2 Kings 13:14-25
14 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.
15 And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows.
16 And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king's hands.
17 And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the Lord's deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them.
18 And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed.
19 And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.
20 And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.
21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
22 But Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz.
23 And the Lord was gracious unto them, and had compassion on them, and had respect unto them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet.
24 So Hazael king of Syria died; and Benhadad his son reigned in his stead.
25 And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again out of the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael the cities, which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. Three times did Joash beat him, and recovered the cities of Israel.
When we read these passages we may ponder how victory came in an unexpected way for King Joasha. Elisha put his hands upon Joasha’s hands and then the arrow flew. But this is where Elisha tells the King to strike the ground to represent smiting the Syrians till he has consumed them.
King Joasha strikes only three times. We may ask how did he know how many times he should have struck the ground? The best option would have been to ask and to be led of God’s Spirit. Maybe it was a true display of King Joasha’s unbelief or lack of fervor. We may not know, but whatever the King’s actions displayed, it did not sit right with Elisha.
Elisha had the power of God in him even when he was dying, in his weakness he knew God was strong.
I believe God is saying to His people…if you want victory don’t ask for little, ask for a lot. I can attest that God can answer prayers quickly in ways that you would never expect. He is amazing!
I remember taking archery in High School. You always wanted to hit the bull’s eye. At the time they offered swordsmanship. I was fearless and had no thought of getting injured or defeated. Maybe it was my age and naivety, but in reality why shouldn’t we stand courageous as believers knowing that our strength is in the Lord.
Why can’t we take our prayers and shoot them past our finite understanding into our infinite God where nothing is impossible. God had righteous indignation against Israel’s enemies. When Jesus walked this earth He would call the Pharisees brood of vipers and white washed tombs.
Elisha was telling this King, you could have had more, if you struck your arrow more. Elisha placed his hand on the King’s hand; we have Jesus placing His hand upon our lives, how much more should we believe! So we are not to limit are prayers along with our ability to fathom because…
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”
There are prayers that each and every heart knows. Some have been waiting in faith for these answers. God hears you. Take your arrows of faith and shoot. He may not tell you to strike the ground as Elisha did, but do not be surprised if God works in ways that are uncustomary and predictable.
We can give a shout of victory as we see our prayers being answered even now. Prodigals sons and daughters, come home, loved ones saved, addictions broken and captives set free, deliverance from our enemies, provisions for the needy, help for the foreigner, love for the lonely, healing for the sick and those who cannot utter a word because their heart is so weary and heavy laden.
How great is our God who tells us to ask…
John 16:24 (KJV)
“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
Father, I believe Your word as they are promises to us that will never be broken. Take our prayers and help us to shoot those arrows of faith that go above and beyond what we are able to fathom or think. We are Your vessels intended for Your glory. The world fashions broken cisterns that hold no water. But we are vessels molded and shaped by our Master Potter who will fill them with eternal treasures to shine as lights brighter than the stars. We give You our hearts and prayers while we continuously praise You day and night for Your goodness and kindness towards us, for Your mercy endures forever.
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”