Read 1 Kings 20:35-43
It took me a couple times reading this passage, plus reading some commentaries to really understand how it applies to life today. But I finally got it. Read the passage closely. The prophet here is setting a trap, like Nathan did with David regarding Uriah, hoping to ensnare him with his own words.
The set up is simple: the prophet tells Ahab a story about being put in charge of a prisoner. If he failed to watch the prisoner fully, and the prisoner escaped, the prophet would have to replace the man or pay a fee that would be so high, he would never be able to pay it.
With the trap set, Ahab falls right into it, telling the disguised prophet that he must take the prisoners place. The prophet reveals himself, and Ahab runs off depressed and angry. To truly grasp why this is such an important section of scripture, go back and read the portion before this passage and you will see that Ahab had the chance to follow God’s instructions, but did not. Ahab become distracted by the men who came to beg for mercy. The prophet used his ruse to show that he was distracted while guarding his prisoner, and did not accomplish his assigned task.
This is where we, as Christians, come in. We have remain constant in the task which Jesus has given us. We can not become distracted by those who wish to pulled us away from Jesus. Ahab took his eyes away from God’s mission for him. He allowed for societal pressures to pull his focus off of God. And we do the same. It does not matter if it is personal relationships with others, entertainment, family issues or personal issues, we must not allow our world to influence our relationship with Jesus. We must remain diligent in keeping on task for God.
But what is the task God has given you? While we are all called to go out and make disciples of all the world, we are each given different gifts to accomplish this. I hear people around me say things like “God really did not give me any gifts, I am just ordinary.” When you say this, you are saying that God did not create you with a purpose, that He made you simply to exist and nothing more. Is this what you really want to be saying to people? Instead, you should be asking God to help you find your gift. Then, begin to train yourself to use that gift whenever the occasion arises.
Remaining faithful to God’s instructions is the number priority we should have in life. But what happens if we fall away? If we fail to follow through on the instructions He has given us? We can once again take a look at how Ahab responded.
1 Kings 20:43
So the king of Israel went to his house sullen and displeased, and came to Samaria.
Instead of repenting from disobeying God’s instructions, Ahab became mad. He essentially went into his palace and pouted. Does this sound familiar? Do you take this approach too? How many times have you played the If I can’t have it my way, I will just go home card with God. This attitude is not a healthy one for spiritual growth. And don’t take my word for it, go right to the source:
1 Kings 21:25
But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord.
I don’t know about you, but to me, that is not exactly what I would want to be known for. It seems that today’s society would use that passage as a badge of honor. Everywhere we turn, we are being asked to chip away at our morals and beliefs more and more. We are asked to step away from God’s Will for us, and instead become more like the world.
Ahab did just that. He let one little misstep away from God build into another, then another, then another. And eventually he had fallen so far away from God that he could not even see Him. Notice what I said there. Ahab could not see God, it was not the other way around. God is always right there when we look for Him, but we have to be willing to look and listen. Ahab lost this willingness. Have you?