Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Walk with the Kings of Israel Wednesday


A Very Wicked King: Ahab

Ahab was the next king in line. He reigned for 22 years. He was the most wicked king yet. This is the word of God describing Ahab, “
Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him. He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him (1 Kings 16:30-33).

God looks at our hearts. Whether we outwardly express it or not, God sees all things. Ahab considered it trivial to commit the detestable sins of Jeroboam. It didn’t even make him flinch. Also, he married a very wicked woman, Jezebel. Ahab went as far as setting up an altar for the false God Baal in a temple he built for him. He also made another idol Asherah. Both things were extremely detestable in God’s eyes. Yet the thing that scares me the most is that Ahab considered it trivial.

The Bible is clear about things being black and white. Isaiah 5:20-21 states, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”

It is dangerous ground to call those things God calls bad good. That is why when appointing a leader we MUST know where they stand on moral issues. They will lead our nation down a slippery slope if they do not agree with God’s law. As we have been reading these past few weeks about these kings it is important to note that each one went a little further away from God. We cannot allow that to happen in our country.

There is so much wickedness to cover that is recorded about Ahab’s reign. Most of the accounts are listed in 1 Kings 16 to 1 Kings 22. It is a good read if you have the time. The great prophet Elijah enters the scene here as well. Since there is so much I wanted to point out another thing about God.

Although Ahab was the most wicked king, God still wanted to reach him. Is it possible to reach those who seem unreachable? Even the most wicked? You bet! That is why Jesus desired to come and die. That is why He defeated sin and death to reach us sinners. A free gift that we just have to accept and receive. His love is amazing. 2 Peter 3:9 states it like this, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Ahab had his moment of repentance. I want us to take a look at it. Elijah is told by God to go and deliver a message of judgment to Ahab. Pay very close attention to Ahab’s response.

Ahab said to Elijah, "So you have found me, my enemy!"

"I have found you," he answered, "because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD. 'I am going to bring disaster on you. I will consume your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have provoked me to anger and have caused Israel to sin.' "And also concerning Jezebel the LORD says: 'Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.' "Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds of the air will feed on those who die in the country."

(There was never a man like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the LORD drove out before Israel.)

When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.

Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite: "Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son" (1 Kings 21:20-28).

Though Ahab repented on this occasion which I believe was sincere because God sees the heart. God delayed the judgment. What a patient God we serve. But again, Ahab’s behavior quickly returned to following his own way instead of God’s. Because of this his life was ended in a battle.

1-History repeats itself. A leader will only lead a nation morally by his belief system. How does that make you feel as a nation going through a tough election year? Does it influence how you vote?

2-Is anyone on this earth beyond the hope of Christ? Why or why not?

3-List a few ways we can be sure our repentance is true and not temporary
Copyright 2008-Refresh My Soul Ministries-Angela Parsley

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