1 Kings 20-21
Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Kings%2020-21&version=NIV;AMP
There is a LOT going on in our reading today…more names…more people…more fighting…and we even see God REACHING OUT/PURSUING AHAB…..EVEN AHAB….a very EVIL king (Scripture says the MOST evil king!) In case you get confused during the reading….. just remember that right now in our reading there are two major focuses…ISRAEL and JUDAH. AHAB is King of Israel right now and JUDAH still has Jehoshaphat. Israel and Judah have 3 major enemies in our current reading (and for the next 2 centuries!! Their major enemies are Aram, Assyria, and Babylon.
Ben-Hadad is King of Aram (Go back to 15:18.) The last time we read about him King Asa of Judah bribed him to be on his side (remember–King Asa had SEEN the power of God win battles for Judah yet King Asa began to trust in his own power, his own negotiations with men rather than trusting God.). Now in Chapter 20 Ben-Hadad is attacking Israel. NO SHOCKER here…… we are not to make treaties (unequally yoked) with the enemy. So THINK about who you make business agreements with…who you date…who you marry…who influences you.
King Ahab of ISRAEL (10 Tribes): BAD king. He did not worship the ONE TRUE GOD, he was selfish, he POUTED ….yes…a KING POUTING like a 3 year old. He built all the pagan idols. He is also married to Jezebel who killed ALL of the God fearing prophets that she could find. Yet, even with all that, God DELIVERED AHAB in this battle TWICE!!!. God was giving Ahab a reminder of WHO HE was and the opportunity to change his ways.
Chapter 20 verse 29 starts the Battle, and did it not remind you of Jericho??
Sadly, Ahab never acknowledged God for the battle and never changed his ways. HOWEVER…..Ahab did humble himself before the Lord and because of his HUMILITY before God, God decided not to destroy Israel under Ahab, but under Ahab’s son….so the destruction is coming!! The last verse in 1 Kings 21 says: “29 Do you see how Ahab humbles himself before Me? Because he humbles himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his lifetime, but in his son’s day I will bring the evil upon his house.”
If you became confused about who was in disguise before Ahab….try reading chapter 20 in The Message. In the defeat of the battle, it was actually Ben-Hadad who disguised himself and sought mercy from Ahab. AND IT WORKED…..Ahab CHOSE NOT to KILL HIM!!! HIS enemy who would have killed him if God had not intervened. THIS bad bad enemy….Ahab did not kill.
Chapter 21 is just plain wild….. we see so many evil things happening. The pouting king who has to go to his bedroom and lay down from depression because Naboth won’t sell him his own land. Naboth was being loyal to his family land. Ahab….”WHAAAA..kick kick….scream scream…he won’t let me play with his toys…so I’m gonna go to bed and eat worms!!!” OH and then Jezebel steps in…..”NO WORRIES AHAB…. I’LL FIX IT!!” ANd does she ever….. she KILLED Naboth …obviously if he wouldn’t sell the land to her husband …she was also being DEPRIVED…..so just kill ’em and take the land!!!
Did you also notice that Jezebel MADE sure there were two false witnesses (unscrupulous) against Naboth?? I point this out because this was JEWISH law…at the time of the reading AND when Jesus lived!! If you were with us for the reading during the Holy Week…. you will remember there were NO witnesses against Jesus!!! LEGALLY, based on Jewish law…. JESUS should NOT have been killed!! LEGALLY, Jezebel KNEW she had to have TWO WITNESSES against Naboth for blasphemy in order to have him killed….she arranged it!! I’m telling you sometimes when I read the Scriptures from thousands of years ago….it is hard to tell the difference between what I am reading in today’s newspapers and what I read in the Scriptures!!
These TWO were evil, self centered, selfish, rebellious, calculating, murderous, “the end justifies the means”, determined to get THEIR way, and not only did they CHOSE NOT to follow God….but they made sure the Nation of Israel would not follow HIM (Jezebel killed every prophet of God she could find….remember Obadiah hid many from her!!) And true to a selfish person’s behavior, Ahab and Jezebel were just plain BRATS. God will have HIS time of judgement/justice with them. Elijah prophesied what would happen to Ahab and Jezebel: “Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel”. YES it will happen!! ALL prophesy will come to pass!!!
Sharing HIS love,
BTW….look for a couple of extra posts today to explain the kings of Israel as a unified nation and then once they split as Israel and Judah. Maybe these will give more clarity to the kingdoms, who is ruling which kingdom, and if they are “good or bad” kings.