the same things two parties go through to, as a result of fear or ignorance.
Elisha had been feeding insider information – courtesy of God – to the King of Israel, allowing them to avoid any of the ambushes that Aram laid out. This had of course led to the King of Aram hunting him down and setting up an ambush for him. Elisha’s poor servant was the unlucky guy who had the privilege of finding out about the ambush, and, while he was working for a man of the Lord, his fear blinded him and he forgot about what his God was capable of. Instead of reacting calmly to being surrounded by a strong army, he panicked. He could not look beyond his immediate situation to see the big picture. He could not see, or even believe that there was an Angel Army in between him and the Aramean army. Fear made him hyper-focused on one thing
When Elisha stepped out of his home and took stock of the situation, he did not react the way his servant did. In fact, he almost immediately asked God to blind the Aramean army. And this is where the funny thing happens. With their sight gone, the Aramean army had no sense of direction and purpose and that made it easy for Elisha to distort the truth. He managed to successfully convince the whole army that they were in the wrong place, even though the whole army clearly camped out in the right ambush spot. Take note that this was an important military operation that would automatically and dramatically increase their chances of successfully raiding Israel. Of course they had their routes mapped out and everything discussed properly. So how could they have been lost? But the army panicked. They couldn’t see so they couldn’t discern the truth. Elisha effectively led the whole army to Samaria, Israel’s capital, right to the King. Signed, sealed, delivered. Blindness had distorted the truth.
In our lives, it is often easy to fall into the traps the two parties fell for. We often allow our fear to cloud our perspective to the point of us not being able to see beyond that thing which seems impossible or insurmountable. We let fear blind us because, no matter how you may protest, being hyper-focus is just as bad as being blind because then we beyond one area. Then, we allow our present hurdle to have the power to cripple our future.
Elisha had an immediate response to his servant’s fear and panic. He immediately uttered this simple prayer, saying, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.”. He understood that keeping his eyes closed, or squinted, wasn’t going to make things any better. He needed his eyes wide open to see beyond the hurdle to the big picture, to our Bigger God who was and is “more than” any hurdle we encounter.
But, now that we realize what our God is capable of, now that we realize that we can move on, what’s next? Where do we move towards? We need a map and a target, both of which are found in Truth; ergo, we need to be rooted in Truth. In this age and day, relativism is the new norm and truth is whatever may be true for you. But, if there are many truths then doesn’t that contradict the definition of truth? There can only be one truth because TRUTH is uncontested and absolute, it has no room for contradiction and variation. This means that only Truth can actually point us in the right direction and the right goals and targets. Only Truth can assure we are where we should be and not off-target. When we choose not to pursue Truth or discover Truth then we blind ourselves. We rob ourselves of direction and purpose. We let our past – which was too lazy or distracted to plan ahead – derail our future.
As with the first scenario, Elisha also had a similar response. Once he led the whole army to Samaria, he once again, asked God to open their eyes. Then the soldiers could see that they had been led astray. Then they understood that they were far from the target place. They had lost sight of truth.
Are your eyes closed today, whether from fear or ignorance? Are you willing to gamble with your future?
Keep your eyes wide open. Blindness will never be worth it.
This article was written by my daughter – Denise Jillian Go 🙂