“Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen…” (Hebrews 11:1).
Gehazi was terrified.
It started out as an early morning walk but then it turned into a nightmare. As the servant looked to the outskirts of the city where he and his master, Elisha, had stayed the night, he saw an army. Horses, chariots, and more men than he could readily count surrounded the city of Dothan.
In an instant, Gehazi knew this was the end. Sure enough, he had seen some amazing things. He had seen the widow’s oil multiplied and even her son raised from the dead. The bread had been multiplied as well, and that was before Naaman, the mighty general, had been cured of his skin condition. He had seen all these things with his very eyes, but none of that mattered now. His heart leapt into his throat as he surveyed the massive army before and around him.
No escape from here. No more miracles from the prophet. This was the end.
He and his master had flirted with danger long enough, and now the king of Aram had found them out. He saw Elisha, and by proxy his servant, as the reason why the Israelite army had prevailed time and time again. Gehazi knew he was right, for Elisha was able to hear the word of God and tell the Israelites exactly when and where to attack.
Now he looked with resignation on the multitude. He supposed it was just a matter of time. So he did the only thing he could do – run to his master:
“Oh, my master, what are we to do?”
Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid, for those who are with us outnumber those who are with them.”
Then Elisha prayed, “Lord, please open his eyes and let him see.” So the Lord opened the servant’s eyes. He looked and saw that the mountain was covered with horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 2:15-17).
There was a bigger army than the big army. Surrounding the ones who had surrounded them. Gehazi was given the gift of sight on this occasion.
Remarkably, though, the text does not say that Elisha also saw the army of the Lord. We assume he did because how else would he know about this massive force aligned against his enemies? Perhaps he did see those flaming chariots… but then again, perhaps he did not.
Perhaps the man of God did not need to. This is the essence of faith, is it not? To look into the most dire of circumstances and know the Lord still reigns? Even though every sense tells us the opposite is true?
Yes. Maybe he didn’t see. Because maybe he didn’t need to.