Elisha was old and sick and would soon die, and Joash king of Israel rushed to his side. King’s don’t run to anyone, but this was the prophet of God. “My father, my father!” cried Joash, “The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” (2Kings 13:14). It seemed a strange utterance, but it had been said before by Elisha when his mentor Elijah was caught up by whirlwind into heaven (2Kings 2:11-12). Joash borrowed Elisha’s words to sum up Elisha’s life as a worthy heir of God’s great prophet; but there was more. Kings count their strength in chariots and horsemen, but this king was proclaiming the strength of Israel is the God of Elijah and Elisha.
Elisha instructed Joash to take a bow and arrow, and then he laid his hands on the hands of Joash and together they drew the bow eastward toward Syria, God guiding the king. “Shoot,” and he shot. And Elisha said, “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Syria! For you shall fight the Syrians in Aphek until you have made an end of them” (2Kings 13:17). The prophet would die, but God would still guide Israel. “Take the arrows,” said Elisha, and Joash took them. “Strike the ground with them.” It was an invitation to raise the bar, to reach the heavens, to embrace the power of God Almighty, but instead Joash tapped three times and stopped, too soon, too timid. Elisha was angry at his small action, “You should have struck more!” God is looking to see how far we will go, how much fight we have. Joash should have pummeled the ground and moved mountains.
“Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.” ~Mark 11:23
My God, You have created such an incredible world. It displays Your handiwork, Your wisdom, Your majesty. You placed me in this world to rule it, subdue it, master it, and care for it. You are the giver of all good things, and yet, because of pride and fear, because of my love of my self, I delight in doing things myself, apart from You.
God, my desires lead to my downfall. Pursuing Your delights leads to an abundant life, overflowing with goodness. I am more than a conqueror when I trust fully in my Creator, the God of the heavens and the earth. May I trust in You fully and find satisfaction in following You.