When the enemies of the Lord seem to have victory over the church it can often seem as if all is lost. How often have we seen sister churches and denominations embrace erroneous teaching, false doctrine, and a powerless gospel? If we look around at the evangelical church’s embrace of the LGBTQ agenda we may be tempted to say, “all is lost.” We are coming up on the 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade when the United States officially embraced the legal murder of children in their mother’s womb. Is all lost?
And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” II KINGS 6:15 NKJV
Throughout history, there are moments when all seems lost. When the allied armies were stuck in the wilderness of Edom without water the king of Israel assumed all was lost, so he gave up hope while expecting to be destroyed by Moab. When Elijah fled from Ahab and Jezebel to Mt. Horeb he prayed as if all was lost, crying out to God, “I alone am left…” When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were on the plain of Dura and “all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshipped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up,” it would have seemed that all was lost. When the King of the Jews, the Lord of Lords, Christ Jesus, was nailed to a tree, his disciples abandoned or denied him, and those who were just five days earlier saying “Hosanna” were then crying out “Crucify Him!” It would seem that at that hour, all was lost.
In today’s text the servant of Elisha woke up early in the morning and went out of the house where he saw the Syrian army surrounding the city with horses and chariots. We can only imagine this terrifying scene. The fear would have been extreme for the inhabitants of Dothan who went to bed at peace without any fear of harm and woke to be completely surrounded with no hope of escape. It would seem all was lost.
In Dothan’s position, fleeing would not help, they were surrounded. Hiding would not help, Dothan was small and the Syrian army was great. Sending the fastest runner to break through the Syrian lines to the King of Israel would not help, the Syrian army was poised to strike and the Israelite army was at least twelve miles away. In the desperate situation all around him, the servant of God cried out, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”