The Trumpet Sounds: ‘Believing is seeing!’


By Barry Pettit - Religion Columnist



You’ve heard it said that seeing is believing. However, when it comes to faith believing is seeing! This Sunday at South Side we are going to be talking about faith by looking at an incident in the life of Elisha, in which the great prophet faced a major crisis: He was surrounded by a foreign army that intended to take him captive.

In 2 Kings 6, Elisha’s servant went out one morning, looked up and saw this horde of soldiers, with horses and chariots. He rightly guessed they weren’t paying a social call! So he ran back inside crying, “Oh my, what are we going to do?” Probably none of us has ever walked out the door in the morning to confront an armed barbarian gang in the front yard waiting to do us bodily harm. But we all know what it’s like to be suddenly confronted with life-threatening problems beyond our control. And we all can relate to the servant’s panic in the crisis.

What seems strange is Elisha’s cool, calm response: “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (6:16). Then he prayed that his servant’s eyes would be opened. Suddenly the servant saw the unseen spiritual world that Elisha already saw: The mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha! He went out to greet the soldiers, calmly asked God to strike them blind, led them to the capital city 12 miles south, where they were then surrounded by Israel’s army, and then asked God to restore their sight. Then he directed the Israelite king to feed them and send them on their way. And, for a while, the Arameans did not bother Israel. This story has two main themes: The all-sufficiency of God to meet any crisis we face; and, that prayer is our means of access to the all-sufficient God.

Since God is our all-sufficient resource, we need to remember to pray and not panic when trials hit. The greatness of God’s knowledge, power, and sovereignty dominate this story. It’s interesting that of all the major characters, no one, except Elisha, is mentioned by name—not the kings or Elisha’s servant. Even Elisha is called three times “the man of God” (6:9, 10, 15). I believe that’s because the focus here is on God. God knows all things, and possesses all wisdom. God knew what the Aramean king, Ben-Hadad II, was planning to do and revealed it to Elisha who, in turn, told the Israelite king, Jehoram. As Ben-Hadad’s servants told him, Elisha even “tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom” (6:12)! It took the intelligence experts more than 2,500 years after this to be able to bug a room, but God is much more effective than the CIA! He knows every thought and motive of every human heart! Nothing is hid from Him (Heb. 4:13).

Our God not only knows how to solve our problems, He has unlimited power to deal with the biggest problems we can conceive of. Is your problem as big as a hostile army that is trying to get you? David puts it (Ps. 34:7), “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.” “Therefore, though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear” (Ps. 27:3).

It was no big deal for God to strike all these men blind in response to Elisha’s simple prayer. There is no man or nation so powerful but that God can easily bring him or it to nothing. That means that God is able to deal with any problem you have, no matter how big it is to you. I always chuckle when I think of the woman who came to the well-known Bible teacher, G. Campbell Morgan and asked, “Dr. Morgan, do you think we should pray about little things, or just about big problems?” He straightened up and said, “Madam, can you think of anything in your life that is big to God?”

Our God is omniscient and omnipotent. He spoke the universe into existence. Nothing is too difficult for Him! Maybe right now you are facing a great enemy in your life and all you can see is the problem. I have good news for you, it’s time to pray for God to open your eyes so you can see His power and provision in your life. There is nothing too great for our God. We need to stop telling God how big our problems are, and start telling our problems how big our God is!

Once his eyes were opened the servant of Elisha saw hills and hills filled with angels of the Lord. Jer. 33:22 says that “the host of heaven CANNOT BE NUMBERED.” Throughout the bible angels are many times compared to the stars. The next time you think you have a problem that can’t be solved keep in mind how many stars there are in our universe. Astronomers estimate that the number of stars we know about is equal to 1,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000 or one sextillion. But as far as man can see the universe stretches on and on into infinity- he has never discovered its outer perimeter. Yet in Psalm 147:4 we read that “GOD tells the number of the stars; HE called them all by their names.”

God is not only able to number the stars- these billions of billions of blazing suns- but He calls each of them by name—He has given a nature, a power, and a purpose to each! He has done the same thing for you. God knows your name and what you are facing. As a believer you have been given a godly nature, power, and a purpose in this life. We serve a big God! So when you’re facing any trial remember that your God is able to give you the victory! This Sunday at South Side the topic will be “Believing Is Seeing.” We begin worship at 10:45, and would love to have you and your family come grow with us! To find out more visit us at www.southsidewch.com.

In Christ,

Barry Pettit

Sr. Minister

South Side Church of Christ

www.southsidewch.com

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By Barry Pettit

Religion Columnist

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