Providence in Accidents
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…

I. THE LORD'S HAND IS CONCERNED IN THOSE EVENTS WHICH HAVE THE APPEARANCE OF BEING WHOLLY ACCIDENTAL, AND OF HAPPENING BY CHANCE OR LUCK. The man who drew the bow by which the King of Israel received his death, drew it, as our text says, "at a venture." He took no aim whatever. Men talk of chance, and luck, and fate, and accident, as if there was not a God that ruled the world. And some even pretend to think that it is doing a kind of dishonour to the Lord to suppose that He interferes in the events of life, beyond, perhaps, a mere general oversight or superintendence. But what says the Scripture? What says the Lord Himself of His own doings and appointments? He tells us that His hand is everywhere. He tells us that not a sparrow falleth to the ground without Him — that when "the lot is cast into the lap," yet "the whole disposal thereof is of Him."

II. GOD IS TRUE TO HIS OWN THREATENINGS. Look back into the former verses of this chapter, and you will find King Ahab was expressly warned of God that he should fall at Ramoth-Gilead, and that he should not return at all in peace. Men may "encourage themselves in an evil matter"; they may go on still in evil courses, with a most assured persuasion that their sins shall be unpunished; but true, nevertheless, is that word of the Lord which He hath spoken — "The wages of sin is death." "God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded."

III. THAT THERE IS NO FENCING OURSELVES AGAINST THE STROKE OF GOD BY ANY EFFORTS OR DEVICES OF OUR OWN. Ahab, seeming, as he did, to hold God's threatenings cheap, yet had some apprehensions notwithstanding. "He who made you can make His weapon to approach unto you," and that all self-defences are in vain! There is a spiritual arrow, very strong and sharp, which may be called "the arrow of conviction," and which consists in the bringing home a sense of guilt and danger to the sinner's conscience. Let us consider such a case as this — a case where the arrow of conviction has come home to a man's heart through the power of the Holy Ghost. The spiritual wound which this poor sinner has received is grievous. Blessed be God! it is not like that of Ahab, hopeless and incurable. There is "balm in Gilead," and there is "a Physician there." That very Lord who made the preaching of His law so sharp and piercing — who made the arrow of conviction strike so deep, can heal as well as wound. He hath provided in His gospel a cure for the transgression of His law. "To bind up the broken-hearted," to provide a precious remedy for dying sinners, was the errand of the Son of God when He visited our world.

(A. Roberts, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: A certain man drew his bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of the armor. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, "Turn your hand, and carry me out of the battle; for I am severely wounded."

Joints of the Harness
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