Friday, January 26, 2018

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 63: An Arrow of God

Key Verse

“…he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver.” Isaiah 49:2 NIV


In ancient times a straight arrow was a prized possession. Arrows were difficult to make and were retrieved whenever possible. A trusty arrow would always be kept close and ready. But how was a straight and trusty arrow made? The process required much skill, time, and patients to make. The process holds many parallels to the development of our spiritual growth.

An appropriate branch or stem is selected. Pruning is the first step in the process. All the obvious imperfections are cut away from the dead branch. This must be done carefully so that too much is not cut away. Once part is removed it cannot be put back. This mirrors the process of sanctification where God begins to prune away the major defects in our life and character.

Following pruning comes sanding. It slowly removes bumps and curves in the shaft of the arrow. It begins with a rough sand paper and progresses to finer until the shaft is smooth. Then the arrow is polished until every imbalance is eliminated. This step requires the most time and detail in making the arrow. It is the most important. The straighter the shaft the more accurate the arrow flies. Likewise, God sands and polishes the finer and hidden defects in our character so that we can fly straight and hit the mark of his will. This is why God refers to his people as a polished arrow.

After the shaft is polished an arrowhead is attached. Then comes the fetching which attaches the feathers. Three feathers are delicately attached to the rear of the shaft to balance the arrow and stabilize it in flight.1 We must remain stable in our commitment to God, never wavering. The Holy Spirit is given to guide us and assist us in this. The final step in making an arrow is to apply the cresting, a unique marking that identifies who the arrow belongs to. Similarly, God promises to mark us as his own (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). As his trusty arrows he keeps us close and ready in his quiver to use at a moments notice. We will be like a polished arrow that does not return empty-handed (Jeremiah 50:9).


In what ways does God remove the defects in our character?

What role do we have in God’s work to sand and refine our character and heart?

What could the arrowhead represent in the process of our spiritual growth?

What marking identifies us as God’s special people?


1 “Bow and Arrow” Accessed December 27, 2017 from Originally published in How Products Are Made (1999) Vol. 5 by Jacqueline L. Longe. Gale Publishing.

Written by David F. Garner

Photo Credit: David F. Garner