When the prophet Elisha was about to die, Joash, King of Israel, visited him and wept (2 Kings 13:14). During this visit, the prophet told the king to take out a bow and some arrows. As Joash put his hand on his bow, Elisha’s hands covered the hands of the king. He then told Joash to open a window and shoot. When he shot the first arrow, Elisha explained that the arrows represented deliverance from Syria, one of Israel’s enemies.
Elisha then told Joash to take a few more arrows and strike the ground with them. Joash struck the ground three times with the arrows of God’s deliverance, but then stopped. Elisha was puzzled and angry with Joash. He said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it. But now you will only strike Syria three times” (2 Kings 13:19).
Why was Elisha angry? He was angry because Joash had been given the power of God to defeat Syria completely, but Joash did not take full advantage of such power. Joash should have been so moved by the prophecy, that when he was asked to strike the ground, he would have done so with passion, excitement, and courage. Elisha should have had to beg him to stop striking the ground with the arrows of God!
The church of today needs to heed the advice of Elisha. We are limiting our own success. We have the power of God in our hands, but are afraid to use it. We don’t read and study the Bible enough! We don’t take the Bible to our community! We don’t get excited enough about what it can do! We don’t defend it with our lives like the church once did! We need to stop tap, tap, tapping the arrows of God upon the earth! God wants the victory to be complete! The power is available — but we need to gird up our loins and find some courage to strike the earth with conviction!
In my mind and heart, this prayer for the church of Jesus Christ continues: “Father, restore in us your plea. Give us the nerve to change the world. Give us the courage to renew our priorities. Give us some arrows! Help us to make them count!”
“The Lord will appear above his people; his arrows will fly like lightning!” (Zechariah 9:14).
– Jeremiah Tatum, backtothebible.blogspot.com