1 KINGS 22
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29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead.

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.

31 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.

 He thought thus to elude the danger. In point of fact he ran into it. We cannot escape from God.

The king of Syria, against whom they were fighting for the recovery of Ramoth-gilead, had strangely instructed his captains to fight neither with small nor great but only with Ahab. Whatever may have been the motive of this order - (perhaps it was the effect of a divine predisposition on the king of Syria's part to bring about the destruction of Ahab in a direct manner ) - the result was that the armies did not come into close quarters at the outset. 

The Syrian captains sought for Ahab, but could not find him, because of the disguise in which he had concealed himself. They therefore held off their troops from the onset.

Ways of Providence Ch 20



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.

34 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.


The arrow thus sent without human orders had a divine mission. It sped towards Ahab in the ranks, and, with unerring aim, penetrated between the joints of his armour and inflicted the wound of which he died before the day was over.

Then a proclamation issued to the host, dismissing every man to his home; and the picture was seen which Micaiah had sketched beforehand: all Israel scattered upon the hills as sheep that have no shepherd. Now, the man discharged the arrow because he felt inclined to do it. It seemed a perfectly natural act to him and to those who witnessed it: but it was an act divinely impelled and divinely guided, as the sequel, in the light of Micaiah's prophecy, showed: whence we derive the conclusion that an action without any higher apparent origin than human caprice, may have a divine character, though nine hundred and ninety-nine in a thousand have no such character.

It all depends on whether the action comes within the compass of a divine purpose, and of this we cannot definitely judge. It is sufficient to realise that an action being natural does not exclude it from the category of divinity. The value of the reflection will be felt in the experience of all who commit their way to God in the confidence that all things work together, because made to work together, for the good of such.

Ways of Providence Ch 20