SCRIPTURE: I Kings 22:1-39
TEXT: I Kings 22:34
INTRO: I have sometimes mentioned this aimless, nameless bowman in messages but have never preached a sermon on him. This morning I want to look at some very important lessons we can learn from an aimless, nameless bowman.
This is an amazing matter that is before us. Months had extended into at least a year and more, perhaps as much as three years since Elijah had pronounced the Divine death sentence for Ahab and Jezebel.
Ahab defies the words of Elijah and the words of Micaiah, and proceeds into battle. Pretending he wants to honor Jehoshaphat for joining him in this campaign, he asks him to dress in the royal generals uniform and he, Ahab, will go into the battle as a soldier, not as the king leading the battle. In this manner, he believes he can fool the enemy king who is set on destroying Ahab; he can prove Micaiah a liar; he can ultimately fool God who has sent Elijah and Micaiah with the message of his death.
In spite of all his efforts, Ahab ends up dead at the hands of an aimless, nameless bowman, who, at a venture, drew an arrow, aimed it at no one in particular, and no place on anyone, and it found exactly the mark God intended it to find. It hit right where the upper part of Ahabs armor joined the lower part, and when day was at its end, he died.
Let us look at some lessons we can learn from this occasion.
I. THE ACTIONS OF MEN, THOUGH SEEMINGLY UNCERTAIN, ARE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN IN THE PLAN AND PROVIDENCE OF GOD
A. This man who shot this arrow had no idea he would hit Ahab, or anyone else in particular.
B. This man had no idea that his arrow would find the one weak spot in Ahabs armor, the area where the upper and lower parts meet.
C. Gods hand always finds his enemies regardless of the disguise they wear. Psalm 21:8-9 Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. 9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.
D. The heathen may rage against God and attempt to throw off his rule over them, but every thing they do against him and his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ go exactly as he determined before should be done. Acts 4:25-28 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
II. THE DEVICES OF MEN, THOUGH EXCEEDINGLY CUNNING, ARE KNOWN AND OVERRULED BY GOD
A. Ahab would make a liar of the godly Elijah but God would see that exactly what Elijah had prophesied would come to pass.
1. Elijahs prophecy of Ahabs death was inspired by God and nothing God declares will happen ever fails to happen. 1 Kings 21:17-19 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18 Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it. 19 And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.
2. Gods word, as delivered by Elijah, came to pass just as it was declared. 1 Kings 22:38 And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake.
B. King Ahab would make the godly Micaiah out to be a liar also but God overruled that device as well.
1. Ahab insisted that the prophet tell him nothing except exactly what the Lord said. 1 Kings 22:16 And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the LORD?
2. Micaiah had declared he would be killed. 1 Kings 22:17 And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.
3. When Micaiah did tell him what God had said he was all upset by what he said. 1 Kings 22:18 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?
4. Micaiah even told him how this matter had all been determined before hand. 1 Kings 22:19-23 And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. 20 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. 21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. 22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. 23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
5. Ahab rejected the words of Micaiah and boasted of how he would escape Divine judgment. 1 Kings 22:26-27 And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king's son; 27 And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace.
C. Ahab then devised the plan whereby he would go into battle as a regular soldier while King Jehoshaphat would dress in his royal robes and lead the battle. 1 Kings 22:30 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle.
D. Satan and wicked men devised a plan to destroy the Lord Jesus Christ, but they fell right into the plan God had determined before the foundation of the world. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
II. THE DESIRES OF MEN, ALTOGETHER THEIR OWN, ARE MADE TO ACCOMPLISH THE WILL OF GOD
A. The desire of Jehoshaphat to go down and visit Ahab was entirely his own but it was ordained of God in the execution of his plan. 1 Kings 22:1-2 And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel. 2 And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel.
B. The desire of Ahab to go into this battle was his own, but it was designed to get him in exactly the right place for God to destroy him. 1 Kings 22:3-4 And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria? 4 And he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramothgilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.
C. The desire of the false prophet Zedekiah was to discredit Micaiah but the lying spirit that moved him was sent forth from God. 1 Kings 22:20-23 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. 21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. 22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. 23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
D. The desire of the king of Syria to kill only Ahab, though his own, was exactly as God purposed. 1 Kings 22:31-33 But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel. 32 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, Surely it is the king of Israel. And they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him.
E. The desire of the aimless, nameless bowman to shoot an arrow at the enemy was his own desire but it was perfectly orchestrated by Divine fiat so that it served the purpose of God.
1. He drew his arrow at exactly the time needed.
2. He drew his bow to exactly the power needed.
3. He let the arrow fly at exactly the right moment.
4. Ahabs chariot driver drove his chariot by at exactly the right time in the right direction.
5. Ahab was facing exactly the right direction, standing in exactly the right position.
6. The arrow flew to exactly the right location on Ahab to inflict the mortal wound.
7. Every minute detail was exactly as needed at the time needed to bring about the death purposed and decreed.
8. Call that a freak accident if you will but there are no accidents with God who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
III. GOD ALWAYS EXECUTES HIS JUDGMENT AND FULFILLS HIS PURPOSE REGARDLESS OF THE EFFORTS OF THE WICKED TO THWART HIM IN HIS WORK
A. When Esau marches out to meet Jacob with murder on his mind, God turns his heart so that he embraces and welcomes Jacob home.
B. When Josephs brethren would kill him and cast him into a pit, God intervenes and they sell him into bondage so that he can go to Egypt and later save them from death. What they meant for evil God meant for good.
C. When Nebuchadnezzar, through the conniving of jealous leaders, would destroy Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego, God overrules the flames and brings them forth victorious, honored and promoted to high rank in the kingdom.
D. When Darius, through the conniving of his princes, casts Daniel into a lions den, God tames the lions and gives Daniel the victory and those who devised the evil plan to get rid of him are themselves devoured by lions.
E. Gods judgment on Ahab would not, could not be thwarted by any contrivance of Ahab.
CONCLUSION: The event we have studied this morning teaches us many things.
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Last Modified Saturday, July 30, 2011.