To whom it may concern, a “random” arrow

To whom it may concern, a “random” arrow

Then Jehoshaphat added, “But first let’s find out what the LORD says.” – 2 Chron18:4

2 Chron 18:33-34

 33 An Aramean soldier, however, randomly shot an arrow at the Israelite troops and hit the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. “Turn the horses and get me out of here!” Ahab groaned to the driver of the chariot. “I’m badly wounded!”

 34 The battle raged all that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans. In the evening, just as the sun was setting, he died.

Stray bullets hit unintended targets. Being struck by a stray bullet is considered a freak accidents or an act of God. It is considered very unlikely. As such, it cannot be predicted, controlled or prevented. The probability of an accidental death from a firearm discharge in your lifetime is about 1 in 8527, in any given year is about 1 in 670,204 [www.iii.org].

To put this in perspective:

                                            One-year odds       Lifetime odds

Accidental poisoning                           5,027                  64

Opioids both legal and illegal)              7,569                  96

All motor vehicle accidents                   8,096                  103

Assault by firearm                             22,399                  285

Fall from stairs and steps                    130,654                1662

Drowning in swimming pool                 450,511                5732

Firearms discharge (accidental)            670,204                8527

What about bullets fired straight up into the air?

What goes up must come down, right? What goes up: A bullet fired from a Kalashnikov rifle leaves the muzzle traveling faster than 1,500 miles per hour. What comes down: If that bullet is shot straight into the air it would be traveling at about 150 miles per hour as it falls to the ground because air resistance for slows it down. It would hit the ground, or your head, with the same amount of energy as if you were struck by a brick falling from about 4 feet above you [source: Matthews].

And what about stray arrows?

The Word of God contains stories that you just can’t make up. So goes the story of Ahab, king of Israel and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. This story takes place during the time of the divided kingdom after the reign of Solomon. The northern 10 tribes are called Israel and the two southern tribes are called Judah.

Jehoshaphat was a good king, but he made the mistake of entering into an alliance with Ahab, the evil, plotting, tricky and deceptive king of Israel. This was a bad idea on many levels, and Jehoshaphat almost paid for his mistake with his life.

Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to join him in an attack on a mutual enemy. Jehoshaphat agreed, but only on one condition. He wanted to know what the Father had to say about it. Now that was a great idea. The hitch was that Ahab really did not want to hear from the Father at all. He’d rather consult with false prophets and sycophants who would tell him what he wanted to hear. The truth often stung, and Ahab wanted to avoid it at all costs.

2 Chron 18:2-4

 2 Ahab enticed Jehoshaphat to join forces with him . . .

 3 “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?” King Ahab of Israel asked King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Jehoshaphat replied, “Why, of course! You and I are as one, and my troops are your troops. We will certainly join you in battle.”

 4 Then Jehoshaphat added, “But first let’s find Out what the LORD says.”

But Ahab was not on extremely good terms with the Father’s true prophets. So he summoned 400 of his own prophets, guys who he had in his pocket, who would give him the answer that he wanted.

2 Chron 18:5

 5 So the king of Israel [Ahab] summoned the prophets, 400 of them, and asked them, “Should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I hold back?” They all replied, “Yes, go right ahead! God will give the king victory.”

Although Jehoshaphat had lapses in good judgment that got them into the present situation, he was not so easily fooled by every outright lie and subterfuge. False prophets just would not do, and he insisted to hear from one of the Father’s true prophets instead. In a good sense, knowing what the truth sounds like, spoils you and turns you off from lies. Those who are used to handling the truth, the Word of God have their senses trained to discern good and evil” (Heb 5:14).

2 Chron 18:6 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not also a prophet of the LORD here? We should ask him the same question.”

Ahab was not very pleased with this because he hated the Father’s prophets. Whenever he consulted them, they always gave him bad news. Go figure!

2 Chron 18:7 The king of Israel replied to Jehoshaphat, “There is one more man who could consult the LORD for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah.”

Jehoshaphat replied, “That’s not the way a king should talk! Let’s hear what he has to say.”

Jehoshaphat scolded Ahab for talking in such a negative and insulting way about one of the Father’s prophets. So begrudgingly, Ahab sent one of his officials to find Micaiah and bring him in to present the Father’s guidance and direction.

But in the process, Ahab’s guy tried to put in the fix, and get Micaiah to produce the same results as the false prophets. Micaiah stood tall and would have nothing to do with it. That’s one of the things about the Father’s prophets, they tend to be harder than flint and will not back down from telling the truth.

2 Chron 18:8 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Quick! Bring Micaiah.”

2 Chron 18:12-13

 13 Meanwhile, the messenger who went to get Micaiah said to him, “Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king. Be sure that you agree with them and promise success.”

 13 But Micaiah replied, “As surely as the LORD lives, I will say only what my God says.”

REFLECT & PRAY

Just the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth (John 17:17).

Father encourage me to stand tall for the truth and not succumb to peer pressure or the influence of governmental authorities, even when the odds are 400 to 1. The Father’s Truth alone is Truth.

INSIGHT

Real servants of the Father, only say what He tells them to say. They don’t add, they don’t take away, and they do not alter His words. It is always wise to measure what is heard in our modern age by this plumb line. By this time, Micaiah was well aware what was going on, having gotten inside information from the Father Himself. He resorts to sarcasm.

 2 Chron 18:14, 15

 14 When Micaiah arrived before the king, Ahab asked him, “Micaiah, should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I hold back?” Micaiah replied sarcastically, “Yes, go up and be victorious, for you will have victory over them!”

 15 But the king replied sharply, “How many times must I demand that you speak only the truth to me when you speak for the LORD?”

Well Ahab was not stupid either, well not that stupid. And he knew that Micaiah was not telling what the that the Father had revealed to him. He calls Micaiah out. So Micaiah, comes clean and tells the rest of the story.

2 Chron 18:6 Then Micaiah told him, “In a vision I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep without a shepherd. And the LORD said, ‘Their master has been killed. Send them home in peace.’

Well of course this was not comforting or pleasing for Ahab. Why? Well, there was the rather obvious fact that Micaiah was predicting Ahab’s death. But even that were not the case, wicked people, with dark, evil hearts, do not really want to hear the truth, not to mention listen to it or act on it. When he asked for the truth, it was simply another ploy, he really did not want to hear it.

Ahab had Micaiah arrested and put on bread and water. Ahab underscores his hatred of Micaiah in his whining complaint to Jehoshaphat.

 2 Chron 18:17 “Didn’t I tell you?” the king of Israel exclaimed to Jehoshaphat. “He never prophesies anything but trouble for me.”

 2 Chron 18:18,25-27

 18 Then Micaiah continued, “Listen to what the LORD says! I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the armies of heaven around him, on his right and on his left.”

 25 “Arrest him!” the king of Israel ordered.

 26 Give them this order from the king “Put this man in prison and feed him nothing but bread and water until I return safely from the battle!”

 27 But Micaiah replied, “If you return safely, it will mean that the LORD has not spoken through me!” Then he added to those standing around, “Everyone mark my words!”

The original “mark my words,” entered the English language through the Miles Coverdale’s 1535 translation of the Bible, “Take hede, and heare my voyce, pondre and merck my wordes wel. …. [sic.]” (Isaiah 28:23).

In the 20th century, this was updated and popularized by Clint Eastwood, A.K.A. Dirty Harry, “But being that this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well do ya, punk?”

This is followed by yet more intrigues, deceptions, subterfuge, disguises and camouflage. Ahab did everything short of painting a target on Jehoshaphat’s back.

2 Chron 18:29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “As we go into battle, I will disguise myself so no one will recognize me, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle.

Well, a random act of God seemingly got in the final word, that is shot, “stray arrow.”

2 Chron 18:30 Meanwhile, the king of Aram had issued these orders to his chariot commanders: “Attack only the king of Israel! Don’t bother with anyone else.”

2 Chron 18:31,32

 31 So when the Aramean chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat in his royal robes, they went after him. “There is the king of Israel!” they shouted. But Jehoshaphat called out, and the LORD saved him. God helped him by turning the attackers away from him.

 32 As soon as the chariot commanders realized he was not the king of Israel, they stopped chasing him.

In the midst of all this confusion, the Father remembered Jehoshaphat and helped him by turning away his attackers. But at the same time the Father saw to it that evil King Ahab was himself “randomly shot by an arrow.”

2 Chron 18:33,34

 33 An Aramean soldier, however, randomly shot an arrow at the Israelite troops and hit the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. “Turn the horses and get me out of here!” Ahab groaned to the driver of the chariot. “I’m badly wounded!”

 34 The battle raged all that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans. In the evening, just as the sun was setting, he died.

How could King Jehoshaphat not discern what Ahab was doing to him? If Ahab had put a target on Jehoshaphat’s back, he would not have made it easier for the enemy to kill him! But God is sovereign in all things and protected Jehoshaphat, while at the same time allowing a random arrow to hit an opening in Ahab’s armor and kill him. Ahab was disguised and yet was killed, while Jehoshaphat was in his royal robes and never touched (Wiersbe).

Psalms 118:8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people.

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