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The Consequences of Prophecy-The Arrows that Fell Short

As we begin a New Year, we are filled with a new sense of purpose and motivation to start this new decade, better than the one that came before. In the same moment that we embrace the future, we must be prepared to learn from but move on from the past and the mentalities that previously limited us. Prophet Elisha’s Final Prophecy teaches us that whenever God gives us instruction, we should accomplish it with the intensity of a Warrior who has already been assured Victory.

During Israel’s long line of wicked and evil kings, King Jehoahaz came to power and followed in the same worship of foreign gods as his forefathers before him. And because he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, God’s anger was kindled against Israel. He allowed Israel to continually be attacked and destroyed by Hazael, the King of Syria. The destruction against the people of Israel was so intense that King Jehoahaz sought the favor of the Lord to save them from the foreign attacks. God saw the crushing oppression that Israel experienced under the Syrian King and gave them a savior who delivered them from the hand of the Syrians and peace and stability returned to Israel. Despite God saving them from the terror and destruction they had experienced under the Syrian regime, Israel did not turn away from their idolatry and worship of foreign gods (ref. 2 Kings 13: 1-6).

After King Jehoahaz died, his son Joash replaced him on the throne, but King Joash followed in the same sins his father had. And just like during his father’s reign before him, the King of Syria (King Hazael’s son Ben–Hadad) harassed Israel, which had been left with a pitiful army of fifty horsemen, ten chariots, and ten thousand foot soldiers (ref. 2 Kings 13:7-11).

When Prophet Elisha became terminally ill, Joash, King of Israel visited the dying prophet, weeping “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” Joash recognized that his pathetic military would be incapable of eliminating, let alone confronting the threat that the Syrian military posed.

Elisha began to give King Joash a series of prophetic actions to perform.

Take a bow and some arrows” and Joash retrieved his weapon.

Draw the bow” and Joash drew his bow. Elisha then placed his aged hands upon the young king’s hands.

Open the east facing window” and Joash opened the window.

Shoot!” and Joash released the arrow.

Elisha explained that the arrow that Joash had just shot was “The Lord’s Arrow of Victory, the Arrow of Victory over Syria! For you shall fight the Syrians in Aphek until you have utterly destroyed them(ref. 2 Kings 13:14-17)<.

Elisha gave King Joash further instruction.

Take the arrows and strike the ground with them!” and Joash struck the ground with his arrows three times before stopping.

Elisha became enraged at Joash for his half-hearted display: “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have struck down Syria until you had made an end of it, but now you will strike down Syria only three times”.

So King Joash of Israel fought and defeated the armies of Syria three times and recovered the cities of Israel that had been claimed by Ben-Hadad, King of Syria. Despite this achievement, because of his reservations, King Joash failed to totally defeat the enemy which God had given King Joash the opportunity to totally annihilate (ref. 2 Kings 13: 18-25).

When God has given us word through His Prophets that we will be successful in an endeavor that He has given us power and authority over, we need to act with the confidence and passion of someone who knows the battle has already been won. King Joash was too focused on his tiny military and the earthly limitations he recognized that they were hindered by, rather than recognizing that Prophet Elisha had already told him that he would be victorious in battle, due to God’s intervention. King Joash’s stopping after only striking the arrows three times showed his lack of faith in what he thought God was capable of and felt that the commands that Elisha was giving him were truly not meaningful.

As this New Year begins, we pray that you have the Wisdom to recognize when God is speaking through His Messengers to give you His Word regarding what He wants you to accomplish at your work, within your family or community, and in your personal ministry efforts. Once you have received this confirmation, act with zealousness and the assurance that God’s Word will never fail, but if we don’t fully trust in Him and commit to the responsibilities that He gives us, we will lose the fullness of the blessings God wants to give His People.

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator

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