Read 2 Kings 11
Athaliah murders all but one of David's descendants; God protects the baby Joash, who eventually is crowned king; Joash repairs the Temple and restores worship; evil reign of Jehoahaz, King of Israel.
There are two Joashes in II Kings. There is Joash, the king of Judah (chap. 11; 12; 13:10), and there is Joash (Jehoash), the King of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, mentioned here, who often rejected Elisha's admonitions to worship God and continued to worship Baal in the groves. Now Elisha was . . . sick . . . whereof he died. And Joash the King of Israel came down unto him (II Kin. 13:14). It was quite remarkable for King Joash to visit the dying prophet. It implies that the king knew that the man of God had been Israel's spiritual strength and they needed his counsel and prayers. Joash wept over his face as he lay dying, and referred to him as the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And Elisha said unto him, 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: and Elisha put his hands upon the king's hands (13:15-16).
At that time Israel was at war with Syria. As a sign that God intended to give victory to His people, the king was instructed to take the bow and arrows. Elisha, as the representative of God, put his hand upon the king's hands. King Joash was then instructed to strike the ground, but he only struck it three times. The man of God was wroth (angry) with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it (13:19). If the king had struck the ground six times, he would have shot six arrows and would have had complete victory. As the arrow was shot through the air, the prophet said the arrow represented the Lord's deliverance of His people from Syrian domination. Deliverance is of the Lord, but many times He uses humans to accomplish the task. Joash had to actively take the bow and arrows, but God sovereignly would guide His people. This illustrates the Scriptures: Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might (Eccl. 9:10). The battle is the Lord's (I Sam. 17:47).
We should not let our arrows lie still as if to say: "We are trusting God to shoot our arrows." It is foolish to just wait upon the Lord. However, it is an equally serious error to neglect the hand of God resting upon our activity. You can be sure that Jesus meant: Without Me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).
Thought for Today:
In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths (Prov. 3:6).
By Jehoiada, the priest who protected Joash and, in holy judgment, had Athaliah put to death (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, two companies; 11:8 compass, surround; 12:5 breaches, damaged places; 12:11 laid it out, paid it to them; 13:6 the grove, place to worship the goddess Asherah (Ashtoreth).
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer • Government Officials: Rep. Charles Gonzalez (TX) and Rep. Ted Deutch (FL) • Country: Country: Estonia (1.47 million) northeastern Europe • Major languages: Estonian and Russian • Religious freedom • 38.4% Protestant; 20.3% Orthodox; 1% Roman Catholic; 1% Muslim; .3% Jewish; 39% non-Religious/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for grace to overcome temptation, and God will reward you (James 1:12).
Optional Reading: Romans 8
Memory Verse for the Week: Proverbs 28:9