Seek Knowledge And Wisdom From The One Who Knows The End From The Beginning
8 Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”
9 The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” 10 So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.
11 This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”
12 “None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”
Ways of War
Throughout history, there have always been enemies of nations. Whether the leaders of the nation were God-fearing or not, the enemy of our souls, Satan, plants seeds of envy, distrust, discord, hatred, greed, and murder in the hearts of those who would exalt themselves over God, and refuse to acknowledge that God and God alone placed them in power.
When a nation goes to war, there are many efforts that go into preparing for it:
- They send spies among their enemies to gather intelligence to plan their attacks
- They may launch campaigns of information warfare against their enemies to demoralize the nation and cause fear and discord
- They may send warriors to be embedded in the midst of the nation in an effort to stage attacks that would cause dissension, fear, and panic
- They gather their armies together to overwhelm their chosen enemies by cunning or overwhelming force
- They try to destroy their enemies by introducing immorality among them to get them to destroy themselves from within
The key to all of this is having the necessary intelligence to plan attacks. It does a nation no good to launch an offensive against a place that they believe to be of strategic importance, only to later learn that those troops were fooled, and while they were preoccupied, the opposing side surrounds them and defeats them.
In the world of technology, we still use human spies to gather intelligence of every type. Using computers, specialized data-analytics software is used to arrange the overwhelming volume of data into specific patterns that can be used to determine trends and eventually accurately predict the outcome of your subject’s efforts. We now call it data mining. We even spy electronically on voice and data communications, GPS signals, web searches, anything we can get that will help us in our efforts to predict what is coming next.
We even use small “bugs” that gather information and either send it to us wirelessly, through the electrical system of a building (high-frequency signals over the low-frequency carrier wave of electricity in the wires), or devices that just gather data to be picked up later (like the hard drives in today’s modern printers, computers, Internet of Things [IoT], etc). Nations even wage cyber warfare against corporations, individuals, and governments, stealing proprietary data and communications through the use of malicious software, and social engineering – the exploitation of human nature.
All of these efforts are used to get the best and most accurate information possible to make decisions. But in the (even somewhat recent, as well as distant) past, these data-gathering techniques were not always possible. But there was always one source of information that was completely accurate, reliable, and invaluable.
In this passage, the prophet Elisha would warn the king of Israel of the plans of his enemies, in this case, the king of Aram. Elisha would hear from the Spirit of God what Aram was going to do. This shouldn’t surprise us, since in the Bible, it is said that God knows what words will be on our lips before they even leave our mouth.
God is truth. There is no lie upon His lips. Anything that God tells us is absolutely, positively, the most unbiased, accurate description of reality that we can receive. God routinely told (and even now tells) His prophets of what is to come:
1 When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.”
But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.
3 The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”
“Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.”
4 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.”
And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.
5 The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”
“Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.”
Tried and True
Time and time again, the prophets of God, as inspired by God, told the people what He wanted them to say. The true prophets of God knew God’s will and what was to come. God didn’t tell them everything, but what He wanted them to know. The king of Aram was in distress. In his confusion, he asked his officers who in his ranks was on the side of Israel.
16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.
Patterns of the Past
The reason that we fail is because we refuse to remember our past. George Santayana said the following: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” When we do not look to our past, we will certainly repeat our mistakes. We can only learn if we study the lessons that the past teaches to us. God had His people erect stones of remembrance because He knows that we are a forgetful species, and as a sign to future generations what God has done for us.
In our case, He was gracious enough to have His people record the deeds of the past in His book, the Bible. Anyone who wishes to grow wealthy in knowledge and wisdom would be wise to remember George Santayana’s comments and read the Bible to glean lessons from its rich history.
A note to any leaders who believe that they know the One True God, YHWH, and follow His ways:
Read the Bible. Learn from the past. As clearly indicated here, do you want to be safe? Do you want to know what your enemies are doing? Do you want to keep your citizen’s information private, except that which impacts National Security? Give your life to God. Believe God, obey God, and it will be credited to you as righteousness.
Ask God to send His prophets to you so that you may receive Godly counsel. Surround yourself with them. Heed their wise counsel. Turn from your wicked ways, and turn to God. Repent and weep over the sins of your nation. Make it your sole desire in life to serve God, and to serve those you have been placed over (and not yourselves or anyone else). Be Servants in Charge, and lead your people in righteousness. THEN God will reveal your enemies’ bedroom secrets to you (as well as their troop positions, spies, cyber-warriors, strengths, weaknesses, weapons, defenses, and strategies), tell you which of your citizens are enemy-terrorists who plot against you and your nation, and what you can do about it. And you will be shielded by the most powerful person in the known universe and beyond – The Lord God Almighty.
(And remember what happens when you don’t ask the Lord God Almighty beforehand about a matter.)
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: Where do I go for my information?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, I pray that you will forgive my nation for its many sins. Help us to turn our hearts towards You. I pray for those whom You have placed in leadership over me in my nation. Give them strength, wisdom, and knowledge to do all that You want them to do. Help them to completely yield their lives to You. And I pray, Lord God, that You would send Your prophets to them to give them wise counsel, and to help them know the necessary information in order to protect my nation from its enemies, and Your enemies. Forgive me for my sins, and help me and my family to live for You, Lord God. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
This blog has been edited for clarity, spelling and formatting. Additionally, the prophet first reported for this scripture was Elijah. The correct prophet for this scripture is Elisha.