Daily D – 1 Kings 21:25-26
1 Kings 21:25, 26
(There was never anyone 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.) (NIV)
Ahab, pushed by his wife Jezebel and in open defiance of God, set an all-time record in making big business of evil. He indulged in outrageous obscenities in the world of idols, copying the Amorites whom God had earlier kicked out of Israelite territory. (MSG)
“I knew if I waited around long enough something like this would happen.”
George Bernard Shaw
There are websites with collections of epitaphs. Some are funny. Others are poignant. A few are crude. Some declare uncomfortable truths.
What epitaph could we write for Ahab?
The Bible’s two-sentence summary of Ahab’s life, seen in verses 25 and 26 above, is damning.
1. He was the worst of the worst.
2. His marriage was a match made in hell.
3. He was obscene in his worship practices.
This does not tell the whole story, however. Confronted with his and his wife’s evil by God through Elijah, he humbled himself. What did God have to say about this turn of events?
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 21:28-29 NIV
There is a lesson for us in Ahab’s response to being confronted with the truth about his life. If we want to get God’s attention, we will humble ourselves.
Our Father in heaven gives grace and mercy to those who humble themselves before him. Only the humble are not driven by personal agendas. Only the humble welcome whatever God has to say. Only the humble turn from seeking their own way.
Humility is not very popular today. Most people prefer to have their say. Most people want to have it their way. There is a better way than my way.
We discover God’s better way when we move our egos out of the way.
Jesus taught us how to do this. The Model Prayer of Matthew 6:9-13 includes these words in verses 9 and 10:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:9-10 NIV
Humility acknowledges God for who he is.
Humility submits to his will done his way.
Humility understands the ultimate value of God’s kingdom.
Humility desires God’s will in all things for all people.
Humility wants God’s will to be done as surely and as immediately as it is done in heaven.
Meditate on this part of this prayer today. Humble yourself before God. He will notice and respond.
I will humble myself before God.
Our Father, you are God and I am not. I celebrate you for who you are. I want to do your will your way in all things all day. Use me in whatever manner you see fit to extend your kingdom rule and reign that overflows with your love, mercy, and grace. May your will be done in my life today as surely and as immediately as it is done in heaven. Amen.
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2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 33:15, 16 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
2 Kings 20:2, 3 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”