20th July 2012

Chariots Of Fire All Around Us

“‘O Lord, open his eyes that he may see.’. Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
2 Kings 6:17 (NIV)

Have you seen the movie Chariots of Fire, based on the 1924 Paris Olympics? I still feel emotional when I hear its soundtrack, and imagine myself joining the crowd of athletes as they run barefoot along the beach.

The phrase “Chariots of fire” is used in Blake’s Jerusalem, and has a biblical origin.

Why not get your Bible out and read 2 Kings 6:8-23? It is an exciting story and full of ideas for us. I like the way that the prisoners are treated fairly and are given a great feast. As a result reconciliation occurs. But, before all that happens, the servant of Elisha is afraid because a surrounding hostile army is intent on capturing Elisha. He asks Elisha, “What shall we do?” The response is brilliant: “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them”.

What in the world did Elisha mean? All that could be seen were the horses and the chariots of the advancing enemy. Let my servant see with the eyes of faith, Elisha implored God. Then it happened. The servant “saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha”. God was with Elisha and his servant. Victory was theirs.

It was not the first time that Elisha had seen a vision of chariots of fire. He had witnessed them when Elijah was transported to heaven in a whirlwind. Again the thought was that God surrounds his servants with triumphant glory.

No doubt in the Olympics we will see some particularly inspiring moments, such as occurred in 1924 with Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams. The athletes will seek to beat their own personal best record as well as that of other competitors. If you’re like me, you might feel slightly intimidated and realize that you would never win any race or event against them. They are as swift as horses and as strong as charging chariots. To us they seem unbeatable, just like our problems may also seem unbeatable.

Whatever army of troubles surrounds you, open your eyes.

God’s chariots of fire are all around you.

Father, open my eyes that I may see your horses and chariots of fire all around me.  In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson

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