2 Kings 13:14-25 – Arrows and Bones

Read 2 Kings 13:14-25

lots of different colored arrows

We say goodbye to Elisha, and I feel like a light has gone out for the Israelites. The final scene with King Jehoash is touching. Even though Jehoash was not known as a godly king, he does show his respect for God’s prophet, Elisha.

Elisha’s message is uplifting and gives Jehoash hope, albeit limited in scope. God is giving Israel another chance. The symbolism of the arrows was quite something. The one arrow shot out the eastern window would be in the direction of  Aphek, the most strategic site between Damascus and Samaria. To me, this signifies that God intended complete victory for Israel.

However, Jehoash limited himself when he responded to Elisha’s second request by striking the rest of the arrows only three times. Rather than have complete victory, Jehoash will only realize three victories over Israel’s oppressor, Aram (now Syria).

How would Jehoash have known he was limiting God’s power? We might often wonder the same in our lives. When I have made some less than stellar decisions in life, I feel like God has come to my rescue with a “Plan B.” But how much better could things have been if I had waited on God for his Plan A? Are you possibly setting limits on God in your life?

I wondered why we’re hearing about Moabite raiders immediately following the death of Elisha. After all that Elisha had done for the Israelites, I thought there would have been more of a tribute recorded here. The mere fact that Elisha’s bones revived a man in that scene tells me Elisha was still being used by God from the grave. God’s power has no limits! Was this event a sign that even though Israel would soon sink, life would not totally be gone forever, and they would flourish again? Just a thought.

It also lets us know that other nations have been waiting for an opportunity to pounce on an unsuspecting Israel. While the king is focused on Aram, the Moabites are sneaking in. What other perils might be lurking? Elisha isn’t there anymore to give counsel or wisdom.

Just as Elisha had predicted, King Jehoash defeated the neighboring nation on three occasions. After that, you can bet the king wished he had struck the ground a few more times. God always keeps his promises. As believers, we know we have eternal life to look forward to. We didn’t have to strike the ground only trust in Jesus, God’s son who died for us and was raised to eternal glory. God promises us a future with him.

Reflect on the words of Hebrews 10:23: “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” Be refreshed and renewed.

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray …
Lord, thank you for all the Plan B’s you have provided for me in my life. Forgive me for my restless heart and errors in judgment that have led me astray. Help me to keep my eyes focused on you and your precious promises. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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