Miracles Related to Eyes: Optical Illusions, Eyes of the Servant Opened; Blinding of the Syrian Army; Healing of the Syrian Army’s Blindness.
Elisha’s miracle #6, Optical Illusions, is found in 2 Kings 3: 21-23 and relates to the Moabites’ revolt. Let us review a bit of the background of the Moabites to understand this miracle.
The Moabites were the descendants of Moab, a son born to Lot (Abraham’s nephew), of incest with his oldest daughter (Genesis 19:37). Ruth, one of the few women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus, was originally a Moabitess.
King David conquered Moab (2 Samuel 8:2), but the state regained its independence after King Solomon, David’s son, died. King Ahab again defeated them and they became a vassal or subordinate state to Israel. It was after the death of Ahab that Moab rebelled against Israel again.
Vassal states either provide military support when the dominant state requests it or they pay a tribute. Vassal states that pay a tribute rather than provide military support are often known as tributary states. Mesha, the King of Moab, delivered one hundred thousand lambs and the wool of a hundred thousand rams to Israel. Mesha took advantage of the opportunity to get victory over their vassal status after Ahab died.
4 And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and rendered unto the king of Israel a hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool.
5 But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
King Jehoram (rebellious King of Israel) requested Jehoshaphat (the good King of Judah) join him in the battle against Moab. The two joined with the (ungodly) King of Edom. After traveling for seven days, the three Kings had no more water for themselves or their horses, and they went to Elisha for help. At first, Elisha indicated that he was not interested in assisting them, but because of the good king Jehoshaphat, he helped them. On this occasion, Miracle #4, Waters Filling Ditches (See Lesson Four. Miracles Related to Water Lessons Learned from the Miracles of Elisha: A Series. (Lesson Four), occurred.
Now comes the Optical Illusions miracle. The Moabites woke up the morning of the battle, saw the sun shining on the ditches filled with water, and thought the water was blood. Then they joyously decided that the three kings had killed each other, and all they had to do was ride in and claim the spoils. When they rode their fool selves into the camp of Israel, what they found was surprise, surprise, surprise! The 24th verse of 2 Kings chapter 3 says that when the Moabites rode into the camp of Israel, the Israelites smote them, ran them back to their country, and then continued to beat them, even in their own country. They got whooped in front of their family and friends. Oh my.
21 And when all the Moabites heard that the kings were come up to fight against them, they gathered all that were able to put on armour, and upward, and stood in the border.
22 And they rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood:
23 And they said, This is blood: the kings are surely slain, and they have smitten one another: now therefore, Moab, to the spoil.
24 And when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites, so that they fled before them: but they went forward smiting the Moabites, even in their country.
Lessons learned from the Optical Illusions Miracle:
- The Cedarmont kids wrote a children’s song entitled: O Be Careful Little Eyes What You See. Its lyrics certainly apply to the Moabite’s situation when they saw blood instead of water.
O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see.
- Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 16:18. Pride told the Moabites that they had an easy victory when they received an ugly beating.
- If a thing seems too good to be true, it isn’t true. The Moabites didn’t see one single dead body in or around the ditches; they only saw what they thought was blood. They just got tricked by their own eyes.
- Check and double-check before proceeding. And even then, proceed with caution.
Here’s an interesting conclusion to this matter of Moab’s independence that I’m throwing in for free. Mesha, King of Moab, tried to take 700 men and break through to the King of Edom, but even that didn’t work. In full view of his enemies, the King of Moab sacrificed his son, the heir to the throne, and the Crown Prince of Moab, to the Pagan god, Chemosh, on the wall.
Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him and returned to their own land. 2 Kings 3:27.
This caused the three kings (Jehoram of Israel, Jehoshaphat of Judah, and The King of Edom) to retreat because of great anger and wrath against Israel. As a result of Mesha’s unconscionable act, Moab maintained its independence for two additional centuries.
Now, I can’t explain why the anger and wrath of the people were directed against Israel. Mesha was the one who did this ugly thing against his son. It seems to me the crowds should have been angry at him. Nevertheless, that’s war, …and that’s history.
The next miracle of Elisha related to Eyes is #19 Eyes of the Servant Opened. It is found in 2 Kings 6:13-17.
Sometime after Naaman, the captain of the Army of Syria, was healed of Leprosy, the King of Syria went to war with Israel. Elisha was able to inform the King of Israel about the plans of the Syrian King. To encompass and entrap Elisha, the Syrian King sent a host of horses, chariots, and an army by night to surround Elisha’s city.
13 And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.
14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about
When Elisha’s servant awoke and saw the Syrians, he went back to Elisha and fearfully asked, “What shall we do?”
15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
But Elisha had an answer for his servant because he already knew how God was protecting them.
16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
God had already shown Elisha his support system, so he was not concerned. When his servant was afraid about what his natural eyes beheld, Elisha prayed, and the servant experienced a miracle. His spiritual eyesight was opened and it was revealed that the mountain was filled with horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
- An entire world of activity goes on in the spirit world that our natural eyes cannot see.
- Prophets can see both natural and spiritual phenomena.
- God’s children never have to fear what men can do. God is always on our side.
Elisha’s final two miracles related to eyes were #20 Blinding of the Syrian Army and #22 Healing the Syrian Army of Blindness. When the Syrian army went to the wall of Samaria demanding that Elisha be delivered to them, Elisha was already set and prayed that God smite the entire army with blindness. And instantly blinded they were.
Once Elisha accomplished what he had planned (the capture of the Army), he prayed again, and God opened the blinded eyes of the Syrian Army.
And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 2 Kings 6:20
- No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. Is. 54:17
- Never underestimate the power of God.