Long before Donald Trump entered the 2016 Presidential race, I remember watching a documentary which said that the city of Washington, D.C., had more than a million active spies at work within its boundaries. While I was surprised at how high the number was, I was not surprised that it could happen. The government of the strongest free nation on earth is centered there and that is where all of the information that spies would want is generated.
In the Bible, the small walled city where the prophet Elisha was staying became encircled by the soldiers of a foreign kingdom and the prophet's personal servant was having a panic attack. The king of Syria had sent the soldiers to capture and kill Elisha because he had been told that Elisha was worse than a spy. After trying to mount repeated unsuccessful surprise attacks on the kingdom of Israel, because somehow they always saw him coming, the king had said to his council, "Tell me which of us is for the king of Israel" - in other words, "Who's leaking information?" The answer he received was that no one was leaking information from inside but rather the prophet Elisha was always sending messages to the king of Israel and warning him. The king got fed up and tried to deal with it.
In Scripture, God used this situation to show the prophet's servant a glimpse of the spiritual world or dimension existing behind or above the "material world" we perceive with our senses. Elisha prayed that God would open his servant's eyes, and the servant could suddenly see chariots and horses of fire drawn up in a circle between them and the opposing army. He realized that there was much more going on than he was physically capable of seeing. We Christians are told in the New Testament that these lessons were written in the Old Testament Scriptures for us to learn from also.
If there are a million human spies at work in the city of Washington, D.C., then how many of the unseen angelic agents of God and the opposite side are at work there as well? How important are our prayers in the working out of God's will to defeat the entrenched influence of corruption, deception, and lust for power?
The prayers of God's people are the "pumps" that will drain the spiritual "swamp" and expose the malignant effects of the Enemy's spies. We have only begun to see the swamp draining. We must not lose heart at how ugly, malevolent, and downright smelly it is. Keep praying. The words of Elisha that encouraged his servant were that, "those who are with us are more than those who are with them." The word of encouragement to us is that, "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." Keep that spiritual swamp water draining. Keep praying.
(UPDATED 09/01/2018): I am not sure whether to be grateful or disappointed that no one has commented during the past seven months that I had the two prophets Elijah and Elisha mixed up. That has now been corrected. Both prophets actually had situations where a king had sent soldiers after them to kill them. Both accounts are in the Bible's Second Book of Kings. It was Elijah who was sitting on a hilltop when the soldiers came, so this blog post was partially correct in saying that. However, he was not "encircled" because the king of Israel, Amaziah, only sent groups of fifty soldiers. The son of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel had had an accident, (falling through a lattice, which may have meant falling out of a window or off a balcony), and had sent messengers to the temple of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask if he would recover. While his paganism was no surprise to Elijah, or God, he was still the King of the country named Israel which the other nations still associated with Jehovah God. At God's direction, Elijah went and met the king's messengers and sent them back to tell the king he would die because "it was because there is no God in Israel" that the king had sent to enquire of a false god. Angrily, the king sent a captain with fifty soldiers - three captains, actually. The first two arrogantly ordered the prophet to come off the hilltop, saying, "Thou man of God, come down." He answered their disrespect by saying, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from God and consume you" - which it did. The king still didn't give up but the third captain he sent realized whom he was dealing with and begged for his life and his men's lives. God told the prophet not to fear to go with him, and no harm was done. They took Elijah to King Amaziah where he delivered his message in person. What this has in common with Elisha's story is that God protected the prophet and showed He was greater than the earthly ruler who disliked his message. It still illustrates that, "greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world."
A Christian man living in Southeastern Pennsylvania, USA. Came under conviction in 1978 or 1979 to begin believing the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Came to saving faith in Christ in October 1982 by confessing I was a sinner by nature and only Christ could save me.