By Kathi Pelton
A few months ago, my husband and I received a prophetic word about being peace makers. One line of the word was this, “You will know when to bring an olive branch or when to bring an arrow.” These words have stuck with me over the months since that word was given.
I believe that many are being given olive branches and arrows in this season, along with the wisdom of when to use them.
The olive branch is used known as a symbol of peace. The Greek’s believed it to be a symbol of “peace on earth or with man.” But the Hebrew meaning is one with an eternal promise of peace based on the covenant promises of God. To extend an olive branch is to usher the person or persons back to the peace that surpasses earthly circumstances or understanding and restores them to the peace that comes out of the faithfulness of God according to his covenant with men. Throughout the Bible mankind again and again violates and breaks covenant with God— often turning to worship idols or pervert purity— which always brought chaos and war. Yet, throughout history, God remains faithful to his covenant promises. In repentance and rest— salvation and peace is restored. His peace comes to guard our hearts and minds because it is a peace that is not dependent on what is happening in the world around us but rather a peace that comes out of God’s constant faithfulness to keep his covenant made with his people.
God will give those who are called to be “peacemakers” (both individuals and nations), the wisdom to know when it is time to extend the olive branch that joins men and women to God’s covenant promises, restoring them to a place of unity and peace. They will work together, build together and restore the ancient ruins together when they receive the olive branch that reconciles men to God and to one another.
God will also provide these peacemakers with arrows. An arrow requires a bow in order to be shot forth. It is interesting to note that the olive branch restores us to the peace that God will surely keep his covenant promises and the “rainbow” has the same meaning. The shape of a rainbow after a storm is the same shape as a bow used to shoot an arrow. This is what God says about the rainbow after the great flood,
God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.
“…I have set my bow in the clouds…” Genesis 9:13
The Hebrew word “qešet” is used in the Bible to refer to the bow as an instrument of war or hunting, or figuratively as a symbol of power and authority. I believe that there will be times to extend an olive branch and there will be times that these peacemakers will pull out the bow of power and authority to shoot the arrow of truth that will bring men to their senses regarding the covenants with God. They will return from their waywardness and repent. An arrow pierces the heart with truth.
God’s arrow is referred to as lightening. “The arrows of God are the lightnings which cleave the atmosphere (Hab. 3:11), the calamities which He sends upon the enemies of Israel.” God will use his arrows (lightening) to judge and defeat the enemies of his people. Peace will come as the enemy is defeated and God’s people are victorious. There will be times where the Lord asks these peacemakers to partner with him to release the arrows of lightening against his enemies. They will war for peace!
An arrow will also cut or divide in two— it can be used to separate the holy from the defiled or the precious from the worthless— when shot from the bow of a peacemaker. To make peace takes a warrior—it is different than a peacekeeper. Peacemakers are not passive, they are deliberate with their weapons of authority and they are wise warriors who know when to give a branch or shoot an arrow.
There are also arrows that divide brothers through words that separate and harm— but the arrow of peace will stop vain imaginations and arrogant arguments. These arrows will shoot truth, bring repentance and restore brothers back to humility and love.
The Bible refers to children as arrows in the hands of a warrior. Our children are our arrows and there has been a great war set against them. The enemy is trying to break and destroy our arrows. God is about to pull back his bow and release his arrow of lightening against those who seek to devour our children. They will be once again restored to our “quiver” and used by God to establish victory and truth. We will partner with him to plunder the enemy’s camp and take back our children.
It is time for the peacemakers to arise and receive the olive branches and arrows that will bring men back into God’s covenant. Peacemakers will both deliver peace and they will “war for peace.” They are gentle and they are fierce but their most mighty weapon is wisdom. We must know what to bring to each circumstance.
Place your hands out and ask for the wisdom of God, ask for the olive branches and ask for the arrows. He will provide and peace will prevail as men return to the stronghold of hope that are found in God’s ancient covenants with his people.
(As a side note: On the Great Seal of the United States of America is an eagle holding an olive branch and a quiver of arrows. May our nations be one that makes peace as a mighty warrior with wisdom. God established our nation in covenant and may we now shoot the arrows and bring the olive branches that restore it once again to the covenant that was made with God.)
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