Arrows of God

Elisha, the great prophet of God, is about to die. Joash the king of Israel comes to weep before him (see 2 Kings 13:14-25). Things are not going well for Joash. A godly priest has counseled him in the way of the Lord and Joash seeks to do right. Syria is rampaging and Joash surrenders to fear.  He gives the King of Syria sacred gifts meant for the House of the Lord.

Elisha communicates to Joash symbolically. He tells Joash to take a bow and arrow, open the window, and shoot eastward. Elisha places his hands on the king’s hands. “The Lord’s arrow of victory” flies toward Syria. Elisha proclaims, “You shall fight the Syrians in Aphek until you have made an end of them.”

In a second vivid picture, Elisha tells Joash to take arrows and strike the ground with them. Joash strikes the ground three times. Elisha is angry with him. Joash, you are going into battle and you strike the ground a measly three times? What kind of passion is that? You have a formidable foe. You’ve lost ground. You’ve given away sacred gifts meant for the House of God, and you strike the ground three times?

I notice that Joash defeated the king of Syria three times. I wonder—if Joash had splintered those arrows into a pile of tinder what might have happened. I don’t offer this as a doctrine of prayer. God hears the simple cry, “Help me!” as loudly as a prayer offered over and over. But in great spiritual battles is the Lord looking for more passion and energy than I give?

All around me marriages are under attack. Believers must not relinquish to the Enemy treasures meant for the glory of God. And I ask: Have I, like Joash, struck the arrows of God to the ground a paltry three times? I take and handful of arrows:

Lord God of Heaven, I strike the ground in the name of the Father for marriages! In the name of the Son! In the power of the Holy Spirit! I strike the arrows of God to earth for Your Glory! For the advancement of Your kingdom! For Your holy purposes! For marriages to communicate the sweet fragrance of Christ to a hurting world!

 Lord, enliven me to crash the arrows to earth, to beat the ground hard, to thump and pound in the name of Jesus. Lord God Most High, the victory is Yours. Defeat the Enemy in his war against marriages! Defang him. For You have defeated him at the Cross! And in Your resurrection! And as the Ascended One!

 Put Your hand on mine as I send arrows of Your victory zinging from the window! In faith I thump and pound that Your love would reign in marriages! Your wisdom! Your grace! Your tender-heartedness! Your kindness!

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