“While he was still talking to them, the messenger came down to him.”
2 Kings 6:33
The danger was imminent, yet the prophet seemed to be perfectly at ease. While the king of Israel was sending a messenger to chop off his head, the prophet kept on casually speaking to the elders at his house as if nothing urgent was going to occur. “It s your own life you are risking, flee quickly!’ we might have exclaimed had we been there with the man of God.
Elisha was becoming more seasoned in his faith as time went by and his trust in the Lord was unwavering. He realized nothing would happen to him at the time did God not allow it to happen. There was yet work to be done before he was done.
We tend to measure the remainder of our earthly time by month or years; not so with the man of God, who calculated his life by the assignments the Lord gave him for to do. He was invincible until they were completely done.
In his prayer, Moses said that our earthly days are seventy, and eighty if we are strong. By that calculation I may only have nine years left, nineteen at best. This is depressing, isn’t it?
“Unfair,” my pastor friend once protested. “He himself lived to one hundred and twenty.”
“Well, even so, he didn’t outlast what the Lord had for him to do,” I replied. “He would have hung around a bit longer had the Lord allowed him to cross the Jordan.”
Instead of praying for longevity, perhaps we should be praying for a longer to-do list on earth. How do we do that, then? One of the ways is to ask for greater spiritual gifts from the Lord, for “from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
So much for my speculation. I was just admiring the prophet’s bravery and perfect ease in the face of grave danger. O how I long to be like the man, for I am often overcome by fear, even though death or the threat of death has yet to come knocking at my door. I am akin to the wicked who flee though no one pursues.
The prophet’s heart might have been fortified by foreknowledge, for if he knew nothing bad was going to happen to him at the time, he could remain calm. That might have been the case, yet faith was still required for him to hold onto the divine revelation, for there is always the nagging question of “what if;” a question such as “what if the Lord doesn’t come through this time?”
The prophet remained at ease in time of danger not because he knew things would be well; it was by his perfect trust in the One who was faithful that he stayed calm till the end. Indeed, his end would arrive sooner or later, but God’s faithfulness was endless.