BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
King David, the writer of Psalm 64, mentioned two types of arrows in this chapter: the arrows of the enemy (the wicked, the workers of iniquity) and the arrow of God. In verse 3, David said the enemy, the wicked, the workers of iniquity, bent their bows to shoot their arrows. And in verse 7, he said God would shoot at them with an arrow.
Figuratively, in this psalm, David refers to the bitter words of the workers of iniquity as the arrows they shot at the righteous (verse 3). Also in Psalm 57:4, David describes the teeth of the enemies – the sons of men – as spears and arrows.
Furthermore, one who bears a false witness is likened to a sharp arrow. “A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow” (Proverbs 25:18 NKJV). The children of Israel did exactly this and God described them as poisoned arrows. “For their tongues aim lies like poisoned arrows. They promise peace to their neighbors while planning to kill them” (Jeremiah 9:8 NLT).
But apart from arrows of bitter words, false witnesses, and deceitful tongues, there are evil arrows that the enemy shoots in the spirit realm against people and their destinies – evil arrows that have negative repercussions in the lives of their targets, evil arrows of strange sicknesses, death, failure, adversity, tragedy, etc. Many lives and homes have suffered from such evil arrows by archers like the army of great nations from the north that God said He would raise against Babylon. “For look, I am raising up an army of great nations from the north. I will bring them against Babylon to attack her, and she will be captured. The enemies’ arrows will go straight to the mark; they will not miss!” (Jeremiah 50:9 NLT).
Most times, people don’t know when the plot to shoot the arrows is being made and even shot; they only experience the results or effects of the arrows in their lives, homes, marriages, health, etc. Proverbs 1:17 says, “When a bird sees a trap being set, it stays away” (NLT). That is why the enemies shoot the evil arrows when their targets are not alert or sensitive.
Verse 4 of Psalm 64, describing the approach of the enemy, says, “That they may shoot in secret at the blameless; suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear” (NKJV). The enemies take their targets by surprise and before they realize what is happening, they have already finished their work, leaving their targets to live with the effects.
This is exactly what the enemy did in Matthew 13 in the parable of the wheat and weeds that Jesus told. “Another parable He put forth to them, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’” (Matthew 13:24-28 NKJV).
In this scripture, the Bible shows us how the enemy took advantage of the night – figuratively the time when someone is relaxed is resting, or is not watchful – to plant tares in the midst of wheat. But that does not mean it has to be in the night hours alone; the enemy can also attack with arrows in the daytime. Psalm 91:5 says, “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day” (NKJV). The enemies can also shoot their arrows any time of the day as long as someone is spiritually asleep.
The enemy and secrecy
Whether it is in the daytime or night, the enemy usually employs secrecy to achieve its objective. If the targets are aware of the enemy’s plot, they will be awake spiritually to ward off their attack, but most times their targets are ignorant of their wicked plans. “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into” (Luke 12:39 NKJV).
King Joram of Israel never knew of Jehu’s conspiracy to kill him. Jehu told the men with him who wanted him to be king not to allow anyone to escape to Jezreel where King Joram was to report what they had done. Eventually, Jehu shot Joram with an arrow that entered his heart and he sank in his chariot (2 Kings 9:14-26). Though that was a physical arrow, it’s similar to how the enemies who shoot evil spiritual arrows operate.
Sometimes the physical arrows don’t kill their victims, but they seriously injure them. Evil arrows of the enemy may also not kill but can do serious damage to homes, marriages, careers, health, finances, etc. The injury may even be permanent if such a person does not cry for the mercy of God.
This was Joseph’s experience. But for the mercy of the LORD that he obtained, the enemy who shot at him would have triumphed over him, But thank God that God was with him as the Mighty One of Jacob. Genesis 49:22-24 captures his story thus: “Joseph is a fruitful tree, a fruitful tree beside a fountain. His branches reach over the wall. He has been attacked by archers, who shot at him and harassed him. But his bow remained strong, and his arms were strengthened by the Mighty One of Jacob, the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel” (NLT). Evil arrows are deadly; evil archers are wicked. Only God can give one victory over them.
The arrows of God
Nevertheless, the wicked don’t have a monopoly of arrows. The arrows of God are superior to theirs. They are more deadly than those of the enemy and God is willing and ready to use them to defend His children. While it is important to know about the arrows of the enemy, God’s children should not be afraid of them. “Don’t be intimidated by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself” (Philippians 1:28 NLT). Don’t be afraid of the arrows of the enemy, but don’t be ignorant of them either. More importantly, you should be more knowledgeable about the arrows of God, which will destroy the enemy.
Speaking to King Joash of Israel in 2 Kings 13, Prophet Elisha spoke of the arrow of the LORD’s deliverance even though it was a physical arrow that Joash was shooting. “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).
The arrow of Joash became the arrow of God just as the rod of Moses became the rod of God. It was no longer about Joash; it was about God. It was no longer about what Joash wanted to do; it was about what God was prepared to do. Therefore, it happened just as Elisha said. The arrow of God will bring you, too, deliverance in the battles of life. The arrows of the enemies will not injure you; they’ll not kill you in the name of Jesus.
The enemy does not have a monopoly of strategy just as they do not have a monopoly of arrows. If the enemies have been terrorizing you with their arrows, they will become the casualty of the arrows of God. This is the principle of the Bible: Whatever you sow that you will reap (Galatians 6:7). “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him” (Proverbs 26:27 NKJV). David said, “He made a pit and dug it out, and has fallen into the ditch which he made. His trouble shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown” (Psalm 7:15-16 NKJV).
While your enemies are not expecting, suddenly God will shoot His arrows at them and destroy them. “But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly they shall be wounded” (Psalm 64:7 NKJV). Zechariah 9:14 says, “The LORD will appear above his people; his arrows will fly like lightning! The Sovereign LORD will sound the trumpet; he will go out against his enemies like a whirlwind from the southern desert” (NLT). Take note the arrow is in plural form. The arrows of God!
God’s arrows of punishment
The enemies’ arrows are incomparable to God’s arrows. Of course, God’s arrows will not only hit the target, but it is also irresistible by the enemies. In the Old Testament, God even used His arrows against His people in judgment and against His servants.
The LORD said in Deuteronomy 32:23, “I will heap disasters upon them and shoot them down with my arrows” (NLT). Ezekiel 5:16 also records a similar judgment of Jerusalem through God’s arrows expressed in famine: “When I send against them the terrible arrows of famine which shall be for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, I will increase the famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread” (NKJV).
Describing his anguish, the prophet Jeremiah said of God: “He has bent His bow and set me up as a target for the arrow. He has caused the arrows of His quiver to pierce my loins” (Lamentation 3:12-13 NKJV). That was even a servant of God expressing his experience about what God permitted him to go through, His dealing with him. Jeremiah was not an enemy of God.
Job’s experience was similar to Jeremiah’s. He said in Job 6:4, “For the Almighty has struck me down with his arrows. He has sent his poisoned arrows deep within my spirit. All God’s terrors are arrayed against me” (NLT). Here was a blameless and upright man, one who feared God and shunned evil but went through trials as part of God’s dealing.
David’s experience in the hand of God was also similar to that of Jeremiah and Job. He said in Psalm 38:2, “For Your arrows pierce me deeply, and Your hand presses me down” (NKJV).
These three, Jeremiah, Job, and David, were not God’s enemies yet they went through negative experiences – the dealings of God (punishment for sin in the case of David), which they likened to the arrows of God shot at them. God’s dealings with them were, however, not the same as His dealings with the enemy. What do you think will be the experience of an enemy if God deliberately shoots His arrows at them?
1 Peter 4:17-18 says, “ For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now ‘If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?’” (NKJV). God’s arrows are poisonous than the enemy’s arrows!”
If God does not spare His children who anger Him by their sinful lives, God will not spare your enemies who work against your interest and God’s purpose for your life. He’ll fight those who fight against you. “For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children” (Isaiah 49:25b NKJV). Deuteronomy 20:4 says, “For the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you” (NKJV). You should know that arrows are part of the weapons that God uses to fight the enemies of His people. So if your enemies pride themselves on having arrows to shoot, you should know that God’s arrows are superior to theirs.
If your enemies do not repent, God will shoot at them His flaming arrows, flaming missiles, which are instruments of death. Psalm 7:13 says, “He also prepares for Himself instruments of death; He makes His arrows into fiery shafts” (NKJV). David says in Psalm 21:12 concerning the enemies: “Therefore You will make them turn their back; You will make ready Your arrows on Your string toward their faces” (NKJV).
The enemies who have risen up against you will receive the arrows of God in Jesus’ name. His sharp arrows will pierce the hearts of His enemies. “Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies; the peoples fall under You” (Psalm 45:5 NKJV). Sharp arrows! The arrows of God shall eliminate your enemies.
Psalm 120 also talks about God’s sharp arrows. “O deceptive tongue, what will God do to you? How will he increase your punishment? You will be pierced with sharp arrows and burned with glowing coals” (verses 3-4 NLT).
The arrows of God and spiritual warfare
The Bible tells the followers of Christ that “we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12 NLT). Our real enemies are not flesh and blood – human beings – but the spirit that is controlling them or powers that are working through them or they are relying on.
In spiritual warfare, God’s children must know how to take advantage of the arrows of God as an unassailable weapon. We need to know how to request the release of these arrows like David did. David prayed in Psalm 144:6: “Flash forth lightning and scatter them; shoot out Your arrows and destroy them” (NKJV).
In spiritual warfare, you should go ahead and shoot the arrows of God at every enemy. It is part of the weapons of your warfare. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:4-6 NKJV).
The enemy may be a skilful archer but God will destroy the enemy with His arrows that are available to believers. We should command the release of these arrows to destroy the enemy standing and fighting against us and our destinies. The enemy that represents Babylon in your life must be shot down with the arrows of God. If you don’t shoot God’s arrows, the enemies will shoot their arrows. “Put yourselves in array against Babylon all around, all you who bend the bow; shoot at her, spare no arrows, for she has sinned against the LORD” (Jeremiah 50:14 NKJV).
If you don’t get the enemy; the enemy will get you! Shoot down the enemy and his arrows will fall off his hands just like Ezekiel 39:3 says. “Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand” (NKJV).
Conclusion: Shoot the arrows of God by your prayers, decrees, and declarations, and let the enemy fall like David slang the stone and Goliath fell on his face to the earth (1 Samuel 17:49). You won’t be a victim of the enemy’s evil arrows in Jesus’ name. The deadly arrows of God will destroy the enemy operating in darkness in their hiding places. Begin to shoot the arrows of God!
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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