TODAY’S READING: I KINGS 20-22
Syria attacks Israel twice; Ahab spares the Syrian king; Ahab’s “purchase” of Naboth’s vineyard; Israel and Judah unite against Syria; the death of Ahab.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
The Syrians, led by Ben-hadad, come against Israel during Ahab’s reign. Ahab agrees to Syria’s demands, but then Syria simply requests more. Ahab cannot accept the second request and war follows. Sometimes it seems easier to give in to little things because “it’s not that big of a deal.” However, as we’ve seen before, the world, sin, and the flesh always want more. Sooner or later we realize the price is too high and we must fight. God reveals He will deliver the victory to Israel. It is amazing that even when we’re walking in the flesh, like Ahab, God is still willing to work in our life to bring us back to Himself. Syria is defeated, but comes against Ahab and Israel a second time. God once again enables Israel to gain the victory. However, despite God proving Himself and giving Israel the victory, Ahab still rebels against God and does not kill Ben-hadad, the Syrian king. This will cost Ahab his life. We see the same thing today in believers and unbelievers al!
ike. God proves Himself in their life, but they’re still not willing to obey God. Ultimately, it will result in death as well.
Ahab is a bewildering character. He is king, and as we have seen, he is a very wicked king. However, when his offer for Naboth’s vineyard is rejected, he doesn’t do anything other than sulk about it. It is his wife Jezebel that schemes Naboth’s death, and then gives the vineyard to her husband. He’s excited about the vineyard until Elijah meets him and pronounces God’s judgment upon him for his deeds. Ahab then humbles himself before God, though he never truly repents.
In Chapter 22, Jehoshaphat is king of Judah and makes an ally of Ahab so they can join in battle against Syria. Ahab’s prophets prophesy great victory, but Jehoshaphat can see these are not prophets of God. Ahab doesn’t want to hear from the true prophet of God because he never likes what the prophet says – because it’s never good things concerning him. We, too, live in a time where most people (saved and unsaved) do not want to hear the truth, especially about themselves. They would rather hear a positive, uplifting message. They want it to be spiritual, just not negative (II Timothy 4:1-5). That’s why God says we live in a time of famine of hearing the Word of God (Amos 8:11). Sadly, like the false prophets Ahab liked, most of God’s prophets today would rather be liked by the people, than obey God and preach His Word. Ahab is killed in this battle and the prophecies against him in chapters 21 & 22 are fulfilled.
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As MICAIAH, the prophet of the Lord, speaking whatever the Lord (Father) wants him to speak.
I Kings 22:14 (John 3:34; 14:10).