Now a certain man drew a bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and take me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” I Kings 22:34 NKJV
This is the battle where King Ahab was killed. He disguised himself, hoping that he would not be spotted and therefore become an obvious target for his enemies. However, a “random” arrow hit him between the joints of his armour. The force of the projection, the trajectory and the wind conditions were so specific that this “random” arrow struck him precisely between the joints of his armour.
Does anything ever happen randomly in this world? No. Prov 16:33 tells us “The lot is cast into the lap but it’s every outcome is from the LORD”. The bounce of the dice, it’s landing angle, the spin & everything related to it, have all been determined by God’s eternal decrees. Things appear to be random because they were not our design or intention. But these are all part of the mysterious pre-destined will of God.
The doctrine of predestination often divides believers. But it is in the scriptures. Hence we cannot ignore it. It needs to be spiritual food for us. God is God and must have divine rights. Otherwise, He is not God. But He exercises His rule over this world in uprightness and absolute justice. So we must approach this subject with humility that our human minds will never understand how He would work all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
“Then the LORD said to Gideon, “By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand…..”” Judges 7:7 NKJV
How many soldiers did his enemy have? Jud 7:12 says “..the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the East lay along the valley like locusts in abundance….”. In other words, there were so many that they cannot be numbered.
How many men did Gideon have at the beginning of Judges 7? 22,000. How many did God eventually allow him to bring for battle? 300.
What a contrast! If Gideon had a victory over his enemies with 22,000 men, he would be tempted to believe that his victory was a work of his own hand. But with only 300, it was clear that any victory would have to be a work of God.
Sometimes, we lack, so that we can rely on God. The Apostle Paul put it this way in 2 Cor 12:9 “…Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Let us rejoice when we feel we are lacking. That is an opportunity to seek God and see His hand work out wonders that will overwhelm us.
“Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”” Judges 6:13 NKJV
Gideon asked “…if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us?..” Many of us may have similarly asked this question when we encounter some unfavourable event. What has happened to the Israelites? Jud 6:2 tells us that “..the hand of Midian overpowered Israel…”. Why did this happen? Jud 1:1 says “The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD..”. And so, “..the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian..”
The unhappy situation experienced by Israel was a result of their sin. They “did evil in the sight of God”. It was a chastisement brought about by God. And Midian was the instrument used to carry out this chastisement. Let us examine ourselves today and see if God is chastising us in a similar fashion. Have we done “evil in the sight of a God”? Are there sins that need to be repented of? If so, let us immediately return to God.
Now, we must not be too quick to judge our brethren who are afflicted. Not all trials & afflictions are a result of direct sins. The Apostle Paul experienced a “thorn in his flesh” in 2 Cor 12:7. And he tells us that this was to “keep him from becoming conceited…”. The assurance we have from Rom 8:28 is that “all things work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose”. The important thing, therefore, is to ask ourselves whether we love God and are called by Him. When we know we are in His fold, let us be encouraged that whatever comes to past, takes place according to His purposes, which are always for our good.
Joshua 24:13 “I gave you a land on which you had not laboured and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.”
These words were recorded towards the end of the book of Joshua. The Israelites had conquered many different nations that dwelt in Canaan. They were now settling down, having divided the land amongst the tribes. And God reminded them through Joshua “I gave you a land on which you had not laboured and cities that you had not built…”
This is a solemn reminder that what they now possess was not a result of their own labour. Yes, they fought the battles. But if not for the will of God that He wanted to give them that land, they would not have found success in their battles. It is therefore necessary that they realise & remember that all that they possessed came from God. And if that be the case, then they ought to be grateful to Him. They ought to continue to be faithful to the God who gave all these to them.
The same is true for all believers in the Lord. “But by the grace of God I am what I am,…” 1 Cor 15:10. We must not for any moment think that we deserve any good from God. We are but unprofitable servants who deserve nothing but hell. Yet, He gave us Jesus to redeem and reconcile us to Himself so that we can receive the fullness of His blessings in Jesus Christ.
Therefore, the only appropriate response from us is to give thanks and worship the God who has brought us thus far. We ought to serve Him and Him only. We ought to use what He has given to us to honour Him.
Judges 4:15 “And the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army before Barak by the edge of the sword.”
God reigns on His throne in heaven. He sustains the world, operating invisible to our eyes. And He moves the hearts of men to bring to pass the situations He wills on earth.
Sisera was the commander of Jabin’s army. Jabin was the king of Canaan. He oppressed the people of Israel & they cried out to the LORD for help (Judges 4:3).
Barak was the son of Abinoam (from Kedesh-Naphtali), called by God to gather 10,000 men to fight against Sisera.
It was the LORD’s will to give Sisera into Barak’s hands. Hence Judges 4:15 tells us that God “..routed Sisera and his all chariots and all his army before Barak by the edge of the sword.” It is clear that Barak’s victory was completely a work of God.
Whatever your current situation, remember that there is a God reigning on the throne in heaven. He orchestrates the events in this world according to His good pleasure and will. The Israelites cried out to Him and received His help. Cry out to Him and you could received His help too. You need Him on your side for any desired victory. But you can only have access to Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Do you know Jesus? If not, you urgently need to seek Him today.