The Bow - What An Incredible Instrument It is!
What demonstrates strength when it is drawn, depicts a surprise attack when it is bent, illustrates hypocrisy when it recoils, and shows the overthrow of power when it is broken? It is the bow! Read this message, and you will be amazed to see how God will speak personally to you through this incredible instrument!
1. Strength & Power When It is Drawn
Job 29:20 says - "My glory was fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand."
With these particular words - "My glory was fresh(new) in me" - Job was remembering a time when he continued in strength and power, seemingly never knowing exhaustion. A picture is drawn here, using the imagery of a tree, planted by the waters, whose beauty and splendor are seen by all, while the dew rests upon its branches. Its strength is constantly being renewed.
He then makes the statement - "...and my bow was renewed in my hand." Once again, here is an image, depicting tremendous might as well as continuous prosperity and fulfillment. It is derived from the illustration of the warrior who always has his bow drawn. It symbolizes undiminished and unwearied vigor. As long as he has the bow drawn in his hand, he is gathering strength for the battle.
O Christian, this is the stance that God Almighty expects of you. No matter what comes your way, keep your bow drawn as an indication that you are ready and armed for battle. Don't let the enemy ever catch you idle or with your hands relaxed and free.
Make it your declaration to all the forces of evil that your "bow" is "renewed" or changed in your hand. In other words, you are constantly gathering strength from your God. As you "wait upon the LORD" (Isaiah 40:31) in prayer and Bible study, your strength is renewed like the eagle. "In nothing" are you "terrified by your adversaries"(Philippians 1:28).
You are not in a defensive mode; rather an offensive one. You are not running from the enemy, but watching and waiting for his next attack, knowing that you will "pierce" and destroy his assignment against you and your family in the name of the Lord.
2. Mischief Of The Enemy When It is Bent
Psalm 11:2 says - "For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart."
The bow and arrow were used in war and hunting. The bow was made of steel, strong wood, or ivory.
In preparation for the use of the bow, one would bend it and properly adjust the arrow. It required great strength to do so.
This is a picture of the enemy preparing a surprise attack. Everything is ready for your destruction. An arrow that is meant to pierce your heart is set on a bow string. It is aimed at your life.
Your enemy is taking great pains and making many preparations to do you harm. He has fixed or fitted his arrow upon the string. His arrow is "bitter words"(Psalm 64:3) that are intended to discourage any hope in God.
When you least expect it, he will shoot in darkness, secretly, and treacherously against you because you are righteous and upright in heart.
Be on guard at all times! Don't fall asleep spiritually. Lift up the Mighty "Shield of Faith" (Ephesians 6:16) and be ready to quench all the "fiery darts" of the wicked one!
"And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not Me, saith the LORD"(Jeremiah 9:3).
Just as men, before a battle, get their bows ready, even so does the enemy of your soul have a set purpose and time to make ready to do you mischief.
His arrows are fully intent on taking away your life as the keenest arrow that is shot from the strongest bow takes the life of its victim.
Just as the bow is bent and fitted for shooting, even so is his tongue bent and fitted for the arrow of "lying words," intended to destroy your testimony and confidence as a believer.
Have you had others speak lies against you? Have others, through the envy and jealousy of their own hearts, tried to tear you down from your place of excellency by using lying words?
Take heart, O Christian! Once again, be aware of your enemies' tactics. Recognize the source of this malicious attack. Stay armed in the whole armor of God. Walk by Faith, keeping your Shield forefront at all times. Your Faith in Jesus will overcome all! All "lying lips" (Psalm 31:18) will soon be put to silence. God will plead your cause and vindicate you. You can count on it!
3. Hypocrisy When It Recoils
Psalm 78:57 says - "But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow."
In this particular verse, the Psalmist made reference to the Eastern bow. This was one that had to be recurved or turned the contrary way in order to be bent or strung. It took great skill to recurve this bow for if it was not done correctly, it could easily spring back to its original position and cause great bodily harm to the archer.
Because this specific bow had to be recurved in order to be strung, it was a perfect illustration of Israel's hypocrisy before God.
Oftentimes, they would profess repentance from all idolatry, only to relapse back into it. They would appear to be devoted to the Lord God, only to turn back to their wicked ways.
Just as the archer could not depend on his "bow of deceit" because one arm was longer or more elastic than the other which would make the arrow miss the mark each time, even so, God could not rely on Israel to keep their promises, covenants, or professions. They continuously "missed the mark" through their backslidings and sin.
They were a "bow of deceit," always recoiling back to their former state or position of sin and rebellion.
In some areas of your Christian walk, do you find that you are likened unto this "deceitful bow"? Does God do a work of grace in your heart where you seemingly take two steps forward, only to fall back three or four after a period of time?
Are you like the "bow of deceit" because one arm is longer through reaching out so feverishly after the things of this world? Or perhaps one arm of your "bow" is more elastic than the other - more prone to compromise and waver in your holy convictions? Resultantly, have you felt defeated lately, knowing that God cannot depend on you because you keep "missing the mark" through sin?
Repent and make things right with the Lord. Cry out to Him to strengthen you in your areas of weakness. He, in turn, will make you a "bow" on which He can depend. When He turns you in a certain direction, His Work of Grace in your heart will keep you from recoiling back to your former state of sin.
"They return, but not to the Most High: they are like a deceitful bow..."(Hosea 7:16).
Once again, we have the picture of the unreliable "bow" - the "deceitful bow." It would constantly spring back to its original position, causing the arrow to "miss the mark."
Israel's conversion was likened unto the pattern of the "deceitful bow." God bent them against the oppression and dominion of Satan and all idolatry. However, all was a pretense on their part. They were not stable in their commitment. They were constantly switching from one evil back to another. They pretended to change, but it certainly proved to be false in the end.
There are those who, at the moment of conversion, make a deal with God for "Fire Insurance" in order to escape Hell, but they have no intention of ever taking up their cross, denying themselves, or making Jesus the Lord of all the kingdoms of their heart. They are a "deceitful bow." At the first temptation, they recoil back to their original state of sin and perversion.
Then there are those who feign repentance for whatever reasons. They pretend to be changed, perhaps to impress others or to arrive at a certain end, but they do not "return" in their hearts to the "Most High." They are your typical "Game Players." They use Christianity for their own selfish means. They, too, are a "deceitful bow."
God forbid that any of us would allow the enemy to deceive us into thinking that we can play with God in such a treacherous way and get away with it! May none of us be found as a "deceitful bow"!
4. The Overthrow Of Power When It Is Broken
1 Samuel 2:4 says - "The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength."
God is sovereign. Through His mighty power, the strong are weakened, and the weak are strengthened.
This is typified by the "bows of the mighty men" being broken. As He directs, Great leaders of nations are instantaneously broken down, disarmed, or disabled in carrying out their treacherous designs.
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might"(Jeremiah 49:35).
The Elamites were famous and noble archers. They derived great power in battle through their noted dexterity in using the bow. It was their national weapon - "the chief of their might" - if you will. It was that on which their national strength relied.
In this verse, God declared - "...Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might." He, and He alone, has the power to disarm and disable any nation. He is able to ruin their weaponry. He can cause that to which man most trusts to fail miserably.
"And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel, in the valley of Jezreel"(Hosea 1:5).
The "valley of Jezreel," which was called the "Great Plain of Esdraelon," was a beautiful and broad valley or plain, stretching west to east from Mt. Carmel to the Jordan River. Nazareth was situated on its northern side.
This was the place where God executed judgment against the enemies of His people or against His own people when they became His enemies. It is here where the invading hosts of Sisera and Midian met their defeat. It is here where King Saul's life and kingdom came to an end.
"And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely"(Hosea 2:18).
The "beasts of the field," the "fowls of heaven," and the "creeping things of the ground" all typify the enemy. They speak of the savagery, treachery, and injury of the foes that surround each child of God.
Through His Great Victory over the devil on Calvary's Cross 2,000 years ago, the Lord Jesus broke the "bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth."
Hence, He promises perfect peace, tranquility, and fearlessness to all those who make Him Lord of their lives. He withholds the power of the enemy where nothing evil is able to harm those who are truly His own.
In all of the above cases, whether it be pertaining to "mighty men," "Elam," "Israel," or to the devil himself, God broke their "bow" - whereby they became a sinking, ruined power.
Today, our "bow"(Genesis 49:24) is either abiding in strength individually and nationally, and we are growing in might and power, or we are strategically positioned, because of sin and compromise, to be broken by the hand of the Almighty.
It all depends on whether or not we have been a "deceitful bow" in our walk with the Lord.
His will is that our "bow" be "renewed" in our hand. In other words, that we grow stronger and stronger in Him each day, defeating our enemies and quenching all their "fiery darts" set against us.
His will is also that we be a reliable "bow" and not a warped one - one that keeps recoiling back to our old sinful ways.
The Bow - What an Incredible Instrument it is!
Place it in the hands of the Lord Jesus and watch what wonders He will perform this day in and through you.