King Ahab and Jezebel, Part 3
We are moving along in our discussion of King Ahab and his domineering wife, Jezebel. A perfect storm is brewing that we learn of in 1 Kings 18-19, where Elijah the prophet of Jehovah stands against the many prophets of Baal in a contest that will undoubtedly declare Jehovah the supreme winner, as if there was any doubt.
As we noted in our second part in this series, King Ahab was a potently corrupt individual. 1 Kings 16:30 summed up his tenure as king, noting that he was worse than all previous kings combined for his corruption and evil. I find it fascinating that God allowed him to reign as long as he did. But it’s important to remember that God exists in the eternal present, unlike us. For us, we have our memories of what has come and gone, we live (sometimes) in the moment that is happening now, but most often, we look to the future. We are not in all of those periods of time at the same time. However, this is exactly where God resides – in the eternal present. This is why Peter could say that one days is as a thousand with the Lord (2 Peter 3:8). Of course, in my opinion, people take this thought of Peter’s out of context often and imply it to mean something else entirely. I think what Peter was pointing out is the eternally present nature of God.
In other words, God sees all of time – from start to finish – at the same time. He sees it all and it is always before Him. Peter is not saying that everything runs together for God or that He really doesn’t keep track of time. God is more aware of every second, moment, hour, day, or year than you or I can ever be. Ask yourself how He could be God and not be in the eternal present?
God sees the end from the beginning. He knows how to make His plans come to fruition in spite of humanity’s free will in each and every situation. Why did God allow Ahab to rule for as long as He allowed him to rule? I do not know the answer to that, but we can be assured that allowing Ahab to rule would ultimately bring glory to God. This is true of everything that happens under the sun (as Solomon might say). Why has Satan been allowed to gain control over aspects of God’s Creation and why hasn’t God seemingly done anything about since the Creation? I don’t know all the specifics and I don’t believe the Bible reveals all of those specifics to us. What we do know is that Satan set in motion a series of events when he promised to himself that he would become like “the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14). Certainly God allowed it. Why? Because Satan (Lucifer prior his fall), had/has free will. That free will of his set him against God and placed him on an eternal path of opposition against God.
However, in spite of Satan’s promises and attempts to fulfill those promises, God will be glorified. While we are unable to see the reality in all situations because it often appears to us as though evil has more dominion over Creation than God’s goodness, we should rest in the truth that God prevails and will continue to prevail. Ultimately, God is Victor from start to end mainly because of His power over all Creation and His ability to see the end from the beginning and because of the fact that, unlike no other creature in all of Creation, God resides in the eternal present. If a human being could do that, we would be able to make constant adjustments to this situation or that based on what we see happening at the end and leading up to that end. God does not need to make adjustments as we think of adjustments. Since He is all-knowing and all-powerful, He has the ability to determine from the start and watch His will be accomplished. Again, this is in spite of humanity’s (or fallen angels’) free will.
Regarding King Ahab, I see him very much like I see Pharaoh during the time of Moses. Without going into all the detail, we know that there was a contest there as well between Moses as God’s representative and the priests of Pharaoh. Why did God go through all that? Why didn’t He simply push Pharaoh out of the way? Why bother sending all those plagues? The simple answer is found for us in the writings of the apostle Paul, Romans 9:17 to be exact.
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (ESV)
I find that fascinating, don’t you? God purposefully raised up Pharaoh (put him in place as ruler), for the sole reason of using Pharaoh to show His (God’s) great power that God’s Name would be held high in all the earth. What about free will? Didn’t Pharaoh have it? Of course he did and he used it as well and used it often to thwart Moses (and ultimately God). Yet, there were times when God chose to overrule Pharaoh’s free will.
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses, (Exodus 9:12).
How does this happen so that human beings can still have free will? Read Ezekiel 38-39 for a good look at how this happens with Gog of Magog. Ultimately, God’s purposes will come to fruition. I’ll let you deal with the details of trying to meld these two concepts together. Here’s a hint: don’t put too much stock in humanity’s alleged “free will,” because it is nothing like the true free will that either Satan, Adam or Eve had prior to their fall, nor is it like the free will of Jesus who consistently used it to fulfill the Father’s will and as we know, never failed or fell. He remained sinless.
King Ahab was not like that at all. He was simply another money-grubbing, corrupt leader who was turned to the darkness of his own soul by the overwhelming freedom he had as king of Israel. Instead of doing things God’s way, Ahab consistently chose to do things his way. Even though it appeared that God was being mocked and that Ahab’s evil actually protected him, things were coming to a head.
I believe God uses individuals like Pharaoh or King Ahab to bring total glory to Himself. In some ways, the more corrupt the individual, the more they follow evil, the greater God is glorified when the showdown occurs. The showdown can only end in one of two ways. Either A) the person will continue to do evil, will exhibit absolute hatred and malice toward God leaving God no choice but to end their life, or B) they will bow in abject repentance and humility, allowing God to draw them close to Him.
Pharaoh did not do the second of the options, but as we know did the first, which unfortunately put him on a collision course with God Almighty and it did not end well for him. Currently, Pharaoh sits in his deserved prison awaiting God’s final sentence. Satan also, unable now to reverse his failures and fall, will also one day face his own liabilities that he created for himself. What about King Ahab? What happens to him?
The end of 1 Kings 16 tells us flatly that King Ahab promoted idolatry (vv. 29-34). 1 Kings 17 leaves King Ahab for a time to bring Elijah into the picture, but only for a moment because 1 Kings 17:1 tells us that Elijah enters the picture with a warning to King Ahab.
As certainly as the Lord God of Israel lives (whom I serve), there will be no dew or rain in the years ahead unless I give the command.
Imagine being Elijah. Jezebel’s domineering demeanor and King Ahab’s cowardice toward Jezebel (whom he began to treat and run to as if she were his mother), and hatred toward God, brought about Baal worship in Israel big time. Jehovah’s prophets were scared for their lives, with some compromising their faith in God by kowtowing to Ahab in order to retain their positions. Others withdrew and hid in caves to be out of harm’s way.
Elijah did neither. In God’s strength, he went to King Ahab and predicted the weather, a prediction that was not a guessing game, but one that was destined to come true. Immediately after this, God told Elijah to leave and go to Kerith Valley near Jordan. Elijah was to drink from the stream and receive food from ravens. It was during this time that King Ahab would have time to think, to consider, and even have the possibility to repent of his evil. He certainly thought and considered but there was absolutely no sign of repentance at all.
This reminds me of too many politicians on both sides of the aisle today. They lie, the media backs them up, and they are confirmed in their lies. There is no accountability for them and they harden their hearts against God. We need to be in prayer for them, folks. It is easy during this time of election-mania to see friends and enemies. In reality, God sees people who are either for or against Him. We need to pray that God will soften the hearts of these confirmed liars and corrupt politicians. Why should we do that? Because God does not want anyone to perish, that’s why (2 Peter 3:9). He wants all to live with Him in paradise eternally. Too many of our elected bureaucrats are on their way to hell. Are you praying for them? Once they leave this life, all chances for salvation are gone.
The same was certainly true with King Ahab and even Jezebel. Did Elijah pray for them? He may have and wouldn’t surprise me to learn that he did. But God knew that Ahab’s free will would be used to choose against Him at every turn. However, God would be glorified if Ahab repented and turned to Him in humility and God would also be glorified if Ahab continued in his evil ways because of what would transpire due to Ahab’s hard-heartedness. In all ways, God is glorified. We need to come to terms with that, appreciate it, and praise Him for it. It proves His sovereignty over all things.
We’ll be back to explore more of this next time. Please join me then.
Entry filed under: Cultural Marxism, Emotional virtue, eternity, israel, Judaism, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: 1 kings 16, 1 kings 17, 1 kings 18, 2 peter 3, baal, elijah, eternal present, ezekiel 38-39, gog of magog, jezebel, king ahab, moses, mt. carmel, pharaoh, romans 9:17.