Athaliah murders all of David's descendants but, God protects the baby Joash, who eventually is crowned king; he repairs the Temple, restores worship; evil reign of Jehoahaz, king of Israel.
Joash, king of Israel, had often ignored the prophet Elisha's counsel, for he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord; he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin: but he walked therein (13:11). Out of respect for the dying, aged prophet, King Joash went to visit him. Though Joash was the king, he recognized that Elisha had been the stabilizing force in Israel, and he wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof (13:14).
Israel was at war with Syria. As a sign that God intended to give victory to the Israelites, Elisha said unto him (Joash), Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows. And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it. Elisha (as the representative of God) put his hands upon the king's hands. And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the Lord's deliverance . . . from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them. And he said . . . Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it . . . now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice (13:15-19).
Elisha was angry at Joash's halfheartedness. God desires not only that we serve Him, but that we do so with all our heart. There is a tendency for some Christians to be halfhearted and lukewarm (Rev. 3:16) in their service for the Lord, or to have such zeal in doing a work that they fail to wait for God to give direction. Both of these weaknesses can hinder the work of Christ. It is of utmost importance that we pray for the Spirit of God to direct us, as well as: Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest (Eccl. 9:10).
Thought for Today:
O let me not wander from Thy Commandments. . . . Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy Law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart (Ps. 119:10,34).
By Jehoiada, who protected Joash and, in holy judgment, had Athaliah slain (II Kin. 11:4-16). Christ keeps us safe to fulfill His will and will return to judge all who obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Thess. 1:8).
11:7 two parts =b> two companies; 11:8 compass =b> surround; 12:5 breaches =b> damaged places; 12:11 laid it out =b> paid it to them; 13:6 the grove =b> place to worship the goddess Asherah (Ashtoreth).
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mr.& Mrs. Casmir A. Zuranksi • Staff: Dan Murton • Government Official: Rep. Charles Gonzalez (TX) • Country: Hungary (10.1 million) in east-central Europe • Major language: Hungarian • New freedom has opened the door to evangelism and Bible distribution • 61.7% Roman Catholic; 24.4% Protestant; 12.5% non-Religious/Other; .8% Jewish; .3% Orthodox; .2% Marginal; .1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Pray without ceasing (II Tim. 1:3).
Optional Reading: Romans 8
Memory Verse for the Week: John 1:3