It’s a rather strange story that suggests a very unique, and often overlooked, truth. Ahab, even though he was the king of Israel, was seen as the enemy of God by the faithful and the enemy of man by everybody else. In fact, they had made elaborate plans to remove him from his position, but every plan they’d tried had failed. They had sent squads, and entire armies, to kill him, but nothing succeeded. They had even aimed all of their arrows at him but every arrow missed its royal target. Then something very strange and completely unexpected happened. An unnamed soldier was wasting time, perhaps trying some trick shots with his bow and arrow for the amusement of his friends or himself. Suddenly the trick shot became a tragic shot when the arrow meant for another target found its way to the enemy of God and he fell dead. The killing of the king came from a hand that wasn’t looking to take it and from and arrow that wasn’t meant for him.
This isn’t as unusual of an occurrence as we might at first think. How many times do we get with little or no effort something that we have worked and struggled for so long in vain? We plan and work and try and suddenly out of nowhere we find that for which we labored so long lying on our doorstep. We spend hours or days trying to remember a name and suddenly it jumps into our mind when we were actually thinking about something else. You work long and hard, but when you finally give up your effort that which you worked for so long and hard comes to pass. Growing up I often heard the statement, “A watched pot never boils.” It seems that there is truth to this statement. I’ve come to believe that so many times it is the thing that we are the most anxious to accomplish that never happens. In fact, personal observation says that all of our personal effort may even serve to divert our arrows to another target.
When God promised Abraham that He would create from him a great and mighty kingdom the Lord added, “all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through you.” He had tried his entire life to make a name for himself and suddenly he was going to get the former by shooting at the latter. Even though it stands in opposition to everything we are told today, I have never known of a man to attain personal success by making personal success his one and only aim. So many times the prize is hit by aiming at something entirely different. David sang to sheep in the woods but was heard by kings. Mary broke the box of precious perfume to anoint the head of Jesus but ended up filling the entire house with its fragrance. The arrow that hits the target of the greatest everlasting honor is often the one that was aimed at the simplest need of the day.
Be very careful of the direction in which you aim your life. How many books have we seen entitled, “How To Achieve Success,” or “How To Win.” I would suggest that such goals not be the aim of your life. True success often comes from aiming at other things.
The motto of the age tells us that “Work brings wealth.” I agree that we ought to work, but I would add that we must work at things that the world considers to be a waste of time. I would tell you to work at love – for the benefit of those around you. The world tells us to make friends to open doors. No doubt our relationships can, and often will, open up doors that would have been closed to us otherwise. However, I would caution you to make friends, not for what they can do for you, but simply because true friends add value and beauty to your life. The world says that those things you do now, the hard work and long hours you invest now will help you later on in life. There’s no doubt that this is often proven to be true. But, I would suggest you aim for the grave not just the gold.
Your arrow may hit earthly fruit and drop it into your lap, but let it do so by accident. Don’t aim for the fruit. Aim for the flower or the leaf. If you will seek first His kingdom and His righteousness then the blessings of the king will be yours also. If you’ll seek purity, you will find peace. If you’ll seek friendship, you will find fortune. If you’ll seek goodness, you will find glory. If you’ll seek sobriety, you will find strength. If you’ll see wisdom, you will find wealth. If you will seek reflection, you will find reputation. If you’ll seek benevolence, you will find blessing. If you’ll seek Christ first, you will find His cup and with it great joy. When you shoot your arrow at an unselfish goal you will find that it will bring an unexpected gain to your life.