If you’re Resting at the River’s Edge with us, about a month ago you read 1 Kings 22 and this week you read 2 Chronicles 18. The passages mirror one another. I was struck by what happened when reading 1 Kings but didn’t blog about it. Reading 2 Chronicles 18 this week, I’m compelled to put just a few thought in writing.

The event takes place when the Israelites were divided into two countries, Judah and Israel. King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to King Ahab of Israel and suggested that together they fight against King Aram, to retake Ramoth Gilead, land that had formerly belonged to Israel.

I know – lots of strange names. Don’t get bogged down in them. They key figure in our story is the king of Israel, Ahab.

The back story is that King Ahab was an evil king. 1 Kings 21 says this about him:

25(There was never a man like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, urged on by Jezebel his wife. 26He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the LORD drove out before Israel.)
1 Kings 21:25-26

God determined to punish Ahab and orchestrated his death, first by enticing him to go to war (1 Kings 22:19-25). The Prophet Micaiah prophecied Ahab’s death in the war, so Ahab took precautions to ensure his safety. He convinced King Jehoshaphat wore his royal robes while Ahab disguised himself when they went into battle. (Why Jehoshaphat would agree to this is beyond me, but he did.) Let’s let Scripture tell the story from here:

31Now the king of Aram had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel [Ahab].” 32When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, “Surely this is the king of Israel.” So they turned to attack him, but when Jehoshaphat cried out, 33the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel and stopped pursuing him.

34But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor…. 35.…The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died.
1 Kings 22:31-35

“But someone drew his bow at random.” Friends, no matter what precautions we take, no matter how well we plan, no matter how strong we make our defenses, if our plans are not God’s plans, someone may draw their bow at random and hit them, bringing sure death to them. There is no randomness in God. He uses even the mistakes of others, the blind shot in the dark, the unprovoked comment, to change the course of history to accomplish His will.

Ahab had a plan – disguise himself so that he would be safe when he went into battle. God had a plan – that he would punish Ahab for his wickedness. Guess whose plans became reality?

With this being the case, it would seem to me that the most important step in any planning is to first identify God’s plan through dedicated prayer. Once we’ve identified His plan, our best approach is to align with it. Yes, this is motherhood. But I am struck by how “unrandom” the random arrow was.

Lord, may I align myself with Your plans so that the my actions might be among the random acts that bring about your will.

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