Early on a Saturday morning, September 19, 2015, I had the privilege of hearing two boys (twins) present the Gospel of Christ at a prayer breakfast in the great dining hall of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina. The place was packed with men and a number of them had brought their sons.
As I listened to the speakers, who happened to be my own sons, I marveled at the ease with which they handled the Scripture and brought biblical truths, lots of them, to life. I sat spellbound, as they opened their lives through a biblical grid and presented the Gospel of Christ in a manner so extraordinary that, when breakfast was over, all of us were ready to run to the roar and stand for Christ, whatever the cost!
Convicting? Yes. Compelling? Absolutely. Life-changing? Without a doubt. But where did these guys get all this? As their father, I have been asked this question a lot.
As a matter of fact, Glenn Beck asked during an interview for The Blaze last year, “Where did you guys come from? You remind me of Captain America or something.” Glenn simply could not comprehend how these young men (now 40 years old) could so gracefully navigate through the difficult issues facing our nation and ourselves with such optimism, wisdom, and biblical discernment. “Why haven’t we heard from you guys before?”
The reason—they were not yet ready. They were hidden in God’s quiver, being refined in His Refiner’s fire. This is where dross is removed through the white hot heat of trial, tribulation, and suffering, that God might be revealed through them to a world that desperately needs Him. Almighty God was up to something. So they remained concealed arrows until their appointed time. “He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, “You are my servant Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.” (Isaiah 49:2-3)
This Scripture is referring to the nation Israel, historically, to Jesus, prophetically, and can be applied to all of us, personally. Those who desire to be servants of our great King and true followers of Christ must pass through His refining fires in secret places until His appointed time.
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” (Proverbs 25:2) Was there ever a greater concealing than when God came to this earth in the person of Jesus? Who knew? Certainly His incarnation was delivered by the angel Gabriel to Mary. His birth was announced by a chorus of angels to shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem, and confirmed by Simeon and Anna when He was brought to the temple to be circumcised on the eighth day. But, who was paying any attention?
The next we hear about Him is when He was 12 years old and brought to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. He was lost for three days until His parents found Him in the Temple of God (His Temple) sitting among the teachers asking them questions. All were amazed at His understanding and wisdom. He knew who He was. “…Didn’t you know I had to be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). But no one else did—not even His earthly father and mother.
He was a concealed arrow being polished and refined in His Heavenly Father’s quiver. For 29 years no one really knew who He was, but we do know that, “…Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:52). The boundary lines for Him had fallen on pleasant places. He was concealed in His Father’s quiver until the appointed time. He accepted His lot. He remained in submission to His earthly parents. No bitterness, no chomping at the bit to get out of the quiver, just a simple trust in His Father’s plan. He allowed the Refiner to have His perfect way.
Yes, it is in the secret places that God refines a man, molds a man, skills and drills a man, until he is an arrow ready to be launched from the bow of family and church and specifically targeted at the gates of hell. It is in the secret places that God makes boys into warriors fiercely determined to tear down the devil’s strongholds in the name of Christ and bring glory to our Father in heaven.
Certainly King David was such a man. Before he was a king, he was a shepherd boy, hardly recognized by his seven older brothers. His father Jesse didn’t think much of him, for when Samuel came to anoint the next king of Israel, David never crossed his mind. David was the runt of the litter, taking care of “those few sheep.” Yet God saw what Jesse, his seven sons, and Samuel, did not. David was God’sconcealed arrow. He was being honed and sharpened inside His heavenly Father’s quiver. He was faithful in the small that he might prove faithful in the big.
“He chose David His servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep He brought him to be shepherd of His people…And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them” (Psalm 78:70-72).
The answer to Glenn Beck’s question, “Where did you guys come from?” is found here. David and Jason were faithful in the little while hidden in God’s quiver. It was here they learned to trust Him, be daily in His Word, die to their dreams, face their fears, and live powerfully in the Name of Jesus. So now the concealed arrows are revealed and the world has taken notice. The gates of hell will not prevail!
“…let you light so shine before men that they may see you good deeds and give praise to your Father in heaven.” (Mathew 5:16)
You too are one of God’s concealed arrows, as well as those placed within your care. Be faithful. Stay humble. Focus on depth and let God handle the breadth. Sit loose to the needs of the flesh and devour the Word of God so that you’ll be ready when He unsheaths you.
The days in which we live require uncompromising courage.
A word from David & Jason Benham
Our dad has a way with words! Ha Ha! Good thing he didn’t open up and let you peek under the hood and see what little punks we were as teenagers (actually, David was way more of a punk than me). Of course, we had our moments of challenging Dad’s authority, but we always knew that he loved us and wanted what’s best for us.
Andy Stanley once said, “Rules without relationship leads to rebellion.” We see this clearly, having been raised in a Christian home with godly parents. They both had plenty of rules for us, but because we had a relationship with them, we remained within those boundaries. While we weren’t perfect by any stretch, the words of Solomon ring true in our story: “Train up a child in the way he should go and in the end he won’t depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
The Hebrew meaning of “train up” is “to touch the pallet of” or “to cultivate a taste for.” Hebrew mothers used to chew up food really fine and then take a small piece and touch the pallet of their baby with the food, which cultivated an appetite in the baby for that particular food. In the same way our parents created appetites in us for the things of God, and as we got older we clung to their training.
Both of our parents read the Bible a lot—seriously, a lot. Our dad read in the morning, and if he wasn’t reading his Bible he was praying. His philosophy was that most things are better “caught than taught,” so he chose to live a life that created an appetite in us to live the same way. It’s funny how that works because many of the things he did as a part of his routine we do now with our own time in the morning (Now if we could only get Dad to start working out again!).
When we were fired by HGTV, our faith didn’t extinguish; instead, it ignited. We had burning embers of God’s Word deep inside of us through years of training from our parents. So the whirlwind we went through actually stoked the fire and increased the flame—it didn’t snuff it out. All because of the example our parents set for us when we were kids.