Updated: Mar 16
Date: 15 March 2023
Preacher: Apostle General Jannie Ngwale
Editor: Mrs Nthabiseng Motubatse
Principal Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 20:35 -38, 2 Kings 13:14-18.
This is a case study about David when he was requested to come and serve King Saul in the
palace and in the army of Israel. There was something extraordinary that David was doing in the palace, David came with an instrument, the harp, and when David played the harp during his time serving in the palace King Saul and everybody who dwelled in the palace at the time facing sickness, and any form of disillusion was healed and delivered.
In this message we zoom into David’s danger and Jonathan’s arrows, we will then through
scripture clarify and gain understanding on the symbolism of arrows in the Bible using the scripture 1 Samuel 20:35 -38 and 2 Kings 13:14-18. After having learned this, we begin to see how moving out of familiar terrain and going beyond familiar surroundings can position us for greatness. We also witness through the life of David in this context how avoiding panic and making wise decisions by prayer and supplication to God David was able to see God moving him beyond the limits of his competitors.
David's Danger and Jonathan's Arrows
While David was serving in the palace it became known to him that King Saul wanted him dead. David then confided in a covenant friend called Jonathan who was King Saul’s son. Jonathan and David sought to investigate the matter. Jonathan coded to use the arrows to communicate the intended moves of his father. Jonathan said to David if he were to shoot the arrow and the arrow is in David’s reach, David is to be at ease and understand that he is safe, and that there is
no intent by his father (King Saul) for David to be killed. However, if he is to shoot the arrow and the arrow goes beyond David, then David needs to understand that indeed his life is in danger and that King Saul wants him dead.
Symbolism of Arrows in the Bible
We see in 2 Kings 13:14-18 Prophet Elisha uses the symbolism of arrows to demonstrate to King Joash how he would conquer the Syrian nation. 2 Kings 13- 18 says: “Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept
over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.
“And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows. And he said to the king of Israel, put thine hand upon the bow, and he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king's hands, and he said, Open the window eastward. 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 thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them, and he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said
unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice and stayed. The man of God was wroth with him, and said, thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.”
Familiar Terrain vs. Going Beyond
When you shoot the arrow and it lands in your reach that means you are in the terrain of familiarity, you will not be a threat to any of your opposition. When you are in a familiar
environment you operate at a level that everyone is used to. God is bringing a message that you do not have to work in the confines and within the same level as that of your competitors. God says stretch yourself beyond your competitors. The symbolism reveals a strong message to us that we should take the arrow that goes beyond proximity. Going beyond suggests that you
should not panic when you are being stretched. David saw the arrow land further than his reach and he began to panic. It is a natural human tendency to panic when you are in unfamiliar territory. God is revealing to us as His children that it is time to do things differently to what our competitors are doing. An example of this would be if your competitor is selling a fridge, you should not be getting into the fridge market as well, find something unique, something authentic something that will set you apart. This is purely because you do not know what
informed the decision your competitor took to get into the said market in the first place. When you lack originality and decide to become a “me too” nothing sets you apart.
Avoiding Panic and Making Wise Decisions
David decided to escape but because he was not using God’s counsel, he made the wrong
decision and landed in the enemy camp. David offered to join the enemy camp, the camp of the Philistines. The Philistines had set out to destroy the nation of Israel, a nation that was chosen by God. This passage shows us that when you make decisions based on emotions, panic and haste you may end up making the wrong decisions. 1 Samuel 27:1 we see that David went to
the territory of the enemy to understand and learn their strategies so he could use the same strategies to overcome Saul. God is showing us that duplicating the strategies of your competitors is not the way to success or victory, because ultimately you will lose.
Moving Beyond the Limits of Competitors
It is time to move beyond where the arrow has landed. Jonathan advised David that he should move with speed and go beyond where the arrow had landed. Children of God you can go beyond the borders, you have the ability to go beyond the boundaries. The Lord is saying to us that as His children we are to go beyond where our competitors have gone. Sometimes situations will lead us to panic when we are being stretched, However God says don’t seek a familiar way out.
When David went to join the enemy camp, he was sidelined and taken out of the conspiracies of the enemy, no intel was given to him, so he decided to go home. When he got home, he found his home (Ziklag) in smoke. David then resorted to prayer, he consulted the almighty God, prayer became the source of his strength. Child of God go back to prayer, prayer takes you beyond your natural ability, prayer gives you supernatural ability. Ultimately God told David to pursue the enemies and David was able to conquer the Amalekites.
In conclusion David and his army were able to recover all, 1 Samuel 30:19 “And there was
nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all.” We see in this verse that when you forsake human reasoning, and you align yourself to God’s probability, God will short circuit
the long wounded process that others are following and propel you to conquer.