As I read through Psalm 78 recently, verse 57 caught my attention. In ancient times a bow was generally used in hunting or warfare, but in modern times archery is mainly a competitive sport and recreational activity. The imagery of bow and arrow is used throughout the Bible, and there’s evidence as far back as 1900 B.C. of the use of the bow and arrow. The key scripture refers to the children of Israel who were unreliable, and whom God could not trust because of their unfaithfulness.
A bow is used to propel an arrow. Although there are many different kinds of bows, all bows consist of a string attached to elastic limbs. The string would need to be pulled back and released in order to cause an arrow to fly towards a specific target. In order to hit a target both the archer and his weapons would need to be accurate.
So what would a faulty or warped bow be like? Firstly, it would be without power and unresponsive to the archer’s aim. Even though the archer may be very skilled and accurate in his aim, a deceitful or faulty bow would not respond to the skilful hands holding it. This would mean that the archer can’t use this bow in order to hit his target. It would not do what it was purposed to do and created to do. It would be unreliable, uncontrollable and unpredictable.
A faulty bow would give no pleasure to the archer, as it would be dangerous and defective. Furthermore, a bow that once was sharp and accurate in its aim may become warped and no longer trustworthy, if it is not cared for properly.
Perhaps you have been like that bow in some way. God is our Archer and the one who crafted us well and He has given us purpose. Just as there are arrows that need to be shot from the bow in the archer’s hand, there are arrows within our lives that God, our Archer, wants to shoot from our lives – arrows of purpose, arrows of destiny, arrows to fulfil our calling, that which we have been uniquely crafted for.
If we are a deceitful bow, and we don’t respond to the aim of the Archer, we are going to miss the target – God’s best for us. As long as we are available, sharp and responsive in the hands of God, our lives will bring glory to God and pleasure to Him. But if we lose our edge, accuracy and sharpness, and if we lose direction and stray from the target because we no longer respond to the Archer’s aim, we need to stop and take stock of where our bow has become warped. Disobedience, unforgiveness, bitterness and wilful sin all have a way of derailing us and causing us to develop rebellious and unresponsive hearts.
I’m challenged to search my own heart, and make sure I’m still responsive to the Archer’s aim – yielded, aligned with His plan and aimed directly and accurately for what God’s target - His purpose - may be for me in this season of my life.
Prayer: Lord, I want to be an accurate and responsive bow in Your hand! ‘Search me thoroughly, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting’. Amen. (Psalm 139:23-24).
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