1 Kings 20:13-25

Ahab Victorious

13 Now behold, a prophet approached Ahab king of Israel and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver them into your hand today, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’” 14 Ahab said, “By whom?” So he said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘By the young men of the rulers of the provinces.’” Then he said, “Who shall [g]begin the battle?” And he [h]answered, “You.” 15 Then he mustered the young men of the rulers of the provinces, and there were 232; and after them he mustered all the people, even all the sons of Israel, 7,000.

16 They went out at noon, while Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in the [i]temporary shelters [j]with the thirty-two kings who helped him. 17 The young men of the rulers of the provinces went out first; and Ben-hadad sent out and they told him, saying, “Men have come out from Samaria.” 18 Then he said, “If they have come out for peace, take them alive; or if they have come out for war, take them alive.”

19 So these went out from the city, the young men of the rulers of the provinces, and the army which followed them. 20 They [k]killed each his man; and the Arameans fled and Israel pursued them, and Ben-hadad king of Aram escaped on a horse with horsemen. 21 The king of Israel went out and [l]struck the horses and chariots, and [m]killed the Arameans with a great slaughter.

22 Then the prophet came near to the king of Israel and said to him, “Go, strengthen yourself and observe and see what you have to do; for at the turn of the year the king of Aram will come up against you.”

23 Now the servants of the king of Aram said to him, “Their gods are gods of the mountains, therefore they were stronger than we; but rather let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they. 24 Do this thing: remove the kings, each from his place, and put captains in their place, 25 and [n]muster an army like the army that you have lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot. Then we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they.” And he listened to their voice and did so.

Now, we already know Ahab hasn’t been very diligent in following God. In fact, he was worse than any king before him, and the name Jezebel is notorious because of the behavior of Ahab’s wife. She threatened to kill Elijah, and certainly would have tried.

But God didn’t abandon Israel, nor did He forsake Ahab in their time of trouble. Spoiler: later on, God would tell them of impending doom if they didn’t change their ways, but God wanted to give Ahab another chance.

In fact, God had already given Ahab plenty of evidence that He was real, and the one true God worth serving. But He was patient with Ahab even if he didn’t deserve it. And so He is with us. God extends His mercy to us, even when we don’t deserve it. In fact, that’s been the story all along, so it shouldn’t be a shocker that it continues today.

God created you to receive His love, and He will do everything He can to make that a reality. It just takes your willingness to accept it and follow Him.

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