Chariots of Fire

Then Elisha prayed, “LORD, open his eyes and let him see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha.

— 2 Kings 6:17

If we had supernatural vision, we would see all around us God’s angels protecting us. That was certainly the case in biblical history. For example, when enemy forces came against Elisha, as recorded in 2 Kings 6, the prophet could see God’s heavenly army protecting him. But Elisha’s servant couldn’t see that until Elisha prayed for his eyes to be opened.

Spiritual vision is something that is vitally important, as the servant of Elisha discov­ered. Theologian Clarence Maclaren tells us what we can learn from this text about God’s angels (His messengers): (1) they were ever near; (2) they were most near when needed most; and (3) they come in the form most needed. Specifically, they are warriors when we are ringed about by foes. They are counselors when we are perplexed. They are comforters when we mourn. Their shapes are as varied as our needs, and ever correspond to the “present distress.”

Speaking of angels, God said, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to minister to those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). We should be thankful for God’s angels, but we should never worship them, nor talk directly to them. They are God’s servants, not ours.

Question to ponder:
What role do angels play in the salvation story?