the prophet Elisha was remembered as an extraordinary man of God in the sight of the Israelites. He committed his life to bringing the wayward Israelites leaders and people back to their covenant with God. He served the Northern kingdom of Israel during Jehu's bloody revolution against the house of Ahab and Baal worship. Israel was weakened by internal turmoil by its neighbor, Syria who began making raids into their territory f rom time to time. Elisha remained at the center of events swirling around his nation.
Elisha's efforts put him in danger constantly. Sadly, it seems that any time people who are believers and non-believers set their face and hands to do a work, change the system or make an impact for the kingdom of God, an attack from within or without your camp, environment etc is imminent. That happens in almost any sphere of life. Men and women who are active game changers create enemies. This is true especially in matters relating to the church, because people are generally more sensitive in this area. Too often, efforts at spiritual renewal, growth, or ministry, whether led by a pastor or a lay person, cause murmuring, dissent or outright hostility. Whatever the exact cause, such opposition causes us grief and can even lead to spiritual crisis.
Some people speak of "spiritual warfare" in such situations. They interpret any antagonism directed against them as a spiritual attack from satan or demons. The Bible does not interpret circumstances in this way. Scripture is very realistic in portraying people’s foolishness, selfishness, and sin as the source of most conflict in the world. In our story the opposition that comes from the king of Syria, is simply from one who stands to lose, or at least not gain, because of Elisha’s actions. The Gospels record Jesus’ personal temptation. Yet they never connect satan or demons with his crucifixion. Jesus’ opposition was from religious people who didn’t like his teachings or his style of ministry. Perhaps we would prefer to believe that hostility directed against us is demonic, than believe that people around us can be so insensitive to spiritual concerns, and to each other.
The second point that emerges from these verses is more subtle, but equally important. The King of Syria had made plans that Elisha continually foiled/shattered, messed up. So he boldly issued orders to capture the prophet. The irony of this order reveals something about the king. His officers had told him that Elisha could learn or knew about his most secret plans. How did Elisha know this information? I’m glad you asked! He had the gift of discernment or sometimes we refer to another gift, “the gift of knowledge.” Yet the King made a move against the prophet as if they could sneak up and carry Elisha away before he knew it. The king was not very wise! He did not really understand with whom he was dealing. ! The Bible says; “Touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm.” It was not only Elisha that his armies would confront! Saints we must understand, there will be opposition any time we truly respond to God and serve Him. That is the point of the New Testament sayings about taking up our cross and following Jesus. In the face of conflict we can remain steadfast, assured that our opposition does not really understand. They are not opposing us, but God (note 1 Samuel 8:7). And God can handle them!