God’s Sovereignty and the Flight of an Arrow

Nothing is random in the universe.  Consider the story of King Ahab and an arrow’s path.

When Ahab disobeyed God, a prophet promised that his life would be taken from him (1 Kgs 20:42).  Then another word from the Lord promised the fall of Ahab (1 Kgs 22:17, 23).

The king was understandably disturbed by these predictions.  So when a day of battle came, he disguised himself before going into the fight (1 Kgs 22:30).  This way, his status as king would not be evident and he might avoid death.

“But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate” (1 Kgs 22:34a).

Consider this: the bowman was not significant enough to be named, and he was aiming at nothing in particular.  Yet of all targets which could be struck, it hit the disguised king!  And of all places for the arrow to land, it struck exactly where it needed to, between Ahab’s armor and breastplate.

While the shooter thought the arrow’s path was random, the reader knows better at this point.  God decreed Ahab’s fall, and Ahab will not escape death.

“And the battle continued that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, until at evening he died.  And the blood of the wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot” (1 Kgs 22:35).

Behold the meticulous nature of God’s sovereignty.  A random arrow is not what it seems.  God’s hand is ruling this world, including the path of an arrow.  If God determines to bring down an earthly ruler, who can resist his will? (Dan 4:35).

Although God was the true ruler of the world and worthy of worship and obedience, Ahab disobeyed God.  We should not go the way of Ahab.  God deserves our allegiance, not our opposition.  He is sovereign over the details of our lives, and he can be trusted because he is good and wise.


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