2 Kings 13:15-19
And Elisha said to him, Take bow and arrows. And he took to him bow and arrows.…
You see then the full measure of victory which God wants us to enjoy. "Thou shalt smite the Syrians till thou have consumed them." You see, too, the limited measure of victory which most Christians experience. "He smote thrice and stayed." Three big blessings and we think we have had all. Three successes over the enemy and we think we have done wonders. But the Saviour marvels that after all He went through for us, we should be content with such half measures. We glean from it four rules for complete victory in the Christian life.
1. Declare war against sin. Elisha breaks in upon the king's lamentations with the emphatic words, "Take bow and arrows." It is time not for weeping but for warring. The genius of the gospel is not peace at any price, but truth at all costs.
2. Union is strength. This is the meaning of the second act in this significant drama. "The prophet laid his hands upon the king's hands." Like the officer who sallied forth to capture one of the enemy's forts, after two unsuccessful attempts had been made, asking first of all from his general a grasp of his conquering right hand, so we must know what it is for our weakness to be encompassed in Christ's strength.
3. Claim a complete deliverance. This is the meaning of the next step. The window was opened eastward and through the open window was shot forth the Lord's arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Syria.
4. Then came the fourth act with its momentous lesson, "Fulfil the obedience of faith," and the king failed at this point so that the man of God was angry with him. How slow we are to learn this lesson. It is what we are in secret before God that fixes the amount of victory and blessing we enjoy in our walk and service amongst men. If only Joash had emptied the quiver he would have consumed the Syrians. If only we will he whole-hearted before God, yielding our will wholly and trusting God's promises absolutely, we too shall be completely victorious against the world, the flesh, and the devil.
(F. S. Webster, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows.