1 KINGS 21

17 And the word [Devar] of Yahweh came to Elijah the Tishbite [Eliyahu the Tishbi], saying,

18 Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel [ Ach'av Melech Yisroel], which is in Samaria [Shomron]: behold [hinei], he is in the vineyard of Naboth [ kerem of Navot], whither he is gone down to possess it.

19 And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith Yahweh, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith Yahweh, In the place [makom] where dogs licked the blood of Naboth [ kelavim licked the dahm Navot] shall dogs lick thy blood [kelavim lick thy dahm], even thine.

This was one of those details that could not be humanly arranged for and yet which though divinely caused, came about in a perfectly natural way. Ahab, wounded in battle, is put in his chariot, which receives on the floor of it a large quantity of the blood issuing from his wound. He dies, and is driven home dead in his chariot. Afterwards the chariot is washed by a man-servant; it is taken to the pool of Samaria for the purpose. The spot is the spot where Naboth was murdered. The water swills the blood upon the stones, the sniffing dogs gathering around lick it up. The finger of God is not visible at any part of the transaction, and yet the transaction was subject to divine guidance.

Apart from this, there were many contingencies that might easily have interfered with the fulfilment of the blood-licking prediction. In the first place, as the battle in which Ahab was wounded was a defeat for Israel, it might easily have happened that the chariot was captured, and the wounded king in it, in which case the blood would never have been washed on to the flags of the pool of Samaria.

In the second place, there was a long distance between Ramoth-gilead and the pool of Samaria, and it might easily happened (and would have been natural) that the chariot should be wiped out for the honour of the dead long before the end of the journey.

In the third place, arrived at home, it would have been no marvel for the chariot to have been washed privately in the king's stables, or in some other convenient spot where the blood of Ahab would never have been brought into contact with the spot that witnesses Naboth's murder.

But the word of the Lord had decreed, and therefore, the chariot safely arrived home, with the blood unremoved from the floor of it, and was duly taken to the very right spot where also the dogs were available for their part of the appointed retribution. This incident was subject to divine control. Nobody would be conscious of it. Everybody would act a natural and unconstrained part, and yet the whole matter invisibly kept in a certain groove. The man who took the chariot to the pool of Samaria would simply feel that that was the handiest place to give it a thorough washing. He would be caused to feel this, but would be conscious only of the feeling and not of its cause.

Ways of Providence Ch 20


28 And the word [Devar] of Yahweh came to Elijah the Tishbite [Eliyahu the Tishbi], saying,

29 Seest thou how Ahab [Ach'av] humbleth himself before Me? Because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil [hara'ah] in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house [yamim bno will I bring ra'ah (disaster) upon his Bais (See 2Kgs 9:23-26)].

If the repentant and humble attitude of a man like Ahab warded off an intended visitation of providential evil, we may learn the wisdom of that emendation of evil ways which is the constant inculcation of the Spirit of God calling to the sons of men in the scriptures.

We should never despair, but, confessing our sins and forsaking them, seek that mercy at the Father's hand which at the last moment may defer appointed punishment.

Ways of Providence Ch 20