And he said, “Open the east window”; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot”; and he shot. And he said, “The arrow of the LORD'S deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them.”
[2 Kings 13:17 NKJV]
This is another of these Bible phrases that grabs my attention — the arrow of the Lord’s deliverance. This whole passage in 2 Kings is about the death of Elisha and his final message to the King of Israel.
An arrow is an instrument of conflict which pierces the body and wounds or kills. It requires a skilled archer to wield it effectively. Elisha in his last moments proclaims that it brings deliverance — salvation. The Lord’s deliverance — in this case — from Syria, which from its name represents an exalted place, and furthermore, at Aphek, meaning a self-contained fortress.
This would suggest that in his final pronouncement, Elisha was raging (for he was angry) against pride and arrogance — self-exaltation.
Then he said, “Take the arrows”; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground”; so he struck three times, and stopped.
And the man of God was angry with him, and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times.”
[2 Kings 13:18-19 NKJV]
Elisha knew that our pride is likely the last thing in us to go — if at all! We must persevere in our dedication work to ensure that we destroy pride completely. We cannot stop until the job is done — without being half-hearted about it.
This leaves us with Elisha’s command to “Open the east window.” A window is an opening in a wall that lets in the light — and a window to the east reveals the sunrise; the light of a new day dawning. Only when the light of The Lord shines can we see salvation.
The greatest note of triumph that ever sounded in the ears of a startled universe was that sounded on the cross of Christ — “It is finished.” That is the last word in the redemption of man.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART