A bow drawn at random…


1 Kings 22:29 So the king of Israel (Ahab) and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.” And the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle. 31 Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, “Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel.” 32 And when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is surely the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him. And Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 And when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 34 But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” 35 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. 36And about sunset a cry went through the army, “Every man to his city, and every man to his country!” 37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria. And they buried the king in Samaria. (ESV)

The Westminster Assembly’s Larger Catechism asks

  1. 18. What are God’s works of providence?
  2. God’s works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures; ordering them, and all their actions, to his own glory.

In preparing for this week’s devotional I went back into my archives for a blog entry I posted ten years ago when I was pastor of Beal Heights Presbyterian Church, Lawton, Oklahoma, USA.  It fits well with our session at Grow @ Grace last week (Sunday evenings during school terms) and our discussion of God’s Providence.

“Sunday we discovered a bullet hole in the Cry Room. Our cry room is at the rear of the sanctuary. It is a room with a large window for parents to calm children and return with them to worship, or for nursing moms to feed their wee bairns. A bullet hole was in the wall opposite one of the exterior windows. Lining up with a laser pointer from the bullet hole in the sheetrock through the holes in the stained-glass window, the exterior storm window, and the screen, it led 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, which was anywhere from 7.62mm to .45 calibre, was fired from up to a mile away. We haven’t recovered the slug; it fell between the wallboards, and we didn’t think it was worth the effort to tear open the wall to find it. It probably, by the time it hit, had the kinetic energy equivalent to a ball bearing shot from a sling shot at twenty feet – plenty damaging, but not necessarily deadly — except to a child, perhaps. 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. Nothing is by happenstance; even the bow drawn at a venture, is by His direction.”