Summary of passages: Jacob leaves Mesopotamia and heads for the Promised Land. On the way, he sees angels of God who meet him and camp beside him. He sends messengers ahead to tell Esau that he is coming. He calls himself Esau’s servant and asks to find favor in his eyes.
The messengers return, telling Jacob that Esau is coming to meet along with 400 men. Jacob is afraid and assumes Esau will attack him so he divides his band into 2 groups in hopes if one is attacked the other group will survive.
2 Kings 6:8-23: Aram and Israel are at war. A man of God (Elisha the prophet) tells Israel’s king exactly what the king of Aram is planning. This enraged the king of Aram. He accuses his officers of warning the Israelites but they tell him it is Elisha. So the king of Aram tries to capture Elisha in Dothan. They surround the city.
Elisha’s servant who is afraid warns Elisha. Elisha prays and the Lord opens the servant’s eyes to see horses and chariots of fire all around (the supernatural forces of God around us).
The Elisha prays and Aram’s forces are struck with blindness. Elisha then leads Aram’s forces to Samaria. He prays for their eyes to be opened and the Lord does so. The king of Israel asks Elisha if he should kill them. Elisha responds no but instead feed and water them and send them back home.
The king of Israel prepared a great feast for his enemies and they returned home and stopped raiding Israel.
3a) God is with us even when we can’t see him. If you treat your enemies humbly and serve them, God will bless you. Jacob humbled himself before Esau, calling himself his servant (when we all know the prophecy states otherwise) and Elisha feeds the enemy with a grand feast and sends them home.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Treat even those whom we don’t like as we would want to be treated. Remember God is all around us. His forces surround us, protecting us from the devil even though we cannot see them. If we call upon them, they will fight for us. Something we need to remember.
4a) Genesis 32:1-2: God sends his angels to help us. We can see angels.
Psalm 34:7: Angels protect those who fear the Lord and delivers them.
Daniel 6:22: Angels do God’s bidding. Here, they shut the mouths of the lions to protect Daniel who was innocent before God.
1 Corinthians 6:2-3: Since the saints (us) will judge the world we will judge angels as well (since we are above angels. See Hebrews 1:4-14).
Hebrews 1:14: Angels are ministering spirits sent to serve us.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Angels serve us and help us. Good to know there are others sent to back me up in the spiritual battles I face.
Conclusions: Mixed on this lesson actually. It seems like every year we have a study of angels so I guess this was it. I liked the 2 Kings passage. It’s a great reminder that God is all around us, watching and helping us, even if we can’t see it, and He has sent helpers (angels) for our benefit. And a reminder to treat our enemies kindly. Then we will be blessed.
I would, however, like to see the camp of angels around me. Cool, huh?
One interesting note: Even though Jacob can see the angels around him, he quickly forgets God is with him and is still afraid–to the point he separates his group. He should trust in God (and His army) to protect him from Esau’s wrath.
Map Work: Map of Aram (or Syria) and Israel: http://www.bccfbroadcasts.com/maps/Isrl_Jdea.gif