"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 NIV
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!
PrayerFather, thank You for the gifts and abilities You have given me. Help me serve You in everything I do. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Extended Reading2 Kings 13