Epistles of Thomas

August 25, 2009

1 Kings 19-22

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 10:58
Tags: , , , ,

Things do not seem to have changed after Baal’s prophets failed as Elijah is forced to flee into the desert to escape Jezebel who promised to kill him for what he has done. He arrived at a broom bush and collapsed with weariness and despondency. God met him there in the wilderness; not in power and might but in a gentle whisper. Elijah poured out his woe to God and was comforted. God assured him that he was not alone and that he had further plans for Elijah to accomplish so that God would be honoured again. It is important to note that Elijah’s concern arose out of the people’s attitude towards God; their rejecting his covenant and tearing down his altars. Things will recover because God tells Elijah who to anoint as leaders to punish and replace those who are sinful.

Israel and Aram were at war but God fought on the side of the Israelites and allowed them to be victorious. As God’s prophet reported: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Arameans think the Lord is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the Lord’” (20:28). When armies insult God’s providence they are doomed to failure; no matter which nationality they are. Israel won the battle and Aram’s king, Ben-Hadad, surrendered and offered a treaty to King Ahab which was accepted. Ahab was quickly condemned by a prophetic sign act which made it clear that Ahab had disobeyed the Lord by allowing Ben-Hadad to live.

Chapter 21 encapsulates all the evil of Ahab’s reign and the role of his wife Jezebel in encouraging and facilitating that evil. It also demonstrates the role of the prophets in Israel and their opposition to whomever opposed the Way of God. 1 Kings concludes on a sour note with Ahaziah, son of Ahab, who followed the ways of his father.

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