Beware of the dark side, you must...
In the dictionary, providence is defined as “the protective care of God...as a spiritual power”. While this is certainly true, I'd like to argue that there's also another side to the coin of providence – an oft overlooked side. But first, let's take a look at an example of the “Light side” of providence:
2 Kings 11:1-3
“Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family. 2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king's sons who were being put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death. 3 And he remained with her six years, hidden in the house of the Lord, while Athaliah reigned over the land.”
In this passage, evil queen Athaliah is determined to be the only possible heir to the throne. Killing all rivals was a common tactic back in these days, and Athaliah though that she had accomplished just that. However, thanks to God's “light side” of providence, Joash was rescued and later became king. Good thing, too, because he was the only living link in Jesus' genealogy at the time.
Now let's take a look at what you might call the “dark side” of God's providence:
2 Chronicles 18: 28-34
“So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 29 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.” And the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle. 30 Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of his chariots, “Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel.” 31 As soon as the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him. And Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him; God drew them away from him. 32 For as soon as the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 33 But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” 34 And the battle continued that day, and the king of Israel was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians until evening. Then at sunset he died.”
Ahab did everything in his power to insure that he wasn't hurt in this battle. He knew that the Syrians would be looking for him and him alone, and so he had Jehoshaphat dress up in his royal robes. The Syrians had been commanded not to shoot at the Israelites, and yet one archer randomly shot at the Israelites and hit, guess who? Ahab. And he even hit him in a gap between two pieces of his armor. What are the chances of that happening? Easily one in a million. Yet it happened because God had planned for Ahab to die. Providence isn't always a good thing for everyone, as Ahab learned the hard way. I like to say that providence has a bit of a dark side. =)