Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, "O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!"
—2 Kings 13:14
Though King Joash walked in idolatry, he respected God's prophet. Elisha had altered Israel's history. Through him, God wrought more miracles than through any other man of the Old Testament period. And thus, when the king heard that Elisha was dying, he came down to visit him, and began to weep over him. In this passage, Joash acknowledged that this man was the true strength of Israel, for he referred to him as, "The chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof."
In those days the chariot was the most formidable weapon that a nation could put into the battlefield. It was the deciding factor in a war. So that term represented strength and power. And looking at this prophet, he recognized that this man in fellowship with God was the true strength and the power of the nation, the chariot of Israel.
Down deep Joash knew that the only hope for the nation was in God. And yet he persisted in his evil ways. He is like so many people today who respect and acknowledge God, yet refuse to serve Him. They live as though He does not exist.
Half-hearted commitment will never result in total victory.
Respect for God is not enough. Even the demons respect Him. But respect doesn't bring salvation. Total victory comes only through total commitment.
Father, we surrender our lives to You. Make us Your servants and Your instruments, that through us You might accomplish Your purposes. In Jesus' name, amen.