Lesson Twelve


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Memory Verse: Matthew 19:26
Further Study: 2 Kings 6:1-23; Prophets and Kings, 254-258; The Bible Story, vol. 5, pp. 89-92, 100, 101

I once chaired my church’s building committee. We were tasked with directing the building of a new school. What we didn’t know when we started was that the project would last 14 years!

Each time we’d take a step forward, we’d end up three steps back. 

The property is located in a county with extremely restrictive building codes. Each time we’d take a step forward, we’d end up three steps back. It was incredibly frustrating. At one point I remember telling the pastor I now knew how the Israelites felt wandering in the wilderness. But like the Israelites, and the soldiers from Syria, God had a lesson to teach. 

The king of Syria sent a large contingent of soldiers to capture Elisha, for he had learned that Elisha was the “leak” in his administration. Every battle strategy he planned, Elisha would inform the king of Israel and disaster would be averted. The soldiers couldn’t have anticipated what would happen next. Upon arrival at Elisha’s house, they were struck with blindness. Elisha offered to lead them where they needed to go, and took them straight into the center of Samaria, Israel’s capital city. There their eyes were opened. Expecting total annihilation, they instead enjoyed a feast and were sent home.

Expecting total annihilation, they instead enjoyed a feast and were sent home. 

The Syrian soldiers saw the God of Israel as just another god placed on a shelf with all the others. They had no knowledge of His power, love, or authority. But when they left Samaria, their eyes had been opened both literally and figuratively. Israel’s God had made a deep impression that they carried home with them, enough so Syria didn’t threaten Israel for many years.

Finally, the day came for our church when the new school was ready to be occupied. The builder was not from our denomination, but he was a Christian. I’ll never forget the day he excitedly came to me with an article from a builder’s magazine. He shared a graph with me that showed the cost of building over a 10-year span up until the current year. It had more peaks than it had valleys. But there was one enormous dip on the chart where the cost of building completely bottomed out. It was the exact year we built our school. The builder said, “God did this! He knew when it would be the lowest cost to build. All that delay was for a purpose!”

Sometimes you have to blinded before you can see. 

Sometimes you have to be blinded before you can see. There are times when something happens that we cannot explain—a sudden accident, a miscarriage, a divorce, or a delayed building project. We wonder where God is during those times. It becomes our moment of blindness. It’s at those times that we need to rely on someone to guide us as Elisha did for those soldiers so that we see God more clearly. We need to keep the faith, remembering God’s guidance in the past, even while wondering where He is in our present. 

Like the soldiers, we need to follow Him until our eyes are opened. As we do, our appreciation for His love and care will grow. Our eyesight will gradually be restored. The journey may be long, and our understanding may not be until Jesus comes again, but we will trust in Him and be renewed.

Digging Deeper 

Martin Buber, a philosopher, wrote a book called Eclipse of God, that was published in 1952. I’m not recommending the book for I have not read it, but I do know that he proposes an interesting analogy that may be easy for us to understand. He compares God to an eclipse of the sun where the sun represents the presence of God. 

During an eclipse the moon comes between the earth and the sun. When this happens, the sun appears to be blocked. While the sun hasn’t actually disappeared, it appears that it has. The moon that blocks the sun, for Buber, represents the life events that can get between us and God. They cause God to seem distant or completely gone.

Of course, the sun is there, and will shine again, but so is God. Sin causes us to experience this distance. What is important to remember is that, like the eclipse, the sun will shine again. The moon will move, things will change, and the sun that appeared to be gone is actually there. It is these types of experiences that cause us to cherish God all the more. What we missed, is now found, and we rejoice.

Making it Real

Memories are important especially our “spiritual” ones. Everyone has something in their life that has revealed God to them. Take some time this week to remind yourself where God has shown up for you.


Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being the grandmother of two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus.


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