|“He struck [the ground] three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, ‘You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it.’” – 2 Kings 13:18-19 |
Elisha gave King Jehoash two assignments. First, he was to shoot some arrows toward the east. Observing the king’s actions, the prophet was pleased. Based on his response, Elisha declared, “You will completely destroy the Arameans” (v. 17). In unanticipated ways, Jehoash had revealed an important clue into his personality. The second assignment was to strike the ground with arrows. “He struck it three times and stopped.” To Jehoash, this was an adequate response. But Elisha reacted with anger: “You should have struck the ground five or six times.” If he had responded more intensely, he would have “completely destroyed” the enemy. But his response lacked intensity. As a result, he would have only limited success. Jehoash demonstrated that he was half-hearted. If he was not willing to do his best with an assignment like this, Elisha knew that he would have the same lack of commitment in his war against Aram. This story provides an important lesson. Throughout our lives, we will face situations that, on the surface, may not seem connected. But the Bible reminds us that God looks at our heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Every situation provides an opportunity to reveal insights into our character. Will we do our best? Or be half-hearted? Commit your life anew to God. Resolve to do your best in every situation. Be intense in your commitment to Him and His kingdom. Dedicate yourself to doing work of excellence in every task!
Read: 2 Kings 13
|Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courtyards with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting and His faithfulness is to all generations. – Psalm 100:4-5 |
What is your attitude toward the world today? Many people feel overwhelmed, discouraged, worried. But the Bible reminds us that no matter how things appear on the surface, God wants us to have a spirit of thankfulness – not because of world conditions but because of our faith in Him. As a starting point, the psalmist encouraged us to remember God’s promises and all that He has done for us. This should inspire us to “shout joyfully to the LORD” (v. 1). Don’t be timid or passive, but be bold. Shout out of hearts confident in Him! We can allow ourselves to be dominated by cares, but the Bible says that we are to “serve the LORD with jubilation” and “come before Him with rejoicing.” We can trust Him because He is our Creator. And “we are His people and the sheep of His pasture” (vs. 2-3). We are to come into His presence with praise and thanksgiving! Bless His name and remember that He is good. His lovingkindness and His faithfulness have no end. No matter what you face, don’t be discouraged. And don’t allow darkness to dominate your heart and mind. One by one, think of your blessings and the reasons to be thankful. Then thank God for each one. Life’s problems will come and go, but His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness will last to all generations and throughout all your life.
Read: Psalm 100