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The Prayer of Elisha (9 of 13)
Series: The Prayers of the Old Testament
Clarence E. Macartney
2 Kings 6:17
Great outbursts of the miraculous, writes Canon Liddon, ''attesting God's energetic presence at particular times in particular places, appear to recur in the sacred history in cycles, when truth has to be announced-when it has to be promulgated afresh-when it has to be saved from extinction.'' The miracles which mark the life of Elijah and Elisha belong to the third cycle, for the true religion in Israel was in danger of extinction, her own court gone over to idolatry and the national life threatened by foreign invasion. The king of Syria made numerous incursions into the country and the chief object of his expeditions was to capture the king of Israel and take his army. But whenever he made the effort, no matter how carefully he made his plans, his quarry always escaped him. This happened so often that Benhadad began to suspect treachery in his own ranks. ''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, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.''
Good men are walls of defense to the state. They are the safety of any community, for they represent the Lord. ''Except the Lord keep the city the watchman waketh but in vain.'' It was not the skill and vigilance of the king of Israel and his armed men and counselors that saved him from the hand of Syria, but the warnings that came from the man of God, Elisha.
His spies had brought word to Benhadad that Elisha was in Dothan. Gathering his army, a great host, he made a forced march by night and drew his lines about the city, confident that there could be no escape this time. The servant of Elisha, a young man, rose early that morning, and as he looked out from the wall of the city, he was terrified at what he saw, the hosts of Syria, chariots, horse and foot, stret ...
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