2 Kings 6:8-23
Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp.…
Dothan is not an unusual place for the at least occasional residence of a Christian man. Sometimes the Christian man is in the Dothan —
(1) Of hard circumstances;
(2) of business disappointments;
(3) of the sudden re-emergence of an old sin he thought conquered;
(4) of a whelming sorrow;
(5) of sickness and failing physical energy;
(6) of a chilling doubt.Beleaguered Dothan is not a place so unusual for a Christian man to stand in. But, in the ancient story, Elisha, though in Dothan, and so beleaguered, was not fearful. It is a good thing, amid the stress and strain of life, to count up our allies. I have often found great heartening in doing it.
1. Though a man be in Dothan, God the Almighty is his ally.
(1) When a man looks out upon this universe, the arresting thing he sees is perpetual change. The universe is a vast procession of effects. What we at first call causes, on analysis resolve themselves into effects. But every effect must have a cause. Every effect must have a cause adequate to the effect. The fontal cause must be God the Almighty, since only an Almighty cause can be efficient for such vast and varied effects.
(2) The evident design everywhere. But design implies mind; mind implies thought; thought implies a thinker; a thinker implies a person. And so a man rises to the conception of an Almighty Person, above him and around him.
(3) Man looks at himself and finds that, on every side, limitations of all sorts bind him in; but the finite implies an Infinite, some unlimited One; and so the intention of the Infinite springs up within him.
(4) Man finds he has a conscience. That conscience stands for righteousness. There must be some righteous cause, of which such conscience, protesting for righteousness, is effect. And so man comes to the intention of a righteous, a holy God. And when a man stands in Dothan, and will choose the most right he knows, he may be sure that this Almighty, infinite, personal, holy God is his ally.
2. Consider further, though a man stand in Dothan, Christ the Saviour is his ally. The Saviour is evidence(1) Of the Divine love. "God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son," etc.
(2) Of the Divine nearness; in Incarnation Deity assumes our nature.
(3) Of the Divine forgiveness through the Atonement. And when a man stands in Dothan confessing and forsaking sin, he may be utterly sure that Christ the Saviour is his ally.
3. Consider further, though a man be beleaguered in Dothan, the Holy Spirit is his ally. John 16. is full of promise here.
4. Consider further, though a man be in Dothan, good angels are his allies (Hebrews 1:14).
5. Consider further, though a man be in Dothan, God's Providence is his ally (Romans 8:28).
6. Consider further, though a man be in Dothan, God's Promises are his allies. Fear not, therefore, because of oppositions, because of your weakness, because of your mistakes, because of your sins even, because of death. Count up your allies. "They that be with us are more than they that be with them."
(W. Hoyt, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp.