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Devotional: ‘The Bow Drawn At A Venture’ (17 Mar 2019)

1 Kings 22:34 And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. (KJV)

I recently went through some old Facebook postings from the previous decade. One from December 2007 brought back some recollections of the providence of God. I was pastoring a church in southwest Oklahoma, USA, at the time. Our church had a Cry Room at the rear of the sanctuary. It is a room for parents to calm children and return with them to worship, or for nursing moms to feed their wee bairns. It had a large window so they could watch the service, and had sound piped in.

One Sunday that month we discovered a bullet hole in the Cry Room. The hole was in a wall opposite one of the exterior windows near a nappy changing table. Lining up with a laser pointer from the bullet hole in the sheetrock through the holes in the stained glass window in that room, the exterior storm window, and the screen, it lead to a point above a tree across the street.

A gunsmith in our church did some hasty back-of-the-envelope calculations and determined the round was fired from up to a mile away. It probably, by the time it hit, had the kinetic energy equivalent to a ball-bearing shot from a slingshot at 6-7 metres  – plenty damaging, but not necessarily deadly — except to a child, perhaps. A former US deputy marshal in our congregation convinced us to call the local police department, and they sent a detective who recovered the bullet from the wall.

With a little windage, or perhaps hitting a twig at the top of the tree, the round could have come through one of the windows in the sanctuary itself. The Lord’s protection and providence was certainly in evidence. If the bullet had come through the window during one of our worship services, the risk of it striking someone was great.

The providence of God extends not just to missing being hit by “random” bullets, but also to being hit by them. The scripture verse above reminds us that nothing is by happenstance; even the bow drawn at a venture, is by His direction. It is certainly sobering to reflect on the fact that all things are under His direction.

But it is also comforting to note that all things, to include the missed bullets and arrows finding their mark, are under His direction, and are being directed by Him for His glory and our good: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, KJV).

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