God Blesses Us but How Much He Blesses Us May depend upon Us

You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have destroyed it.” (2 Kings 13:14-19, NASB)

The Bible is full of passages that say God is the God of blessings and He wants to bless His people. For instance, He promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would bless them. He also promised David and His descendants that He would bless them. However, the amount, extent, or height and depth of that blessing depend upon the faith of the one who will receive it. We can see this principle playing out in today’s reading. The king of Israel visits Elisha on his deathbed and receives a prophecy that he will overcome the Arameans. However, when he is told to strike the ground with the arrows, the king struck it only a few times, and Elisha told him that he would strike their enemies a few times but not destroy them. Listen to their dialogue:

“And he said, ‘Open the window toward the east,’ and he opened it. Then Elisha said, ‘Shoot!’ And he shot. And he said, ‘The LORD”s arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Aram; for you shall defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you have destroyed them.’ Then he said, ‘Take the arrows,’ and he took them. And he said, to the king of Israel, ‘Strike the ground,’ and he struck it three times and stopped. So the man of God was angry with him and said, ‘You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have destroyed it. But now you shall strike Aram only three times.’”

Yes, God blesses us but how much He blesses us may depend upon us. God gives us victory over our enemies but how great of a victory may depend upon us. Joash the king of Israel learned this valuable lesson when he came to visit Elisha on his deathbed. The sickness and death of Elisha indicate that we are all mortals. No matter how blessed you are in wealth, health, or even faith, we all have expiration dates for our lives. Thus the king of Israel came to Elisha and wept over him probably because his means of hearing God’s voice was going to be no longer available. Sensing the king’s despair, Elisha tried to give him one final assurance and encouragement. He told the king to shoot an arrow toward Aram and explained that it was the “The LORD”s arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Aram.” Then he told the king to strike the ground with the arrows indicating how many times he would strike the Arameans. When the king struck the ground only three times, Elisha became angry and said, “You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have destroyed it. But now you shall strike Aram only three times.” Herein is a lesson on how to obtain the blessing of God and how to obtain it abundantly. The message of the Bible is very clear God wants to bless His people. From Adam to Abraham and Israel to church, God is in the business of blessing His people. However, it is also clear that the amount of God’s blessing that people received depended upon the amount of faith that people had in God. Maybe the reason why King Joash struck it a few times was because he was shy, reserved, or even lazy. Likewise, the amount of faith you have in God will show when it comes to approaching God. So when God says, “Strike,” then strike it many times, and when God says, “Ask,” then ask for it abundantly. The Bible says, “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it” (Ps.81:10). There is no doubt that God wants to “fill” us with His blessing, but the amount of blessing we can receive depends upon how “wide” we are willing to open our mouth. There is nothing wrong with being a shy person, but don’t bring your shyness when it comes to opening your life to God in faith.


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