Read 156.) I Kings 20:1 thru 22:28, and II Chronicles 18:1b thru 27. Our reading pauses to take time to learn a good deal about this king of Israel, Ahab. His queen, Jezebel, was an incredibly wicked woman. Ahab was given many opportunities to repent and to believe on the Lord, but, as we shall see, he squandered all these opportunities. In chapter 20, an unnamed prophet renders Ahab, and all Israel with him, incalculable service. And, while Ahab, listens, and does as this prophet says, as a man of faith would; and, even though God comes through for Ahab just as the prophet foretold, Ahab does not turn to God, or in any particular manner, restore and promote the worship of Yahweh in Israel. It would appear that he must be an incredible fool! After God gives Ahab two miraculous victories, he does not consult the prophet, or the Lord, as to how to deal with the enemy king he has defeated and taken prisoner. See how the chapter ends. After failing to do all that the Lord willed, he became sullen and angry, rather than deeply penitent.
Chapter 21 relates another account. In it, we see more wickedness on Ahab’s part, and even a glimmer of hope, that would give us reason to hold out hope for him. Ahab would like another man’s vineyard, but the owner refuses it to him. Again, we read that Ahab became sullen and angry. Jezebel secures this vineyard for Ahab by having that man murdered! We also see Elijah again, one of the first of the prominently described action- prophets. All Israel had been divided some 60 years, when these very special men of God arose in Israel. God gave them to Israel out His own magnificent love and mercy toward them, that they might have every opportunity to return unto Him. God is just like that! Read verse 25, and recall all that God had already done for Ahab, and ask yourself… Why? And, right after, we read that he repented. But, truly, how deep, and for how long?
Then, chapter 22, and II Chron 18:1b-27. And, the answer is; not long. Ahab can muster 400 false prophets, but there is one true prophet of the Lord, named Micaiah. But, because this prophet only brings bad news from God; Ahab hates him. Of course, Ahab should have repented and sought the Lord, as well as the counsel of His prophet. But, no. This last time, as we shall soon learn, it will result in his early demise. The account of this prophet’s vision is an interesting one, because it describes something of the dealings before God in Heaven, and of how that He causes His will to be done on earth; not unlike that which we see in Job, chapters 1 and 2. Why was Ahab Israel’s worst king? Was it because he married Jezebel? Was it because he murdered Naboth? Was it because he went after idols? Simply, it was because God came so close; and even though Ahab moved in the right direction, toward God, for a bit; he kept God far away, of his own volition and free will. It’s going to cost him… everything. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell