King Ahab has gone down in history as the most wicked king ever to rule Israel. His wife, Jezebel, ruled him from behind the scenes and saw to it that the worship of Baal was made the official religion of the land. Ahab sold himself to work evil and in today's reading we see his sins and his final judgment.
Chapter 20 presents Ahab's defense. In verses 1-12 he was challenged by the king of Syria, who was assisted by 32 other kings. The Lord intervenes to save King Ahab and his people, even though Ahab did not deserve being saved. Finally, in verses 31-43 Satan accomplishes his mission as he leads Ahab into a wicked compromise with the enemy.
Chapter 21 records Ahab's deception as he desired the vineyard of Naboth. How terrible that lust and greed brought death to an innocent man, just to satisfy King Ahab and his wicked wife.
In reality, King Ahab was a great soldier who could have led Israel to victory and peace had he followed the Lord in truth; but his alliance with Baal worship and the evil influence of his godless wife brought him defeat. Ahab did experience the goodness of God in the military victories, yet refused to submit himself to the Law. He humbled himself outwardly when judgment was announced, and even then received a stay of execution, but his shallow repentance did not last. The years of drought and the great demonstration of God's glory on Mt. Carmel did not soften his hard heart. He heart one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament and yet did not repent! His 22 years of reign only led the nation farther away from God. Proverbs 29:1 tells us, "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.".
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