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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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”