Monday, June 14

Shoot them all!

Scripture: 2 Kings 13-14, Psalm 70, 1 Thessalonians 2

2 Kings 13:15–19  Elisha said, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. 16 “Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. 

17 “Open the east window,” he said, and he opened it. “Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot. “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!” Elisha declared. “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.” 

18 Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. 19 The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.”


This story has always puzzled me.  Why would the prophet be angry with the king for only striking the ground 3 times?  The prophet just said “strike the ground;” he didn’t say “strike the ground repeatedly.”  Here’s one possibility:

Elisha had just performed a prophetic act with the king, putting his hands on the king’s hands as they shot an arrow that represented victory over the Arameans.  So the king understood he was participating in prophetic actions when next Elisha told him to “strike the ground.”  Most likely this meant to shoot his arrows into the ground, not to grasp them with his hand and use them to hit the ground.  He had already shot one arrow representing victory over the Arameans; now “shoot them all.”  

He should have understood that each arrow represented another victory. The fact that he shot only three rather than all his arrows might have revealed his lack of faith in God’s promise.  And that explains the prophet’s anger.  


Whatever we do for the Lord, we want to do with all our heart.  We want to trust and obey…fully.  If He says jump, we jump as high as we can.  If He says shoot your arrows, we shoot them all.  

We are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength—with all we have.  Matthew 22:37-40

We are do our work with all our heart, as if we were working for the Lord.  Colossians 2:23

We are to do the will of God from our hearts with all our hearts.  Ephesians 6:6

I want to trust Him enough to do whatever He says with all my heart.  Shoot them all!

Prayer: Today Lord, help me to hear Your voice, and do Your will with all my heart.  Help me to shoot them all, and not keep any arrows in reserve!