Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for June 27, 1 Kings 20-21

Today's readings are 1 Kings 20-21. Tomorrow's are 1 Kings 22, 2 Chron 18.

1 Kings 20 finds Aramean King Ben-Hadad and an alliance of 32 kings coming against King Ahab of Israel. Ahab, who was worshiping Baal and had an inferior force is granted victory over Ben-Hadad by God. Two things become clear, God is the true God of Israel, regardless of Ahab...and God is exceedingly gracious. Ahab deserves destruction, yet God grants him victory instead. Simultaneously, God demonstrates His power to the Arameans, who, by all measures, should have easily defeated Ahab.

Believing Israel's God was a god only of the hills, a year later, the Arameans attack another of Ahab's cities, Aphek, which is in a valley. God grants Israel the victory again, showing that He is Lord over hill and valley.
Ahab violates the rules of holy war and spares Ben-Hadad. God sends a prophet, condemning Ahab for neglecting God's word. Ironically, Ahab ends up proclaiming his own judgment in 1 Kings 20:35-43. 

In 1 Kings 21, Ahab tries to buy a vineyard from Naboth. Lev 25 taught that God owned the land in Canaan and His people were not to dispose of it. Naboth rightfully refuses to sell. Ahab's wife, Jezebel, lies about Naboth, instigating his execution. Ahab and Jezebel acquire the land after Naboth is killed.  

Speaking through Elijah, God judges Jezebel and the land, holding Ahab responsible for all that has happened, prophesying that Ahab would die horribly and Jezebel in an even worse fashion, torn and eaten by dogs.

Ahab repents and God has mercy on him. Still His laws have been violated and blood has been shed. There will be earthly consequences for Ahab's actions. Notice, Jezebel does not repent. This will have grave consequences regarding her fate.

God's grace flows freely to those who exhibit heartfelt, contrite repentance. Those who stubbornly resist the word of God and continue in their rebellion, as we see time and again in the Scriptures, suffer serious and eternal consequences. 

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