- Matthew Haan
2 Kings 13:14-21 - Straight Shooter
Can you spot the truth in a sea of lies?
Read / Listen
Read 2 Kings 13:14-21
14 Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died. Jehoash king of Israel went down to see him and wept over him. “My father! My father!” he cried. “The chariots and horsemen of Israel!”
15 Elisha said, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. 16 “Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.
17 “Open the east window,” he said, and he opened it. “Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot. “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!” Elisha declared. “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.”
18 Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. 19 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. But now you will defeat it only three times.”
20 Elisha died and was buried.
xNow Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. 21 Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 21
Q. What is true faith?
A. True faith is not only
a knowledge and conviction
that everything God reveals
in his Word is true;
it is also a deep-rooted assurance,
created in me by the Holy Spirit
through the gospel,
that, out of sheer grace
earned for us by Christ,
not only others, but I too,
have had my sins forgiven,
have been made forever right with God,
and have been granted salvation.
In our text today we see Jehoash, an evil king of Israel, speaking in fear to Elisha, God’s prophet of Truth. Jehoash is afraid that when prophet dies, God’s truth will die with him. But Elisha speaks the truth using visual examples, illustrating to the king that God’s truth lives on no matter who dies . Elisha teaches this truth in three ways:
First, Elisha puts his hands over the king's hands, symbolizing that God’s sovereignty is over all people.
Second, the arrow shot from the window declares that God’s truth goes forward into the future.
And third, the strange and surprising account of the dead man who instantly comes to life after being unceremoniously dumped in a grave, in which he touches Elisha's bones. In the same way, God’s truth will always live on.
But being told about God's truth is one thing; accepting it is another. Jehoash was lukewarm to the idea of God’s truth in this text (he half-heartedly tapped the arrows instead of pounding them - v18-19).
Are you lukewarm to God’s truth?
Do you prize God’s truth as you once did? The fact is that we often don’t prize truth until all we hear is lies masquerading as the truth.
True faith is knowledge and conviction that everything God reveals in his Word is true.
We call this concept Sola Scriptura in Latin. Scripture alone provides all that we need to be eternally saved in the grip of God’s grace, which was provided by our Savior's sacrifice and made alive in us by the Holy Spirit.
It is this conviction - that scripture is the ultimate source of truth - that the world, the devil and our own flesh attack everyday.
This is often a battle you are not prepared for. It is often a battle you fret over.
Today let a prophet who died thousands of years ago remind you that God's truth and victory will never cease. God's truth and victory are made evident on every page of scripture, and have been guaranteed in the death & resurrection of His Son.
Continue to stand your ground on this absolute truth, even as you wait for the final movement of God’s sovereignty to come.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Almighty Father you give the gift of faith into the hearts of your children.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Teach my heart to accept your gift of faith by opening its truth in my daily life to follow your will.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Acts 16