Wounds and Arrows

29 Dec

The story is told of a rebel soldier who’s leg was severely wounded while fighting at the bloody battle of Bull Run; one of the Civil War’s most infamous battles. Following the conflict, the young soldier walked nearly 200 miles to his homestead in North Carolina, only to die a few weeks later from his untreated leg wound. Sadly, many of our brave soldiers lost thier lives, not from the wound itself, but from the complications that followed. What lesson can we learn from this 150 year old civil war story? Wounds left untreated can take your life.

There’s a fascinating Bible story tucked away in 1 Kings about a faulty alliance between good King Jehoshaphat of Judah and the notorious Ahab, King of Israel. The story line is so outlandish, you would think this can’t be true — but it is. And it’s legendary.

King Ahab has been up to no good for some time now. He and his impish wife, Jezebel, have led the people of Israel away from God to idol worship, put hits out on the prophets of God, and murdered an innocent man for the sole purpose of obtaining his valuable real estate.

One day when King Jehoshaphat is visiting King Ahab, the two discuss partnering together to attack Aram and win back the border town of Ramoth Gilead. “Will you join me in battle?” asks King Ahab. “Why of course!” King Jehoshaphat responds. “My horses are your horses and my troops your troops. But first let’s find out what the Lord says.”

King Ahab wants nothing to do with the prophets of God and says “yes, there is a man who prophesies for the Lord, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me.” Jehoshaphat, not wanting to embarrass the king of Israel in front of his court replies, “That is not the way a king should talk! Let’s find out what he says.”

The prophet, unwilling to risk life or limb, says to Ahab, “Go ahead king. Lead your men to battle. You will surely be victorious.” Then King Ahab, realizing that the prophet was telling him what he wanted to hear, responds with an edge to his words.”How many times must I tell you to speak only the truth to me? What does the Lord really say?”

Then the prophet speaks boldly the word of the Lord. “King Ahab, you will not return from this battle”. You are going to die. If you return from this battle alive, the Lord has not spoken through me”. And that is precisely what happened to King Ahab.

Circumventing the word of the Lord, King Ahab dresses himself in a disguise to hide his identity, while King Jehoshaphat entered the battle in his royal robes. As the chariots of Aram were closing in on King Jehoshophat, the commanders realize that they’re going after the wrong man! “This is not the King of Israel — this is Jehoshaphat. We have no quarrel with him.”

Then, as fate would have it, an Aramean soldier randomly shoots an arrow at the Israelite troops, hitting the disguised King of Israel right between the joints of his armor. “Turn the horses and get me out of here” says King Ahab. “I’m badly wounded.”

Needless to say, the prophets words came to pass. A random arrow mortally wounded the wicked king. The story goes on to say that Ahab propped himself up the remainder of that day, but his untreated wound did him in.

There’s a lot we can learn from this Old testament story, but let’s focus on one simple truth. Unattended wounds will take you out. Like the rebel soldier returning from the front lines, battle wounds need to be attended too. They must be cleaned and dressed. It’s a fact that more men died from infection in the Civil War than any other injury.

The word of God speaks continually of the spiritual battle that rages between the forces of good and evil. Unfortunately, some very good people are wounded in battle. Even the best of soldiers can be taken out. That is why it is so crucial to stay connected to your brothers and sisters in Christ. We were never meant to battle the enemy alone. We are to dress the wounds of those we fight shoulder to shoulder with.

The Bible says our words hold the power of life and death.  Words can cleanse and words can heal. Words can also destroy and dismantle relationships. Random words can be as lethal as a random arrow, and find the unprotected joints in our spiritual armor. Words spoken in a fit of rage can wound people for a lifetime.

Let’s ask the Lord to give us understanding in these simple truths. Yes, wounds may come and arrows may fly, but here is God’s promise:

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. ( Psalm 91: 5-7)

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One Response to “Wounds and Arrows”

  1. thomas monari April 9, 2012 at 4:51 am #

    Dear savant of God ,

    Kindly receive our greetings through the name of our God and the lord Jesus Christ.I am pastor Thomas the founder of one young church and a teacher of orphans. I am filled with joy and love because it is not my ability and plan to find you in your website pages but it is through God’s divine grace and connections that i have visited the internent and directed me to find you and His wonderful work you are doing for him.

    In fact what i have seen and learned from your web pages is full of truth secrets of the word of the bible of God, i really trust this changes of truths of the bible and very much interested as i am writing to you, i am greatly moved and thrilled with this wonderful teachings.Kindly, if possible send us kindly for our spiritual growth and development.

    Kindly i request you and your ministry if God provides the opportunity for you and give an ok you become our mentor parent, This what i am seeking and praying for God to visit your heart and give you directions to agree with us,and if possible you make a Macedonian trip to Kenya and share with us face to face.I trust and believe that you will not ignore us because of this wonderful work which God gifted to you to reach us here Kenya, Amen!! Kindly pray for this community which is full of traditional believes and teachings to know God’s true word of the bible .

    pastor Thomas on behalf of the church.

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