Monday, January 22, 2007

Of Arrows and Apathy

And he struck three times and stopped.
(2 Kings 13:18 – ESV)

King Joash seemed to be passionate man. He had come to see the prophet Elisha on his deathbed, and wept over him. But was this a misplaced passion? Was the weeping because of the loss of the prophet as a person, or for the loss of the prophet’s power, as a loss to the kingdom? Although we don’t really know because the text doesn’t say so, the rest of this story seems to indicate the latter.

The prophet had directed the king to shoot an arrow out the window, and the king did. Elisha then pronounced victory over the enemy. Then the prophet directed the king to strike his arrows on the ground. However, the apparent apathy with which the king obeyed the prophet indicated the condition of his heart. It was weak, and willing to respond, but only in a half hearted way. He had been assured of the victory, and now he wasn’t as interested in finishing up whatever else Elisha had for him to do.

How often is it is this way in our lives? Just like King Joash we have misplaced our passion. We have received what we think is God’s best for us, or at least what we wanted out of the deal, and we don’t press on and or press in to what God really wants for us, a total and complete victory. Instead our halfhearted response to the power and blessing of God on our lives effectively limits the scope of our victory.

We can have a mighty arsenal with all the artillery we could ever need but if we don’t put it to use it will do us no good. Indeed, it will become a burden instead of a blessing, weighing us down with responsibilities we are too lazy to discharge. It is like the renewing of our minds or putting on the full armor of God, or thinking on pure things, or any number of items that we are admonished to do. Just because God is sovereign doesn’t mean we can be static. Are you armed by God or armed with apathy?


Even So... said...

Is the comment box set on static?...oh well, I guess I will get the ball rolling, even if slowly.....

Craver Vii said...

Wow, at first blush, doesn’t it seem that the old prophet is just being cranky? I did not see a reason for the harsh response, but I do not know men’s hearts; God does. And Elisha may or may not have been harsh, but this was not the reason for such a response, since the prophet was not speaking his own words, but the Lord’s. God is good--all the time.

One Sheep's Voice said...

Amen... I know at times I have gloried in the gift or showing of God's power and not looked beyond to see what the next step was. We are a generation of lazy ungreatful lunatics!