I woke up this morning with the words of the prophet Elisha rolling around in my head. His terrified servant had just notified him that their city was surrounded by “horses and chariots and a great army” (2 Kings 6:8-23).
The King of Syria sent this impressive military force with a mission to capture Elisha. And, as so often happens, the enemy operation was set in place at nighttime, while Elisha and his servant were asleep.
I don’t know about you, but there have been times in my life when I could relate to this story. No matter which direction I looked, troubles seemed to surround me. It was an overwhelming feeling, with no apparent way of escape.
But today I find myself applying the story to our nation rather than my own circumstances. Perhaps you’ll brand me as an alarmist or conspiracy theorist. but I call it being a realist. Recent events have revealed not only deep divisions in America but also a troubling array of vultures eager to seize upon the carnage.
To me, the situation seems clear. While most of us were sleeping, enemies of our country set up a vast network of agitators and anarchists, eager to exploit our national wounds and transgressions. Intent on replacing law and order with chaos and replacing capitalism with Marxism, these folks have been working for years to sow animosity and disorder.
By the time we woke up to their evil intent, we wondered if it was too late to reverse the damage already done. Our cities, if not our entire nation, seemed to already be surrounded by an insurmountable enemy – bolstered by corrupt politicians, dishonest news media, hostile educators, and a perverted entertainment industry.
At a time like this, I find myself wanting to shout out the plaintive words of Elisha’s servant:
“Alas, my master! What shall we do?” (v. 15).
That’s a great question right now, isn’t it? It’s like living in a beautiful house, only to find that termites have been eating away at the foundation for decades. The damage is so severe that you can’t help wondering if the house can even be saved.
Like Elisha’s servant, we desperately need a heavenly perspective on this seemingly hopeless situation. And we can take courage in the great prophet’s reassuring words to him:
“Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (v. 16).
The servant must have questioned Elisha’s sanity at this point. The young man couldn’t see any allies at all, and the enemy forces were strong, well-positioned, and highly motivated.
What was Elisha’s servant missing? Like many of us today, he couldn’t see the mighty heavenly forces available in the invisible realm. So Elisha prayed for him…
“LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see” (v. 17).
Like this bewildered young man, believers today need our eyes opened to what is happening in the spiritual realm, where the real battles are taking place. When God revealed this to Elisha’s servant, his entire perspective changed:
“Behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (v. 17).
Friends, we’re in a fierce spiritual battle today, attacking us personally and also working to undermine our families, churches, and nation. As the apostle Paul would write many years after the story of Elisha and his servant, “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rules of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Make no mistake about it, our enemies are very real, and they are bent on our destruction (John 10:10a). Like Goliath of old, they are taunting us today with claims that the battle is hopeless. We’re surrounded, outnumbered, and might as well just give up.
If God Is for Us…
Thankfully, the Bible not only warns about the severity of our battles, but it also promises us victory if we align ourselves with God’s purposes.
The apostle John wrote, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). And Paul boldly asked, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
But notice the word “IF” in Paul’s statement. How can we truly be sure that God is for us?
This question is a little more complicated than we sometimes assume. One day Joshua was getting ready to fight against Jericho, part of the Israelites’ inheritance in the Promised Land. Suddenly Joshua was confronted with a mighty angelic messenger, complete with sword in hand.
“Are you friend or foe?” Joshua asked, realizing that victory would surely belong to whichever side the angel fought for (Joshua 5:13 NLT). But the angel gave a surprising answer.
“Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the LORD’s army” (Joshua 5:14 NLT).
You see, God’s angelic armies aren’t automatically at our disposal. Too often, we want God to align His resources with OUR purposes when the real question is whether we will align ourselves with HIS purposes.
God has warned us that He will oppose the proud – and that applies even to believers who have become arrogant and complacent. On the other hand, the Lord promises to give us grace and lift us up when we humble ourselves (James 4:6, 2 Chronicles 7:14). Today America stands at a crossroads between these two divergent pathways.
Who Is the “US” and the “THEM”?
Elisha told his servant that those “with us” were greater than those “with them.” At a time when the forces of evil appeared to be overwhelming, Elijah could see that God still held the stronger hand.
This brings up a serious question when applied to the current cultural wars in our country. Who is the “US,” and who is the “THEM”?
God’s people should be proclaiming loud and clear that we don’t believe in white supremacy or black supremacy, but rather in Christ’s supremacy (Colossians 1:18). When Jesus reigns supreme in our hearts, there is no room for racial strife or ethnic superiority. As the old song reminds us, “Red, brown, yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus died for all the children of the world.”
In contrast to this powerful Biblical perspective, those who want to divide our nation have sown toxic seeds that cast the question of “US and THEM” in racial terms. When you saw the headline of this article, perhaps you assumed that US meant the white majority, and THEM meant African Americans or other minorities. Absolutely not!
By US, I mean all of my fellow Americans of goodwill – those who want to build up our nation instead of tear it down. By THEM, I mean destructive elements like Antifa – those intent on division and destruction. THEM includes looters, vandals, anarchists, and cop killers.
This has nothing to do with racial differences, for I have countless African American brothers and sisters who are my spiritual kinfolk – part of the US. On the other hand, there are people who share my white ethnicity but who don’t share my desire to bring about unity and liberty for people of all skin colors. Such people are not allies, but enemies – part of the THEM.
The US includes people of all ethnicities. Why? Because on the fundamental issues affecting our nation, all people of goodwill are in agreement. We all were horrified by George Floyd’s barbaric death. We all agree with the statement of Martin Luther King Jr. that people should be judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin. And we all agree that it’s wrong to destroy other people’s property.
Seen in this way, the majority of Americans are still those of goodwill, sharing common values and traditions. Accordingly, US and THEM should not be seen in terms of blacks and whites, nor even Democrats versus Republicans.
However, recent events have demonstrated that our common values and heritage have been seriously eroded. By tearing down statues of our founders, some people have signaled that they no longer hold to “self-evident” truths that once bound us together. Instead of working together to fix our remaining problems, they want to burn the country down and replace it with a new Bolshevik revolution.
A day is likely to come when the “THEM” will outnumber the US. I’m convinced we’re not yet at that point. However, it’s alarming that those intent on tearing down our republic seem more passionate than those of us who want to preserve it. It’s not much good to have a silent majority if the majority just sits on the sidelines while Rome burns.
As Ronald Reagan once observed, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Friends, if we don’t cherish our freedoms, they will soon be lost. The armies of heaven stand ready to fight for us and bring us to victory – but only if we realign our hearts to heavenly values.
Time is running out. God is waiting for our answer. Will we choose revival or allow our nation’s enemies to succeed in bringing revolution?
Written by: Jim Buchan
This is an updated version of a post originally published on JimBuchan