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. 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, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them.
2 Kings 13:17 KJV
Symbols carry power. They communicate in vivid images and clear simplicity the most difficult of ideas. They help us to have or hold faith. Shooting an arrow out of a preacher’s window? Pure symbolism.
Joash (aka Jehoash) faced a powerful foreign power, with a weak, depleted military in Judah. Elisha, aged and sick, struggled to encourage the king to have faith in God’s power. The king didn’t completely grasp the things of God, but he understood war bows.
In order to teach someone to shoot a bow and arrow, it is inevitable that the teacher will put hands on the student’s hands, not the bow. Joash understood the significance of Elisha’s hands on his. The king’s arrow represented new and fresh empowerment from God against the Syrian army.
Joash’s arrow represents the symbols that God has (already) set in your life. Symbols strengthen your faith. Symbols point you, in vivid images and clear simplicity, to the deep things of God.
Think : Symbols point to God and His power.
Pray: “Lord, help me to have faith in You.”
Copyright © August 2010, Kirk Hunt