“O LORD, please open his eyes and let him see” (2 Kings 6:17).
One day after work, I was driving home and listening to a sermon, and I heard something I have not since forgotten. I doubt I’ll ever forget these words: “All the most important, most real things in the universe are invisible to us.” If my Toyota Camry had been struck by lightning, I would not have been jolted any more than I was that night.
The King and His kingdom are invisible to us. The Holy Spirit is invisible to us, and indeed, God the Father is too. We can read about God and see evidence of Him in our lives, but technically, He is invisible to our human eyes. This makes Him no less real, of course, but in my humanity I sometimes struggle to believe that the invisible is real. That God is here, with me now.
I live as if the King is not abiding with me as promised (John 15:5). I walk around as if the visible things I can see and touch are all that truly matter, that they must take precedent. Money and clocks and transmissions and food—those are all “real.” But the King and His kingdom—do I live as if they are real? Are my eyes open to eternal realities, to what my human eyes cannot see?
In today’s reading, we read that the king of Assyria is understandably unhappy when one of his servants tells him that “Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in your bedroom” (2 Kings 6:12). Can you imagine the king’s fear and frustration? I mean, I’m actually afraid of what Alexa overhears while “listening” in our home. I can understand the king’s frustration when he realizes that Elisha, through the power of God, is able to know his every move and plan. So what does the king do? He sets out with “a massive army” to seize the prophet (v.14).
Then, as the king’s army comes to surround the city, Elisha’s servant looks up and sees them and says, “Oh, my master, what are we to do?” (v.15), to which Elisha tells him, “Don’t be afraid, for those who are with us outnumber those who are with them” (v.16). Elisha then asks the Lord to “please open [the servant’s] eyes that he may see” the reality of the battle scene: the army surrounded them, but “the mountain was full of [God’s] horses and chariots of fire” (v.17).
Now that’s a pretty dramatic scene, but what is truly remarkable is the fact that Elisha already knew that the angel armies were there! He saw what was invisible to the eyes of his servant. The servant saw the problem, and wondered what they needed to do to fix it. But Elisha knew that God, who is invisible, would care for them.
If I’m honest with myself, I know I am far more like the servant; I need to be reminded that the same God who saved me from my sin will be faithful to care for me now, in this life and in the life to come. Even now, He is at work on my behalf, though I may not be able to see how He is working. The reality is that our Savior has defeated sin and death, making us citizens of a forever kingdom, one of love, joy, and peace. May He open ours to see Him.
Written by Matt Redmond