Summary: Nothing is random to God. There are no accidents with God. He is sovereignly in control, at all times and in all ways.
Going against God’s warning, Ahab decides to retake Ramoth-gilead.
READ 1 Kings 22:29-38.
Ahab has a battle plan - disguise himself. No one will be able to identify him, if they are out to kill him.
• It’s strange. He did not believe prophet Micaiah’s words and yet somehow feared that it might be true. It’s like ‘half believing’, which is actually unbelief.
• If the prophet’s words are untrue, then he does not need to hide. If it is true, then no disguising can help him hide from God.
• For some strange reason, King Jehoshaphat went along with Ahab’s idea.
The enemy, King of Aram, too has his own battle plan – ignore the small fry and go for the big fish. Just look for the King of Israel and kill him.
• That’s easy if he can be identified but not now. It is almost impossible to find him if he’s dressed like one of the soldiers.
• The cover-up can fool man, no doubt. The chariot commanders saw someone in his royal robes and thought it was Ahab.
• When they realised it wasn’t, they let him go. The instruction was clear: Go for Ahab, not anyone else, whether small or great.
We see here man’s attempt at covering up in trying to thwart God’s judgement.
• But we see also the sovereignty of God in fulfilling His purposes.
• God led the King of Aram to a specific strategy – go only after Ahab.
• It wasn’t in God’s plan to have King Jehoshaphat die in this battle.
And almost casually, 22:34 says “But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armour.”
• Someone, we don’t even know who, took a random shot with his bow and arrow.
• He wasn’t aiming at any particular target but the arrow found Ahab.
• And it struck him at just the right place, through the gap between the sections of his armour.
• If it had been on the armour itself, it would have likely bounced off. But the arrow found the one place that matters.
• It was a fatal shot. And that very night, Ahab died, just as the Lord said.
Lest we feel too sorry for Ahab, we should remember that he has been a wicked King and God has already given him many chances to mend his ways.
• This going into the battle was an outright disobedience to God’s warning. He has been shown mercy but he chose to ignore the warnings.
• And so he now he now bore the consequences of his own choice.
We see the fulfilment of God’s Word. No disguise, no armour can prevent that from happening. 1 Kings 22:35 “… and that evening he died.”
• Micaiah’s prophecy is true and did come true. As Micaiah said, “If you even return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” (22:28)
• If the Lord has spoken, it is the truth and it will come true.
• Ultimately, it is not the order of the King of Aram that got Ahab, but the decree of God.
And it can happened in the most “accidental” way, almost casually, so it seems.
• A random arrow (with no specific target in mind) can accomplish God’s purpose.
• Nothing is random to God. God is sovereign and He is in control, at all times and in all ways.
• Nothing in our lives can be coincidental to God. Therefore nothing is by chance or worst still, by luck. There is no such thing.
Ahab’s attempts were futile. His disguise and his armour cannot save him.
• The truth is, only God can. And He has been warning Ahab, many times, but he has chosen not to believe Him.
• God is his true protection, actually. “He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps 46:1), that is, if we trust Him.
• But many cannot, or refuse to. People still believe that they know better and their ways are best. Like Ahab, they reject God’s role in their life.
The author wants us to see something else. He writes it in greater detail.
• After Ahab was shot, he ordered his driver to get him away from the fighting. He could only watched from afar.
• 22:35 “All day long the battle raged, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died.”
• 22:38 “They washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria (where the prostitutes bathed), and the dogs licked up his blood, as the word of the LORD had declared.”
His blood flowed onto the floor of the chariot. It was brought back to wash and at the place where it was being washed, the dogs licked up his blood.