Back a while ago I started a blog of devotions. Then someone hacked into it and I shut it down. A friend shared this old post with me the other day. She thought I needed to be reminded of what I wrote. I did. But I thought I'd brush it up and repost it. Maybe someone reading today can also be encouraged... and challenged by this story.
Elisha was the prophet of Israel. He had become very sick and would die in a short time. Jehoash was the king of Israel. He was not a good man or a strong leader. As goes the leader so goes the nation. Consequently, Israel had been in a moral, social, and spiritual decline for years. But then Jehoash, hearing of Elisha's illness, came to visit the prophet. When he saw Elisha he fairly blurted it out: "Behold, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel!" He was lamenting the fact that they were so few. Israel was down to 50 horsemen and 10 chariots. Imagine our military being depleted to one small battalion and half a fleet of ships. We would be at the mercy of our enemies! This was Israel's condition.
The nature of mankind has not changed through thousands of years of history. It will always be the craving of governments and leaders to want more. There will always be aggressors in the world who do not understand the concept of peace. The only peace they understand is dominance--and they will not stop until they beat the competition into submission. With such a depleted military Israel was not able to defend herself from her enemies--and her enemies took advantage.
Elisha told the king to take a bow and arrows. First he commanded him to shoot one of the arrows through the east window--perhaps in the direction of the temple. This he did. Elisha called this, "The LORD's arrow, yes, the arrow of victory over Aram" (v. 17). Maybe this arrow was to represent Israel's dependence on God for victory. Then Elisha ordered Jehoash to take the remaining arrows and strike them on the ground. He did this, striking the ground three times. The prophet was angry with the king and said, "You should have struck the ground five or six times." But instead he was timid and afraid. He should have beat the floor until the arrows broke in his hand!
When we pray, are we guilty of the same thing? Are we timid in our asking? Are we afraid to ask God for big things? Do we think that we are humble when we ask for small things? Are we not aware that God is great, and it honors Him when we ask Him for big things?
So what should we do? Be persistent in your prayers! Wear the floor out with your asking! Ask God for big things--and storm heaven until you get what you ask for.