Tuesday, February 12, 2008

1 Kings 20

What is this passage all about?

Ben-Hadad king of Aram attacked Israel twice and was defeated both times, as prophesied. Ahab treated with Ben-Hadad and was condemned for setting free one whom God had determined should die.

What can I learn from it?

I'm glad Ahab isn't king of Australia! No wonder Ben-Hadad tried to invade twice when Ahab offered almost the entire wealth of his kingdom to avoid a battle! Even after Ahab defeated Ben-Hadad the second time, in a complete rout, all Ahab received by way of an apology was a free trade agreement limited to Damascus!

Ahab knew it was God who had made the defeats of the Arameans possible. A prophet had made this clear and even given Ahab the battle plan for the first clash. Yet despite the prophet's words (v13, cf v28), " 'This is what the LORD says: "Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the LORD" ' ", Ahab did not acknowledge God. He did not make any attempt to find out what God's plans were in all this. And so the LORD condemned Ahab again for his sin in going his own way rather than turning to God in obedience. Still unrepentant (v43), "[s]ullen and angry, the king of Israel went to his palace in Samaria."

How does this help me worship God?

God is omniscient and omnipotent yet He does not force people to obey Him. His gift of faith and entrance into a righteous relationship with Himself is free - by His grace. He calls His people to Himself, just as he did Ahab. But, rather than remain defiantly rebellious, it is good to turn to God.

Thank You God for Your grace in extending Your hand of Lordship over my life. Than You for choosing me and calling me away from my sin and being merciful towards me over so many things

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