The Kingdoms of Israel and Aram were at war. The King of Aram was getting really frustrated, though, because somehow Israel seemed to know their battle plans ahead of time and managed to avoid the places the Arameans tried to attack! They went to the locations where they knew the Israelites would be, and over and over, there was nobody there to attack! So much for the element of surprise.
So the Aramean King decided they must have a traitor. He called his army together and said, “All right, who is warning the Israelites what we’re going to do?”
“Nobody,” they replied, “but their prophet Elisha seems to know an awful lot about our plans! He’s been warning their King.” So their new target became Elisha. They had to get him out of the way so they could go back to defeating their enemy! They found him in the city of Dothan, and they surrounded the city. When Elisha’s servant got up, he discovered a bunch of scary enemy soldiers all around the city walls, and they were after Elisha! The servant went to his master, terrified. “Don’t worry,” Elisha said, “There are a lot more people with us than with them!”
Now the servant was confused. “But it’s just you and me. What are you talking about?”
So Elisha prayed, “Lord, please open his eyes!”
His servant couldn’t believe what he saw! The Aramean army may have been surrounding the city of Dothan, but surrounding them, all over the hills, was a powerful army with horses and fiery chariots!
So Elisha prayed again, “Lord, please blind the Aramean army!” So God did that. Then Elisha went up to the enemy and said, “This isn’t the right road or city, but I’d be happy to help you. Follow me!” So Elisha started leading a confused and blind army away from Dothan, making plenty of noise so they would be sure to hear him, since they couldn’t see him.
When they got to where they were going, Elisha prayed, “OK, Lord, please open their eyes now.” The Aramean army was shocked to find themselves in Samaria, right under the nose of the King of Israel!
When the Israelite King saw that Elisha had led the enemy right to them, he was excited. He asked Elisha, “Should I kill them?”
But the prophet had another surprise up his sleeve. Both the Israelites and the Arameans were shocked to hear Elisha’s next words: “Nope! Don’t kill them! I have a better idea…let’s prepare a feast for them and be kind to them instead!”
It was the last thing anyone had expected. The enemy got a big feast, and they went back home with one less enemy. If they were gonna be nice to them, there wasn’t much point in Aram attacking Israel, so the attacks stopped.