Hi, all, I’m still at Blissdom, barely keeping up with it all, there have been twists and turns – not just the typical blogging conference – and for me – fire and ice. But I’m learning and growing and that’s never a bad thing. I am reading all your comments – and when I get back I promise to respond to every one. Thank you so much for reading. No pictures today again – I just don’t have the time. Sorry.
Here’s now to continue with the Ahab – and God misleading us at times thing,
The conditions that made Ahab the prime candidate for the misleading.
Ahab was a part time follower of God, had ignored God far too long and found himself in need of help. He had a long-standing enemy, the King of Aram, always nipping at his heels. Knowing he needed some help, he asked the King of of Judah for aid in defeating the enemy.
Ahab was king of the northern kingdom of Israel in the 9th century BC. When Israel was split into the two kingdoms (Judah and Israel) this northern kingdom was the far more disobedient.
Both kingdoms would spiral downward toward defeat and Exile, but Israel tumbled faster.
Of the more wayward kingdom, Ahab was its most wayward king. The Bible says he “…did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him.” (1 Kings 16:33).
This was no faithful and on target child of God that was “enticed” to destruction. I wondered, how much like him I was at the time of my fall. Painfully I found out that we were twins.
Ahab was an “evil” king but he was a successful one. Even under constant threat of attack he and his nation lived in security and prosperity. He built lots of fortified cities. His elaborate water systems were engineering masterpieces of their time insuring water in case of siege.
Things were good and Ahab gladly took all the credit.
I think it’s kind of an example that have to be careful when things are going along really well – even though we’re not acknowledging God, but instead, pridefully giving ourselves all the all the credit. (Zechariah 4:6)
One of Ahab’s methods of success was to build alliances. The problem was not the gaining of allies, but the motivation, methods, and mistakes of judgment. The alliance in this story is a good example – this one with King Jehosaphat of Judah,
He charmed him and if not for a stray arrow he would have successfully betrayed him. Another example? There was a certain Phoenician princess he took for a wife – Jezebel (1Kings 16:31).
Now there’s a name everybody knows.
In short Ahab sought out lots of connections, sacrificing what little faith he had in order to get them. He didn’t let go all the way of God (ie. Micaiah). But he let go enough to trust all those connections more than God.
Then there was his part time approach to God. He declared the Canaanite god Baal tom be the equal of God. He erected a temple to Baal and personally worshipped the false god (1 Kings 16:32).
But as he grasped this new god with one hand he tried to remain within arm’s distance of the true God of Israel – even naming his children after him (Ahaziah and Jehoram – derived from the root of God’s name, Yahweh).
The worst thing is, as a leader, as he strayed he caused his people to follow (1 Kings 18:21).
So it looks like a prime time for being mislead – by God – is not a moment when we are totally away, but a time when we are riding fences.
We will have our worship of God (church etc.) but also our worship of Baal (“secret” wrong living, little sacrifices on truth, focus on money etc.)
Oh, the divided heart.
Mine was divided.
I hate it when I have so much in common with the wrong people.
Ahab brought about his own disaster.
I brought about mine.
And yet God, I believe, was involved in both,
So would God mislead – in order to correct, discipline – or even destroy. Well, he did it here. But if this was the only place – it wouldn’t be enough. So the question? Is this the only place?
That is for Monday.