Perspective is important. This is a close up of a part of a photo I took recently. I’ve left enough detail for you to have a good guess what animal this is, but without the full picture it’s probably not possible to be certain what it is. (The answer is at the end of this post under the Youtube video).
Life is often like this picture. We make choices based on what we can see or what we know. With hindsight we sometimes would have made a different choice but that is because hindsight helps us to see more of the picture. A better perspective will usually lead to better choices.
Elisha and his servant were in a city surrounded by soldiers who had come to capture them. The servant is panicking and Elisha calmly says:
“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 kings 6.16-17)
The servant saw what was in front of him and he was scared but Elisha was in touch with God and could see his perspective on what was going on. Elisha’s prayer gives the servant a better perspective and the angelic armies help him to feel safe.
My prayer today is that God would open our eyes. We may be focusing in on some details of what is in front of us but we are not really seeing what is going on. We may be overreacting because we don’t have the full picture. We may feel that life is tough but not see how blessed we are. We may have lost all hope because we have forgotten that God is with us. Will we pray to God to ask for his perspective?
What happens next with Elisha is remarkable:
As the enemy came down towards him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked. (v18)
Although the angelic army feel help the servant to feel safe, they play no further part in the story. Elisha doesn’t need them because his confidence is in God. Imagine a job ad for these angels:
Wanted angels. Must have experience of working with heavenly horses and chariots that are on fire. Other skills required, the ability to stand around looking angelically awesome (in a fiery shiny kind of way) while God takes care of things.
Elisha’s perspective was God centred, although the angel army looked amazing Elisha didn’t need them because he calls on God. What about us, who or what are we trusting in?
I like the Chris Tomlin song ‘Whom shall I fear (God of angel armies)’. It is based on this Bible passage and it rightly focuses on God being with us rather than on the angel armies. Here is a slide show of images I put together to accompany the song. Why not take a look and listen and pray that God would give you a better perspective as he shows you more of who he is and how he is at work.
The answer to the picture competition. Were you expecting a lioness?