“The chariots of God” Psalm 68:17-20
1. Chariots were associated with powerful kingdoms
2. Ancient Egypt was famous for its chariots in the days of Moses
3. The imagery of chariots was also attached to the LORD of hosts
17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand,
Even thousands of thousands;
The Lord is among them as in Sinai, in the Holy Place.
18 You have ascended on high,
You have led captivity captive;
You have received gifts among men,
Even from the rebellious,
That the LORD God might dwell there.
19 Blessed be the Lord,
Who daily loads us with benefits,
The God of our salvation! Selah
20 Our God is the God of salvation;
And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death. Psalm 68:17-20
THE CHARIOTS OF GOD
1. The imagery of chariots was associated with the heavenly army of God
2. The number of chariots
a) 20,000 chariots
b) Thousands of thousands
c) Meaning: “Countless”
A FAMOUS STORY ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROPHET ELIJAH
1. A chariot of fire
1 And it came to pass, when the LORD was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. 2
Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to Bethel.”
But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they went down to Bethel.
3 Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him,
“Do you know that the LORD will take away your master [a]from over you today?”
And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent!”
4 Then Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to Jericho.”
But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they came to Jericho.
5 Now the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came to Elisha and said to him,
“Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from over you today?”
So he answered, “Yes, I know; keep silent!”
6 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.”
But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So the two of them went on. 7 And fifty men of the sons of the
prophets went and stood facing them at a distance, while the two of them stood by the Jordan. 8 Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and
struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
9 And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you,
before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”
10 So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall
not be so.” 11 Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire,
and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took
hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. 13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and
stood by the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where is the
LORD God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over. 2 Kings 2:1-14
2. It was a chariot of fire that took Elijah to heaven
3. It was a particularly powerful illustration to teach Elisha
a) About God
b) About His power
c) About the ministry that Elisha had inherited from Elijah
THE CHARIOTS OF GOD
1 And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us. 2 Please, let us go to the
Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell.”
So he answered, “Go.”
3 Then one said, “Please consent to go with your servants.”
And he answered, “I will go.” 4 So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5 But as one was cutting down
a tree, the iron axe head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, master! For it was borrowed.”
6 So the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And he showed him the place. So he cut off a stick, and threw it in there; and he made the iron
float. 7 Therefore he said, “Pick it up for yourself.” So he reached out his hand and took it.
8 Now the king of Syria was making war against Israel; and he consulted with his servants, saying, “My camp will be in such and such a
place.” 9 And the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are coming down
there.” 10 Then the king of Israel sent someone to the place of which the man of God had told him. Thus he warned him,
and he was watchful there, not just once or twice.
11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing; and he called his servants and said to them,
“Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?”
12 And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel,
tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.”
13 So he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him.”
And it was told him, saying, “Surely he is in Dothan.”
14 Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city.
15 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?”
16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I
pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of
horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, “Strike this
people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
19 Now Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me,
and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” But he led them to Samaria.
20 So it was, when they had come to Samaria, that Elisha said, “LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.”
And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and there they were, inside Samaria! 2 Kings 6:1-20
1. The army of God surrounding Elisha
And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw.
And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:17
2. Spiritual eyes need to be opened in order to see the mighty army of God
THE GREATEST SPIRITUAL BATTLE
You have ascended on high,
You have led captivity captive
You have received gifts among men,
Even from the rebellious,
That the LORD God might dwell there. Psalm 68:18
1. This was the battle of the Lord Jesus against Satan
2. He ascended on high
The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus
3. He led captivity captive
He conquered Satan and Death
4. An application of this Messianic text by the Apostle Paul
7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says:
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”
9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also [d]first descended into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the [e]edifying of the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:7-12
1. The mighty chariots of God
They surround us!
2. Let us pray for spiritual eyes to discern
3. Let us also discover the spiritual gifts that God has given to us through the Victory of the Lord Jesus Christ