1 Kings 20
1 And Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots; and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.
2 And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Benhadad,
3 Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine.
4 And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have.
5 And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaketh Benhadad, saying, Although I have sent unto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children;
6 Yet I will send my servants unto thee to morrow about this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away.
7 Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, Mark, I pray you, and see how this man seeketh mischief: for he sent unto me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold; and I denied him not.
Is my story the same as what God says?
Take a look at King Ahab. He was an evil man. He sacrificed his children and married Jezebel who was like a witch. She made him kill all the prophets of God she knew of. This was the lowest time in Israel’s history. The Syrians had been building up their forces and Israel was very small in comparison. But God sent a prophet to Ahab and said that he would give the Syrians into his hands.
See God’s undeserved mercy. How will we escape judgement if we neglect such a great salvation. If we do not grab His hand and cling to it, it will be terrible for us. Ahab maybe thought his sins weren’t so bad because God has sent a prophet to help him. So too, we might also think we aren’t so bad and that God is going to help us. The reason for this help though was far from Ahab’s idea. This is the trap of the godless. He interprets a situation totally different to what the reality of God is. If business good,it is because God loves me. In the meantime God has totally different story to what I have.
Story: A man in Russia wanted to shoot a bear.He found a bear but then started a discussion with him. Don’t argue with the devil. Later men looked for the man. He had the coat of the bear but was in the stomach of the bear.
You choose the wife you want and you even marry in church, but you are in the stomach of the bear. What would you write about your life and what would God write about your life? Is it the same story? Be sure.
Perhaps you say, “I’ve got what I wanted, I love the Lord and have the blessing of God’s children”, but you are in the stomach of the bear. It is one of the worst states a so-called christian can fall into. You may say that God has done a miracle for you, but God in heaven looks at your life and says that what you did was in the stomach of bear. What you think and what God thinks may be as far as the east is from the west.
Ahab had turned his back on God and he was a slave of others. If you turn your back on God, you’ll become a slave of people, alcohol or other things. He turned his back on God because of Jezebel. Actually, he was loyal to himself and to no-one else. Selfishness. Such a person will betray anyone to save their own skin. You can’t trust such a person. You cannot trust a selfish man. He will betray you. It is no use to have New Year decisions if the Lord does not have His rightful place in your life. Your heart will be selfish.
Ahab was in a terrible position. He had betrayed God and had no money. He was at the weakest point in his life. God said turn your back on Ben-hadad and follow me. God will always come at your weakest point. When you have been indebted and can’t pay for all you have stolen. You know if you apologize you will end up in jail. Maybe you have made promises to friends. No matter how difficult it is, trust me. v7 ,8. The elders told Ahab not to listen to Ben-hadad. v13. Ahab thought that God had helped him because he was good but God did it only so that Ahab would know that He is God. Be careful not to miss the message from Lord. You live in bitterness because of everthing that has happened to you. You can’t believe that God wants to help you. Salvation is to hear a kind message from God when you least expect it.
Some people don’t hear a message from God because of negativity. You think God is with you when you are up but not when you are down. Yet God is God of the hills and the valleys.
Ahab was under pressure. The danger isIf you go into different situations, the Devil will try to intimidate you by intruding into your prayer time. He can rob you of the time when you are with God and break the power of your prayer. Anxiety takes over and you can’t see that God can help you. You need self- control during prayer time. The devil’s noise will take away faith that God can do a miracle. The devil makes you too anxious
In v29-34,42,43 we read that the prophet of God said that Ahab would die in Ben-Hadad’s place because he had spared him and made a treaty with him. Friend, do you see how serious it is when you are soft and God wants you to be hard. Ahab did what is politically correct. Are you soft on a relationship that God says you must cut off because it is an abomination to Him? You try to be politically correct. You are carnal not only when angry but also when you are soft. If you serve with emotions you will be soft when you should be hard and hard when you should be soft. This will bring down God’s curse on your family. Read when Korah rebelled against Moses and how the earth swallowed Korah and his family because of his rebellion. The next morning the Israelites said that Moses had killed these people. Korah had built up political support. They built their fortress in being popular with the people but that is often an abomination before God.
You are so aware of people that you are not aware of God. You are in the stomach of the bear. I want people to remember me as a man who served God 100%.
The challenge for 2013, is do you want to serve the Lord in same way as Ahab or do you want to get right with God and serve Him only? Climb out of stomach of bear so that you will be free to serve God. In 2013, may the story of your life be the same as God’s story.