Surrounded

Charmain Hibberd
by Charmain Hibberd

Creative Media Assistant, CBN Europe

Featured Articles

The Man of God

Ever since the Russian attack on Ukraine began, I have not been able to get the story of Elisha and the Aramean war out of my head. 

Found in 2 Kings 6, we read of the king of Aram going to war against Israel. Israel, however, have a secret weapon – faith. 

Each time the king of Aram sets his mind on attacking a certain part of Israel, the Prophet (also referred to repeatedly as the man of God) Elisha routs them and informs the king of Israel of their plans to attack. 

One day, the king of Aram learns of Elisha’s inside knowledge and sends an army out to surround the city of Dothan, where Elisha and his servant are staying.  

It’s here that the story gets really interesting. 

Elisha’s servant steps out one day and sees himself and Elisha surrounded by the vast Aramean army and asks Elisha, “Oh, my master, what are we to do?” Elisha is not perturbed. He simply asks that the Lord would open up the eyes of his servant that he might see how surrounded they are by angelic armies. 

Elisha then prays, “Please strike this nation with blindness.” And the Lord does as Elisha asks.  

Elisha then has the opportunity to lead the Aramean army out of the way, to Samaria, where the king of Israel asks Elisha, “Should I kill them, should I kill them, my father?” 

What happens next is why I believe this story has been on my heart since the beginning of the war on Ukraine. 

The king of Israel not only feeds the Arameans, he prepares a feast for them and sends them back to the king of Aram.  

Because of this act, the Aramean raiders did not come into Israel’s land again. 

A Remarkable Response

Elisha says no. 

“Don’t kill them. Do you kill those you have captured with your sword or your bow? Set food and water in front of them so they can eat and drink and go to their master.” 

(2 Kings 6:22 CSB) 

The king of Israel not only feeds the Arameans, he prepares a feast for them and sends them back to the king of Aram.  

Because of this act, the Aramean raiders did not come into Israel’s land again. 

Can you imagine it? 

Showing kindness and great blessing, provision and even honour to those who are seeking to destroy you. 

My hope is that this war does not harden the hearts of those persecuted. I have seen and heard of the great character and strength of the Ukrainian people, and I pray that they keep their beautiful hearts supple as the days wear on, perhaps even finding the strength to show kindness to their attackers and pray for their souls.  

I have heard countless stories since the war on Ukraine began of how bombs are hitting their targets…but not exploding. How Russian troops are running out of fuel on Ukrainian land. Getting lost and having to ask the local citizens of Ukraine for directions.  

It is as if an angelic army surrounds the people of Ukraine and is fighting their battles with them. 

I am not for one minute dismissing the lives already lost and the damage done to Ukrainian soil, but simply pointing out that the innocent party here – Ukraine – are surrounded.  

Pray and Give

As believers in Jesus Christ, I am imploring all of us to pray and give. If we are not able to be on the ground personally, I believe that these are the two most powerful things we can do. 

Prayer has the power to blind the enemy. 

To put the enemy to flight. 

Giving has the capacity to ease the suffering of the Ukrainian refugees as they are displaced and try to find new dwellings.  

Giving shows that we care and that, as humans, we recognise that the only thing that separates us from the people of Ukraine is location. 

If you are a Ukrainian citizen reading this, I am sorry. I am sorry that your peaceful life has been so violently disturbed by senseless attack. I pray for you that you will once again find love, peace and freedom in the coming days. 

God bless us all and have mercy on those who sin against us.  

To give today, visit www.cbneurope.com/Ukraine.

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