The Hand of God
Israel under attack - 1Kings 20
Battle 1 (1-21)
- First demand for gold, silver, women, and children
- Then, demand to walk through and take whatever
- God give the battle to the 7232 of Israel against thousands of the enemy
Battle 2 (22-30)
- God through His prophet warns of another attack
- The attack comes, with unbelievable odds
- They are again routed
- Ahab spares the enemy king, in just mercy?
- Nope, he will lose His life for the enemy as a result
- The first time, God does it that they will clearly know He is God - how else could they prevail?
- God loves getting us into impossible situations, so that we will know that He is God, and He alone
- Even when sin leads us astray into hopelessness, He is willing to prove Himself, for His own glory, for His own benefit
- The second time, God Himself is challenged, and responds to prove He is real, and not just "the god of the mountains"
- The numbers are unbelievable; the 7000 Israelites against hundreds of thousands of the enemy
- They killed 100,000 footmen one day, and a wall crushed 27,000 another (some wall!)
Benhadad released (31-43)
Why the big deal about Ahab releasing Benhadad?
- Remember, this is about God, and His glory. Ahab had not won any battle to be magnanimous about. This was God's victory, and His decision to make concerning Benhadad. He obviously had made it clear that this king's destiny was death, and Ahab didn't obey.
- Also God is not interested in partially removing sin from our lives - He wants it all out. Letting some stay because it seems harmless is a recipe for disaster later on in our lives when that sin comes back to haunt us. Don't hold on!
Naboth's Vineyard - 1Kings 21
- Ahab lusts for Nabal's vineyard and kills him for it
- Not only did Nabal not even have to sell it, as his inheritance it is against God's law!
- He again is told of the consequences, and this time repents
- God grants a stay because of Ahab, ol' wicked Ahab, repents and humbles himself before God. This makes sense, because God is keenly interested in getting all the glory, and when a king humbles himself before God, that glorifies God!
Oh, that I would humble myself before God and repent from my sin! Ahab was no saint, and didn't purport to be, either, instead having a reputation as a wicked king. Yet, like Solomon, his repentance delayed the (still inevitable) consequences of the wrath of God. It wasn't just show, either, because God could see it was true repentance. The unilateral power of God in armies, in lions, in letting the setup for Nabal succeed - be humble before God!All verses in this article