(Guest Post from Abigail Hamilton on 2 Kings 13:14-19)
Nearly forty years of age, Joash, king of Judah, had been ruling almost half of his life. A wicked man who followed in the footsteps of his evil forefathers. But when word got around that the great prophet Elisha was on his death bed, Joash paid him a visit.
II Kings paints this scene in such a remarkable way. This ungodly king, tears streaming down his face, knows an intercessor for the nation is about to change worlds. Joash takes this godly saint in his arms and weeps. “Oh my father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof!”
Such a parallel is made here. Many decades before, these were the same words Elisha cried out as Elijah was taken away by a heavenly chariot. These were the same words Elisha cried as he craved a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.
Even though Joash was far from being the king he needed to be, I feel God still wanted to make a way for Joash to be victorious.
Elisha tells Joash to take a bow and arrows and to open the window on the east of the room. Then Elisha puts his worn, wrinkled hands over the king’s and tells him to shoot. Joash shot. Elisha told the king to take the remaining arrows and strike the ground.
Whack! Whack! Whack!
Elisha lamented, “Why did you stop so soon? Why only three times? It would have been better if you would have done it five or six. You might win a couple victories over your enemies, but in the end they will win.”
Now much of this is in my own words, but the heart cries of Elisha I feel are the same. Joash is proof that it doesn’t matter your beginning. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve suffered defeat; God wants you to be victorious. The key is to be willing, obedient, and to persevere.
God tells you to get your bow and arrow. He tells you to shoot. He tells you to break your arrows. I’m sure Joash was confused by what he was being asked to do.
God might be laying some things on your heart that do not make complete sense to you. But the question is not, “Does God’s instruction make sense?” The question is, “Will you obey? Will you shoot?”
Every chance you get, do you open up your window and say, “Here I am God. I’m here again. I don’t know how to pray. I don’t know how to fight. But I want to obey you and seek for victory every chance I get.”
Why hit your knees only three times then give up? Keep on. Do you see victory. No? Keep on. Do you see God’s hand moving. No? Keep on.
Don’t give up, for God is still on the move
Don’t give in, for there are souls depending on you
Don’t let go, because you’re about to see a break through
Don’t stop, for there might be no one to pray for those souls
Keep on praying, God’s in control
(April 21, 2017)