Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my inner self rejoices, my body too shall rest and confidently dwell in safety. For You will not abandon me…You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”
Psalm 16; 8-11
I Have Set the Lord
“I set Thy love between the world and me,
O Lord, its cruelty, its wrong, its scorn;
They cannot reach me through Thy tenderness
That once for me their worst has known and borne.
I set Thy self between myself and me,
And losing mine, Thy life abundant gain.
Take Thy sufficiency for my deep need,
And to Thy perfect stature to attain.”
Annie Johnson Flint
“God is too wise not to know all about us, and what is really best for us to be, and to have. And He is too good, not to desire our highest good; and too powerful, desiring not to effect it. If, then, what He has appointed for us does not seem to us the best, or even to be good, our true course is to remember that He sees further than we do, and that we shall understand Him in time, when His plans have unfolded themselves; meanwhile casting all our care upon Him, since He careth for us.”
Henry Parry Liddon
Today’s Study Text:
“Then Elisha prayed, ‘Lord, I pray You, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”
II Kings 6: 17
The God of Dothan – Part 9
“All This For Elisha”
“I have called you by your name; you are Mine.”
Isaiah 43: 1
When I consider my Father in heaven, do I ever feel like He is so far away that maybe the personal events of my life are not even hitting His radar screen?
If I really felt God had a wall of power, strength, comfort and protection around me, how would it make my relationship with Him different?
“But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm?”
Luke 12: 7
“Even to your old age I am He, and even to hair white with age will I carry you. I have made (you), and I will bear (you); yes, I will carry and will save you.”
Isaiah 46: 4
“God looks over us but He never overlooks us.”
When we began our study several days ago, taking a phrase-by-phrase approach to II Kings 6: 17, the first three words of this text highlighted the fact that it was Elisha’s prayer to God which began, what I’ll call a chain-reaction of miraculous events. After praying that God would open the eyes of his helper and make it possible for this young man to become completely aware of the protective care God had sent, we are told that, indeed, the young man saw horses and chariots of fire sent from heaven.
But just as I hadn’t really been struck by the first three words of this text in the past, the same thing was true about the last three words found in II Kings 6: 17 – “round about Elisha.” I wanted to get a better idea of the thought that was being conveyed by this phrase so I checked the Hebrew meaning which gave me such an expanded vision of what the Bible tells us the young assistant saw. In Hebrew, this phrase means that the horses and chariots of fire were “surrounding, revolving on every side.” But there was an additional word which was used and it was “besiege.” Often we use this term in reference to an army that lays siege to an enemy territory. However, this information doesn’t have to have a negative connotation. In checking out the definition of the word besiege, it means to “crowd around and hem in.”
Now we know that the horses and chariots of fire that God sent, were crowded in to form a revolving wall that hemmed in the one who needed protection. But here’s where God needed to do a little work on my eyes and open them to the fact that this protective force was sent to shield someone specific – Elisha. This regiment of sheltering care was sent by God to hedge in one of His specific children. I don’t know how I could have missed this point in the past. But not now, for my precious, heavenly Father wanted to alert His daughter, Dorothy, to the supernatural fact that His divine presence isn’t just bestowed on behalf of a general crowd of people. My Father gets very specific when it comes to caring for His daughters and sons. He calls us by name, He numbers our hairs and as David reminded God, his Father also knew all about his “wanderings; You put my tears into Thy bottle; are they not in Thy book” (Psalm 56:8).
Now this is something I can relate to for on a day when God is the only one to see my tears of pain, He collects each one and keeps it as He remembers everything I face.
How much more could our heavenly Father care for each of us. As I read this passage, I thought about our special Garden sister, Kim with her darling children, ages 5-14, and a husband fighting addiction. Kim’s heavenly Father has got her back. She’s hemmed in. We’ve asked God to cover her and that’s exactly what He has promised to do.
I love the reminder Pastor and author Max Lucado gives us in his book, He Still Moves Stones: “You see, it’s one thing to accept Him as Lord, another to recognize Him as Saviour – but it’s another matter entirely to accept Him as Father.” Unfortunately, because so many of God’s girls, who He holds tight in His arms and close to His heart, have been mistreated by their own dads or by the men in their lives who promised to treat them with caring love, that it sometimes becomes impossible to believe that a Father, trillions of miles away, could care one single wit about one single girl named Dorothy or Kim or Georgia or Stephanie or Myrt or Sheryl or Beverly or Mary…and the list could go on with the names of thousands of girls who come to the Garden – and just think of the billions of women and men on planet earth.
Thankfully, the opposite is the case for as we find in the story of Elisha, a host, was sent for one man in a tiny desert town named Dothan. What’s more, time and again, from Genesis to Revelation, we read that God responds to calls for help from any of His’ children even when they have run away from Him. Just one whisper, “God help me,” and the horses or chariots or warriors – you name it, will be sent. Whatever is needed to place a revolving wall of comfort in grief; a wall of strength in weakness; a wall of hope in a time of hopelessness; and a wall of mercy when we have failed the most, will be sent from heaven. What more could we expect from a Father whose child David, had an affair, then murdered an innocent man and went on to try and cover-up the whole sordid mess, only to find out that God’s “loving kindness is better than life” (Psalm 63: 3). And yes, this same God, knows you and me, every little detail, and still loves us and will care for us every moment of everyday! This really leaves me speechless! Except to say, “Thank You Abba, Father.”
“God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us to love.”
Augustine of Hippo
O Gracious Father of Mankind
“O gracious, Father of mankind,
our spirits’ unseen friend,
High heaven’s Lord, our hearts’ dear guest,
To Thee our prayers ascend.
Thou dost not wait till human speech
Thy gifts divine implore;
Our dreams, our aims, our work, our lives
Are prayers Thou lovest more.
Our best is but Thyself in us,
Our highest thought Thy will;
To hear Thy voice we need but love,
And listen, and be still
We would not bend Thy will to ours,
But blend our wills with Thine;
And live Thy life divine.
Thou seekest us in love and truth
More than our minds seek Thee;
Through open gates Thy power
flows in like flood tides from the sea.
No more we seek Thee from afar,
Nor ask Thee for a sign,
Content to pray in life and love
And toil, till all are Thine.”
Henry H. Tweedy
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. During the coming weeks, gifts which are sent to Transformation Garden will help us honor requests for God’s Word, as shared through our bookmarks, with God’s children in India, Russia, Pakistan, Australia and here in the United States in women’s prisons and for Domestic Abuse Shelters. I thank you so much for the gifts you have chosen to send – Praise God! Your generosity is helping us share God’s Word in countries where the bookmarks are accepted as beautiful artwork but they carry the message of God’s saving grace. Thank you again!!
My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, and www.Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You may also call Transformation Garden at 480-349-8619.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.