Someone Ate a Bat

There are stories of several people in the Bible who relied on their own efforts. Stories about people who thought they had it all together. About people who thought they were impenetrable. To the point that they thought that even God couldn’t touch them.

They were all wrong.

Ahab, king of Israel was one of those.
A powerful king. Leader of the nation of Israel, God’s people.
Israel was being attacked, and he asked Jehoshaphat, king of Judah to assist.
Jehoshaphat didn’t hesitate. Except to ensure that they enquired from Yahweh before going into battle. They agreed.
All good so far right?

They asked the prophets. About 400 of them! And they all told Ahab what he wanted to hear. “Yahweh says you will be victorious, Majesty.”
But Jehoshaphat wanted to hear from Yahweh, so they brought the prophet Micaiah. And he said the same thing. Great. Victory is in the bag.

But when king Jehoshaphat pressed him, Micaiah admitted that he had lied.
Because Yahweh had given a lying spirit to all the prophets.
So Ahab had Micaiah thrown into prison until he returned from the war.
“If you ever return, then Yahweh has not spoken through me” declared Micaiah.

Chilling words for a king about to go to war.
About to lead the army, in his kingly robes, into a battle where he will be at the front and a very obvious target for the enemy.
But that’s what kings did in those days. That’s how they led their people.

Not Ahab.
He convinced Jehoshaphat to wear his kingly robes as normal. But Ahab disguised himself so the enemy wouldn’t know he was the king. He knew that he could outsmart God’s judgement. In his arrogance, instead of repenting, he doubled down on his own ability to outsmart God.

The enemy had decided to search out the king of Israel and target him specifically.
But that enemy was tricked by this brilliant disguise idea. They all took aim at Jehoshaphat.
The plan was working.
Ahab was congratulating himself as a genius.

But then, an archer fired randomly into the air.
The arrow hit Ahab, king of Israel, through his disguise, and right through the gap of his breastplates, piercing his chest - killing him slowly over the course of the day as he watched from the sidelines as his army was defeated.

Just when he was thinking that he had outsmarted Yahweh - he wasn’t.
This was all part of Yahweh’s plan. All under control. All foreseen. All taken into account.
It was trivial for Yahweh to have an archer fire randomly to make the shot of the millennium and hit a disguised target in his one point of weakness.
Proving that Yahweh is in fact God and that even the king of Israel cannot stand against him if he has declared that something will be so.

So what has that got to do with a bat?

The world has been worshipping money and wealth for a long time.
In recent years, especially in the USA, but all over really, we’ve been willing to take bigger and bigger risks to get more and more of it. (At the expense of other people).

In 2008 we had a big wake up call, and the risks looked like they were about to bring down the entire system. But in our ingenuity we came up with a disguise a “recovery plan”. We put ourselves into unprecedented debt. We reduced interest rates as low as we dared. (Charging interest is what causes the issue in the first place, btw). And we clawed our way back to “stability”.
We did it. With our own brilliance, and our self reliant abilities and efforts.
We got away with it.

Until someone in China ate a bat. A bat that was sick, with a corona virus.
Within months, governments all around the world were in a panic, desperately trying to stem the flood of sick and dying people to at most be a tide that we can sort of cope with. Shutting down the world economy one country after another.

But these economies are fragile. People live on the edge. Most of them don’t have finances for next week, let alone enough to go months without work.
And even with finances, with nobody working, where will the food come from?

On a smaller scale, people thought they were still in control if they had 6 months worth of toilet paper stockpiled in their garage.
They have no idea who they’re up against.

This could really be the end for the global economy. It might well come to the point that we would rather have food than any amount of money, and we will be willing to pay a whole day’s wages just to get a couple of litres of wheat. Just as it describes in Revelation.

We thought we had outsmarted God in our 2008 disaster. We thought we were above his warnings about worshipping money, and greed, and selfishness.

But then someone ate a bat.

The person who thinks they can ignore God’s warnings. Who thinks they can have things their own way because they want it that way. Will be like the person in Amos 5.
“It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear,
as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall
only to have a snake bite him.”

Every time he thinks he got away. Every time he relaxes. Every time he breathes that sigh of relief. Yahweh is right there. Waiting. Having fully anticipated this move and out planned, out thought, out done all his efforts.

We might even “get away” with it again this time. But if we do then there will be something else.

Resisting Yahweh’s decision on your life can only end two ways.
You repent.
You lose.

Your choice.

PDF Version