Saturday, June 28, 2008

Grace of Grace

June 28: 1 Kings 20-21

13 And behold, a prophet came near to Ahab king of Israel and said, “Thus says the Lord, Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will give it into your hand this day, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

The Syrians fled, and Israel pursued them, but Ben-hadad king of Syria escaped on a horse with horsemen. 21 And the king of Israel went out and struck the horses and chariots, and struck the Syrians with a great blow.

23 And the servants of the king of Syria said to him, “Their gods are gods of the hills, and so they were stronger than we. But let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.

28 And a man of God came near and said to the king of Israel, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because the Syrians have said, “The Lord is a god of the hills but he is not a god of the valleys,” therefore I will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’”

Let us [Ben-hadad and his servants] put sackcloth around our waists and ropes on our heads and go out to the king of Israel. Perhaps he will spare your life.” 32 So they tied sackcloth around their waists and put ropes on their heads and went to the king of Israel and said, “Your servant Ben-hadad says, ‘Please, let me live.’”

42 And he said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore your life shall be for his life, and your people for his people.’” 43 And the king of Israel went to his house vexed and sullen and came to Samaria.
1 Kings 20:13, 20b-21, 23, 28, 31b-32 & 42-43

27 And when Ahab [Elijah the prophet condemned him for allowing Ben-hadad to live] heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly. 28 And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son's days I will bring the disaster upon his house.”
1 Kings 21:27-29

Grace of Grace

Take the time to read today's entire reading; it will give you greater insight into the character of Ahab, King of Israel, and the wondrous grace of God.

Remember, Ahab was a very wicked king who served the prophets of Baal rather than the God of Israel. In spite of this, God gave Ahab victory when the Syrians came up against him in battle. God sent a prophet to Ahab so that he would understand that it was God who defeated the Syrians.

The Syrians who had outnumbered the Israelites knew that God had fought for the Israelites, so after their defeat, they determined that God must only be a God of the hills.

“Their gods are gods of the hills, and so they were stronger than we. But let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they."

God sent a prophet to King Ahab with these words, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because the Syrians have said, “The Lord is a god of the hills but he is not a god of the valleys,” therefore I will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’”

This time God gave Ben-hadad, the captain of the Syrians into the hand of King Ahab, but Ahab did not kill him, but foolishly made a truce with him.

God sent Elijah to Ahab condemning him for allowing Ben-hadad to live.

And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly.

What was God's response?

Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son's days I will bring the disaster upon his house.”

Look at God's reaction to Ahab; oh the grace of grace that can come only from the Lord. Here was one of the most wicked kings who ever lived, and yet God brought mercy on him when He humbled himself before the Lord.

Do you think your sins are too great for God to have mercy upon you? God sent His only Son to save a people for himself. Did any one of these people deserve to be saved? No, not one! Go to God, humbled yourself before Him, and seek the salvation He has given to us through the blood of Christ. He alone will show you the grace of grace as He pours His mercy upon you and grants to you eternal life.

What an amazing God we have!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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