June 23

June 23

Ahab (Northern King 22 years) — Syria’s threats & Naboth’s vineyard.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: 1 Kings 20

Reading 2: 1 Kings 21

Reading 3: 2 Kings 9:24-26

God’s heart for His people is such that He will go to any lengths to show that He is God, and that He is worthy of allegiance and worship. Today we see God opposing the king of Syria on behalf of king Ahab of Israel, even though Ahab is the most ungodly king Israel has ever known.

By following instructions given by God’s prophet, Ahab is able to defeat the Syrian army of king Ben-Hadad. It is a miraculous victory, and God told them in advance that it was to show that He is God. But following the victory, Ahab shows his disregard for God immediately by entering into a peace treaty with his enemy! So another prophet decrees doom for Ahab.

But before this can happen, Ahab commits a further sin by coveting the land of his neighbor Naboth. When Naboth refuses to sell, Ahab becomes angry and sulky. So Jezebel steps in and has Naboth killed, adding the sin of murder to the sin of coveting. This leads to God’s judgment being declared on Ahab and Jezebel to bring an end to their sin. Although God is patient and wants every sinner to repent and turn away from their rebellion, ultimately He will judge sin to bring it to an end.

Then in a remarkable display of compassion, God responds to Ahab’s repentance by telling Elijah that the judgment on Ahab’s household will be postponed until after his death. Our reading in 2 Kings 9 shows us the completion of the judgement on Ahab’s family as his son Joram is killed and his body thrown out on the plot of land that used to belong to Naboth, where it will be eaten by dogs.

So we draw near to the end of an ungodly dynasty with many lessons to teach us. Let’s resolve again to listen, obey, and worship God alone, shunning any entanglement in demonic or occult powers. God is more than enough, and we are His!

Have a great day!

Mark.

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