2Ki 6:17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
2Cor 4:18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Col 3:2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
One of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is the one where the ultimate reality, the real reality, is revealed to someone in fear of his life.
Read the story, it starts in 2 Kings chapter 6 verse 8. The king of Aram marches with his army all night to destroy the prophet Elisha because his national security is threatened, and he surrounds the city where Elisha and his fellow prophets are staying. In the morning one of Elisha’s attendants sees that they are surrounded and is panic stricken. Elisha prays for the youth, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.”
And what happens next is one of the most amazing and encouraging events. The Lord opens the eyes of the youth and what does he see but that “the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” Elisha tells him, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
The declaration is that there is a reality all around us that is imperceptible to mankind. Just because we can’t see it with our eyes, touch it, smell it or taste it does not mean that it doesn’t exist. We are shackled with our limited apprehension to view only a limited spectrum of reality. Just as our eyes are able to only see a very thin slice of the electromagnetic spectrum, our physical senses can not discern the full and entire reality that surrounds us. Science cannot comprehend everything.
You can’t see God or His angels, but He and they are there nonetheless. And until the eyes of our heart are opened we will never be able to see this ultimate reality or be able to count on the power and strength that God can impart to us. (See Eph. 1:17-18)
This is why Paul cryptically encourages us in 2 Corinthians not to look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen. Does that make sense to one who’s eyes are unopened? But when you realize that these things we actually see are decaying and will eventually disappear through degradation and corruption, this physical world can not be counted on. And when your eyes are opened as was Elisha’s attendant, you can be greatly encouraged to count on that which is larger, stronger, and more enduring. The things of God.
And so Paul tells us to keep looking up; there is more to the real life than what you see on this earth, and “those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” In doing so, with God’s aid you can overcome the things that this temporary reality throws at you.
[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]