Monday, May 13, 2013

Thou Shouldest Have

“And [Joash the king of Israel] smote thrice, and stayed. And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.”—2 Kings 13:18-19

It takes great faith to put oneself “out there.” It takes great faith to prove God and wait for His response. It takes great faith to trust Him with our lives.

Just consider this king of Israel. He pleaded with God’s prophet to do something about the coming invasion of Syria. Elisha told him to put his hand upon the bow, and he did that. Then, Elisha told him to open the window eastward. He did that. He was then told to shoot an arrow, and he did that, too. Finally, Elisha said to Joash to take the arrows and smite the ground. There was no explanation as to why he was supposed to do this or for how many times, but just that he should.

He hits the ground three times and stays.

Was this a test of his urgency of how much he truly wanted God’s help? Did he stop because he felt like he looked foolish long enough obeying the prophet of God? Or did he stay because he had some sort of “foolish mercy” (so says Matthew Henry’s Commentary) toward the Syrians?

Whatever the reason, his hesitancy angered the man of God because I believe if the king had showed more faith, courage and/or desire for God’s help, he would have smote the ground more times, and the Syrian army would have been defeated completely.

So often we don’t do the things we should do and vice versa. Paul said it perfectly through the Holy Spirit in verse Romans 7:19. “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”  

But we also do the things we should, thankfully, but not with our whole heart thereby missing the opportunity to bring something to its proper end. This is where the verse above sticks because I can see much of this in my own life in the areas of my talents, especially.

He then brought to my mind another wonderful verse in Psalm 78:41 that reminded me that God’s people “limited the Holy One of Israel,” and how we do that in our lives.

God makes each of us for a purpose. That purpose may be to shout about Him from the “rooftops” or to quietly in the shadows of the days, months, and years, to raise a godly family and nurture a godly marriage for a great witness to the world. The purpose could be a number of things at once or various things in the process of time. Whatever His design, we each are designed by God to be used for His glory.

And we should not limit Him. But trust Him. Completely. With our whole heart.

Onesti, Romania (2005)

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