Creative Writing KL Paulson Bro. R. Spurgeon August 13, 1995
AHABAccomplishments and Strengths: - King of Israel for 22 years. (I Kings 16:29) - Capable leader and military strategist. (I Kings 20:1-34) Archaeological Light: - An inscription of Shalmaneser, 860-825 B.C., mentions Ahab: 'At Karkar I destroyed...2,000 chariots and 10,000 men of Ahab king of Israel.' <-- (Bible Handbook, Henry H. Halley) - Ahab's "ivory house[,]" (I Kings 22:39). A Harvard University Expedition found, in Samaria, the ruins of this house. Its walls had been faced with ivory. These were thousands of pieces of the most exquisitely carved and inlaid panels, plaques, cabinets, and couches. It was just above the ruins of Omri's palace. <--(Bible Handbook, Henry H. Halley) Elijah's Pronouncement of Judgment: - (I Kings 21:17-29). The dogs licked Ahab's blood at the place he had Naboth killed, I Kings 21:19 (cf. I Kings 22:38), and dogs devoured Jezebel's body by the wall at Jezreel (II Kings 9:30-37). Key verses: - "(30)And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. (31)And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. (32) And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. (33)And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him." (I Kings 16:30-33) - Ahab's story is told in (I Kings 16:28-22:40). He is also mentioned in (II Chronicles 18-22; Micah 6:16). Lessons from his life: - The choice of a spouse will have a significant effect on life--emotionally, physically, and spiritually. - Selfishness, left unchecked, can lead to great evil. Mistakes and Weaknesses: - Was one of the most evil kings of Israel. - Married Jezebel, a heathen woman, and allowed her to promote Baal worship. - Heavy [gloomy] and displeased about not being able to get a piece of land, and so his wife had its owner, Naboth, stoned. - Was used to getting his own way, and got depressed when he didn't. Vital statistics: - Contemporaries: Ben-hadad (king of Syria), Elijah, Jehoshaphat (king of Judah), Jehu, Naboth (a Jezreelite). - Occupation: King. - Relatives: Sons-Ahaziah, Jehoram. Father-Omri. Wife-Jezebel. - Where: Northern Kingdom of Israel.
The kings of Israel, both good and evil, had prophets sent by God to advise, confront, and aid them. Ahab could have had a faithful friend in Elijah. Ahab did not listen to Elijah. Ahab saw Elijah as his enemy. Why? Because Elijah always brought bad news to Ahab, and Ahab refused to acknowledge that it was his own constant disobedience to God and persistent idol worship, not Elijah's prophecies, that brought the evil on his nation. He blamed Elijah for bringing the prophecies of judgment rather than taking his counsel and changing his evil ways.
Ahab was trapped by his own choices, and he was unwilling to take the right action. As king, he was responsible to God and his prophet Elijah, but he was married to an evil woman who drew him into idol worship. He was a childish man who brooded for days if unable to get his own way. He took his evil wife's advice, listened only to the "prophets" who gave good news, and surrounded himself with people [yes men] who encouraged him to do whatever he wanted. But the value of counsel cannot be judged by the number of people for or against it. Ahab consistently chose to follow the majority opinion of those who surrounded him, and that led to his death.
It may seem nice to have someone encourage us to do whatever we want, because counsel that goes against our wishes is difficult to accept. However, our decisions must be based on the quality of the counsel, not its attractiveness or the majority opinion of our peers. God encourages us to get wisdom...get understanding from wise counselors, but how can we test the counsel we receive? Counsel that agrees with the principles in God's Word is reliable. We must always separate counsel from our desires, the majority opinion, or whatever seems best in our limited perspective, and weigh it against God's commands. He will never lead us to do what he has forbidden in His Word--even in principle. Unlike Ahab, we should trust godly counselors and have the courage to stand against those who would have us to do otherwise.