TWO KINDS OF MEN

 

Light and dark, wet and dry, heads and tails cold and hot. These are things that are opposite of one another. In our lesson to today, we are going to examine two men from the O.T. that are completely opposite of one another and we can probably see ourselves in both of them to a degree. We are going to be looking at Job and Ahab. Hopefully, we look more like Job and less like Ahab. As we examine these men, if you find that you are more like Ahab, which we will look at tonight, it should help you see that you need to make some changes in your life because he is not a good example for to follow or to be like.

 

Job was an amazing man who stood out like the sun in the sky. He a great example of what dedicated servant of God looks like. In fact, notice what God Himself says about this faithful man.

 

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.7 And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it."8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?"

 

As 1 Pet. 5:8 says, Satan was walking around like a lion, seeking whom he might devour, but apparently he was having trouble finding a challenging prey, but God brings to his attention His servant Job. Notice He points out four things about him. He is blameless, upright, fears God, and shuns evil. Could you hope for a better description from God than that? Think about how you are living your life right now. Would God even come close to describing you with these words or would be one of the many that Satan did not even see as challenge? Are you shining light for Christ, or a light that is barely there because of sin in your life?

 

I cannot say that I would want to be tested as Job is about to be tested, but it would be a great honor to have these 4 characteristics and to have God recognize that I had them because it would mean that I living as I supposed to and I am honoring my Creator. I hope each of in this room will always strive to have these 4 characteristics. Notice what happens next:

 

Job 1:9 So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing?10 "Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.11 "But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!"12 And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

 

Satan makes a valid point. There are many people who have no problem being faithful to God as long as the blessings continue. Job had a nice family, which included 7 sons and 3 daughters. He had plenty and had the respect of the people around him. Life was grand. But take away the good times and bring on the misery and some of these same people who would praise God, would end up cursing Him because of the hardship they were enduring. Misery has a way separating those who are really faithful to God from the ones who are not. Now keep in mind that Job has no idea what is about to happen to him. He did not have a vote in what was about to happen to him. Letís see what damage Satan does:

 

Job 1:13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house;14 and a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them,15 "when the Sabeans raided them and took them away -- indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"16 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"17 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house,19 "and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"

 

This was no minor event. If only the Sabeans had came and only killed some servants and took the donkeys and oxen that would be one thing, but it was just beginning. Not only was there an earthly force against him, Satan made it appear that God Himself was behind it all. The servant assumed that the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed the sheep and the other servants. Then the Chaldeans came and killed more servants and took his camels. Then the final blow could also appear to come from God because a might wind blew and caused a house to cave in on his 10 children and it killed them all.

 

Imagine yourself being in his shoes. What would you have thought? Would your faith be broken after the first raid? How about the second or third? What if just of just one of your children was killed? Well, Job had all these things happen to him one after another and he was left childless. Though the hedge of protection was removed and kayos was allowed to enter in, notice what Jobís response was.

 

Job 1:20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped.21 And he said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD."22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

 

Job was no doubt deeply impacted by this horrible news and he showed his distress by tearing his robe and shaving his head. However, he did not allow what happened to him to move him away from God. Instead, he fell to the ground and worshiped God not knowing why these horrible things were happening to him. He understood that God was in control and just as God can give blessings, He can take them away or allow them to be taken away.

 

One thing we can learn from this that Job did not even know at this point is that just because something bad happens in our life, it does not mean that God is the one that made it happen. Just because a young child gets cancer or dies in car wreck does not mean that God caused it to happen. However, like Job will find out, God will be there for you and will help you through difficult moments like these. So, donít blame God when bad things happen to you. Instead, worship Him realizing that He the only one that can bring you peace and help you overcome whatever hardship you may go through.

 

Job is about to find out that his troubles have just begun.

 

Job 2:1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.2 And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it."3 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause."4 So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.5 "But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!"6 And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life."

 

Here we see a second meeting with similar results. We have already read what Satan was allowed to do to Job, which would be enough to break most Christians. God states that he did not deserve such treatment. Though he went through such a difficult moment in his life, we can see that he still has those 4 characteristic qualities in tact, which is an amazing testament to the integrity of Job. How do the problems that have come up in your life compare to what Job has went through so far? If I was a betting man, I would be all in betting that all your problems added together wound not match those of Jobís.

 

Job 2:7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.8 And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes.9 Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!"10 But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

 

Some people may not be affected as much when something happens to those around them, but to rule everything out, Satan makes Job suffer himself. The idea was if others misfortune would not break him, his own suffering would. How would you handle this punishment to your own body? How would handle your spouse coming up to you and telling you to curse God and die? Something like this could break many Christians that initially remained faithful.

 

What need to understand is that Satan is like this. He is never satisfied with just one blow. No, he will pour salt on your wound and jab it with stick to get his way, but we must never give up on God no matter how dire the situation may be. Job shows us what a faithful servant of God is all about and he rebukes his wife in an effort to open her eyes to where she needs to be in her trust in God.He told her:

 

Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?"

 

Through all of this, Job did not sin. He kept his faith in God in tact. Next, we read:

 

Job 2:11 Now when Job's three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place -- Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him.12 And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven.13 So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.

 

It is usually a good thing when friends come along to help you during your time of trouble. Anybody that has friends or brothers and sisters and Christ be their for them during difficult times know exactly what I am talking about. As we read, Jobís friends appear to have had good intentions of being there for him, but anyone that has read the Book of Job knows these friends end up accusing him and trying to figure out what great sin he has done that caused him to go through such an ordeal.

 

Now Job has had his wife and his friends turn on him, but overall Job still keeps his faith in God. Though he waivered in his faith some, he never lost sight that God was in control. Though Job had to endure much physical and mental pain, he made many profound statements of his conviction to do that which is right. Letís look at a few of them.

 

Job 6:24 " Teach me, and I will hold my tongue; Cause me to understand wherein I have erred.

 

Job 9:32"For He is not a man, as I am, That I may answer Him, And that we should go to court together.

 

Job 13:15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.16 He also shall be my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him.17 Listen carefully to my speech, And to my declaration with your ears.18 See now, I have prepared my case, I know that I shall be vindicated.

 

Job 23:10 But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.11 My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside.12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.

 

Based of much of what Job says including these few statements I have read shows that he believed that God was testing him. He no doubt searched his heart for something he might have done that would have caused God to bring this wrath on him, but he could think if anything. Instead of thinking there was no way that he was guilty of any sin, his mentality was to ask God to teach him of what he had done wrong that he was not aware of. Though we know he did nothing wrong deserving his fate, Job did not.

 

We would do good to have this humble approach before God to not think it impossible for us to be wrong. There is certainly nothing wrong with believing that you are innocent and defending yourself, but we must always have this mentality that its possible that we missed something and we must be like Job and trust in the Lord and not allow ourselves to depart from His commandments no matter what.

 

As I said, Job was digging deep into his own soul to see if his sin was hiding there. I want to show you some verses where he starts going through a list of sins that all begin with the word if.

 

Job 31:7 If my step has turned from the way, Or my heart walked after my eyes, Or if any spot adheres to my hands,8 Then let me sow, and another eat; Yes, let my harvest be rooted out.9 "If my heart has been enticed by a woman, Or if I have lurked at my neighbor's door,10 Then let my wife grind for another, And let others bow down over her.11 For that would be wickedness; Yes, it would be iniquity deserving of judgment.12 For that would be a fire that consumes to destruction, And would root out all my increase.13 "If I have despised the cause of my male or female servant When they complained against me,14 What then shall I do when God rises up? When He punishes, how shall I answer Him?15 Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?16 "If I have kept the poor from their desire, Or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,17 Or eaten my morsel by myself, So that the fatherless could not eat of it18 (But from my youth I reared him as a father, And from my mother's womb I guided the widow);19 If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, Or any poor man without covering;20 If his heart has not blessed me, And if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;21 If I have raised my hand against the fatherless, When I saw I had help in the gate;22 Then let my arm fall from my shoulder, Let my arm be torn from the socket.

 

If you continue reading this Chapter, Job lists many more sins and what he believes would be a fair consequence to them. The point is this, we must be like job in that we are aware of sin is and what it consequences are. Sometimes, we need to do some deep soul searching to make sure that we are not guilty of sin or guilty of things that we look down on others for. It is easy to become blind to your our spiritual stench if you not careful.

 

In Chapter 29, Job also starts thinking about the good that he had done. Letís take a quick look at small portion of what he said in:

 

Job 29:12 Because I delivered the poor who cried out, The fatherless and the one who had no helper.13 The blessing of a perishing man came upon me, And I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.15 I was eyes to the blind, And I was feet to the lame.16 I was a father to the poor, And I searched out the case that I did not know.

 

I think it good for us a Christians to think about some of the great things we have done as servants of God because it can accomplish several things. First, it can help us see what we have been doing for the Lord. If we have not been doing much, it can motivate us to do more. Second, when we start reflecting on what we have done in the Lordís name it can be uplifting to know that we made good use of our time for our master. Though we may be going through a difficult moment, we can know that we have done some good for the kingdom of God, which will help life our spirits during these dark moments in our lives.

 

Also, Job speaks of how powerful God is in verses like:

 

Job 26:12 He stirs up the sea with His power, And by His understanding He breaks up the storm.13 By His Spirit He adorned the heavens; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent.14 Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, And how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?"

 

Job 28:9 He puts his hand on the flint; He overturns the mountains at the roots.10 He cuts out channels in the rocks, And his eye sees every precious thing.11 He dams up the streams from trickling; What is hidden he brings forth to light.

 

Toward the end of the Book, God begins to speak and asks Job a bunch of questions that he cannot answer. In this, Job is humbled and realizes that he had overstepped his way as we read in:

 

Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD and said:2 "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.3 You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.4 Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, 'I will question you, and you shall answer Me.'5 "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.6 Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes."

Yes, Job was faithful overall, but we see here that he repented of some the things he had said, which another great example for us to follow. We all have our moments and do not do everything perfect. When the moment comes, we must be humble enough to set our pride to the side and repent of what we did as we look to God Almighty. What an awesome God we have that allows us to be forgiven of our iniquities.

 

Notice Godís response to Jobís friends:

 

Job 42:7 And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.8 "Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has."9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD commanded them; for the LORD had accepted Job.10 And the LORD restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.11 Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the LORD had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold.12 Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys.13 He also had seven sons and three daughters.

 

Jobís friends were not as smart as they thought they were. They were put in their place like they were trying to put Job in his place. Now, they have rely on Job to pray for them and offer up a sacrifice for them so that they do not face the wrath of God for their foolish behavior. Not only that, God restored Job back with more than he had before and now his friends and family could see that they wrong about Job and they all comforted him for what he had went through. He was blessed with 10 more children and as the end of the Chapter says, he went on to live a long life and see his children and grandchildren of four generations.

 

Job is great example for us all to follow. Yes, he struggled some with all that he went through, but overall he was faithful to the Lord and the Lord blessed him for his faithfulness. Every Christian would be better off if they had the kind of faith and patience that Job had in the Lord. Whether we are blessed in this life or in the hereafter, we should never allow anything to make us lose our goal of serving of God and trusting in Him.††

 

 

 

 

 

TWO KINDS OF MEN

Part 2

 

This morning we began looking at two kinds of men. The first man we examined was Job and the wonderful characteristics he had. Though not perfect, he is a great example of what a servant of God should be like. Hopefully, you found yourself being like him more so than you find yourself being the like the man we will be looking at tonight, which is King Ahab. We might all have a little bit of Ahab in us, but if you find that you are more like Ahab than Job, then you need to make some changes in your life.

 

One of the great benefits of looking at the good and the bad in the Bible is that it can help us see what those qualities will bring us and show us which qualities will help us be better servants of the Lord.

 

Before we look at Ahab himself, I want to talk about the background leading up to his reign. Ahab was one of the kings of the Northern kingdom usually called Israel. If you remember Israel had its starts because of how Solomon turned away from God. It was predicted that his kingdom would be divided. After Solomon died, his son Rehoboam was made king, but he would not listen to his elders, so his boastful decree caused great dissension among the people and Jeroboam took advantage of this and 10 tribes went with him and they formed the northern kingdom.

 

Jeroboam was a wicked man by his own right and he has been labeled as the man that caused Israel to sin. There are several reasons he earned such a title.

 

He presented a doctrine of convenience and convinced his people that it was too much of a burden to go all the way back to Jerusalem to worship. Too help make them feel ok with this idea, he created two golden calves for them to worship instead. He justified the idolatry because he did not want his people going to Jerusalem and joining the southern kingdom. He also set up his own priest who were not from the tribe of Levi and created a new feast day for his people. You can read more about how he sinned against God in 1 Kings 12.

 

There are certainly many Jeroboams out there today because many men and women have had no problem convincing people that it ok to worship God however they want to. They allow them to worship and go through similar motions as described as true worship in the N.T., so people have tendency to accept a doctrine of convenience of over the doctrine of truth, but we must understand that God will not accept cheap imitations of His way and by Godís standard, you and that group of people will be labeled as sinners. While a doctrine of convenience is easy and popular, it will not get you into heaven.

 

Every king of the Northern kingdom was bad. For example notice what the Bible says about Ahabís father in:

 

1 Kings 16:25 Omri did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all who were before him.26 For he walked in all the ways of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin, provoking the LORD God of Israel to anger with their idols. †††

 

Omri did more evil than those before him, so it should not surprise us that Ahab would also be an evil king.

 

1 Kings 16:30 Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him.31 And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him.32 Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria.33 And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

 

This king was bad enough on his own, but when he married Jezebel this was like adding gasoline to a fire.

 

1 Kings 21:25 But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up.

 

This is the most wicked woman you read about in Scripture. Notice what Adam Clarke said about her:

 

He took to wife Jezebel - This was the head and chief of his offending; he took to wife, not only a heathen, but one whose hostility to the true religion was well known, and carried to the utmost extent.

1. She was the idolatrous daughter of an idolatrous king;

2. She practiced it openly;

3. She not only countenanced it in others, but protected it, and gave its partisans honors and rewards;

4. She used every means to persecute the true religion;

5. She was hideously cruel, and put to death the prophets and priests of God;

6. And all this she did with the most zealous perseverance and relentless cruelty.

Notwithstanding Ahab had built a temple, and made an altar for Baal, and set up the worship of Asherah, the Sidonian Venus, which we, 1 Kings 16:33, have transformed into a grove; yet so well known was the hostility of Jezebel to all good, that his marrying her was esteemed the highest pitch of vice, and an act the most provoking to God, and destructive to the prosperity of the kingdom.

 

I have heard it said that behind every great man is a great woman, well the opposite would be true in the case because Jezebel was rotten to the core, which made Ahab and Jezebel the dynamic duo of evil. Whether husbands want to admit or not, their wives have a great influence on them and this teaches us the important of having a mate that is going to help us become better than we are than worse.

 

As Adam Clarke pointed out Jezebel had a mission of killing Godís prophets as we read in:

 

1 Kings 18:4 For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.)

 

It was a risky time to be a prophet of the Lord during that time, but Elijah was willing to take a stand for the cause of God in one of greatest showdowns in the O.T. I know many of you know this story by heart, but how could a study on Ahab be complete without at least reading part of the famous event.

 

1 Kings 18:17 Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, "Is that you, O troubler of Israel?"18 And he answered, "I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father's house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals.19 "Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table."20 So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel.

 

You have to admire the faith the Elijah had at this point because Jezebel with the consent of Ahab had already killed many of the prophets. Now he comes before Ahab and rebukes him to his face and points out how he troubled their kingdom by not listening or obeying Godís commands. It does not matter if you are king or one a lowly position, if you are practicing evil you should be rebuked. This would have been quite the gathering with these false prophets facing off against Elijah with a crowd of people looking on.

 

It is implied that Ahab was so confident in his false gods he had embraced with his wife that he actually thought these false prophets would be up for the challenge.

 

21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people answered him not a word.22 Then Elijah said to the people, "I alone am left a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.23 "Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it.24 "Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire, He is God." So all the people answered and said, "It is well spoken."25 Now Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it."26 So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, "O Baal, hear us!" But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made.27 And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, "Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened."28 So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them.29 And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.

 

This should have been enough to open the eyes of Ahab and to the people that the false God they had all been embracing was a fake, but if not what happened next should have.

 

1 Kings 18:30 Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come near to me." So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, "Israel shall be your name."32 Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed.33 And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, "Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood."34 Then he said, "Do it a second time," and they did it a second time; and he said, "Do it a third time," and they did it a third time.35 So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water.36 ∂ And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, "LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word.37 "Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again."38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.39 Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!"40 And Elijah said to them, "Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!" So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there.

 

This was awesome miracle from God and it led to gruesome blood bath of all these prophets being killed, but it showed without doubt who the real only God was. If this wasnít enough, God showed His power again to Ahab as we read:

 

1 Kings 18:41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain."42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees,43 and said to his servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea." So he went up and looked, and said, "There is nothing." And seven times he said, "Go again."44 Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, "There is a cloud, as small as a man's hand, rising out of the sea!" So he said, "Go up, say to Ahab, 'Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.' "45 Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel.46 Then the hand of the LORD came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

 

There had been a great drought, but Elijah shows that God was going to make it rain and it did. If you had any sense about you and you saw the miracles happen before you eyes you would think that you it would be enough to make you changed man, but those who live for evil have had their senses dull. No matter how much evidence you produce for them, they will still cling to their evil ways. Ahab was no different. Instead of heeding what he saw, he just went and told his wife what happened and she immediately tried to find Elijah so she could kill him.

 

Sometimes Christians can have this same kind of mentality. Even though they can clearly see that something they are doing or something they approve of is clearly condemned in the Bible, they ignore it and go about their business. It does not have to be something like idol worship or murder it can be something subtle. We are really good at convincing ourselves that something is ok as long as it does not seem to harm anyone, but this is wrong. Instead of making judgment based on what we feel is right or what feel is not harming anyone, we need to be asking the serious question what does Godís Word say. Whether it seems harmless or not if God does not approve of it then we must not approve of it or practice it.

 

The O.T. has much to say about this evil king and his evil wife, but I would like to look at more famous incident that shows another character flaw of Ahab.

 

1 Kings 21:1 And it came to pass after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel, next to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.2 So Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, "Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near, next to my house; and for it I will give you a vineyard better than it. Or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its worth in money."3 But Naboth said to Ahab, "The LORD forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you!"4 So Ahab went into his house sullen and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he had said, "I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers." And he lay down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no food.

 

Ahab was greedy and selfish and when he did not get his way, he threw a pity part for himself. Ahab did not care about the history of the vineyard or what it would mean for Naboth to sell it, all he could think about was himself.

 

There are many today that have this same mentality. They do not care about anyone else except themselves. If things are not going according to their plan they will throw their own pity party of some of the stupidest stuff. People like this in only interested in serving themselves and there is no way they can serve God in a pleasing manner because it always about them. So, if you see that you have the character flaw, you need to get rid of it because it will drag you down to the pits of hell.

Jezebel did nothing but further feed Ahab desire to get what was not his.

 

1 Kings 21:5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, "Why is your spirit so sullen that you eat no food?"6 He said to her, "Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, 'Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you another vineyard for it.' And he answered, 'I will not give you my vineyard.' "7 Then Jezebel his wife said to him, "You now exercise authority over Israel! Arise, eat food, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite."8 ∂ And she wrote letters in Ahab's name, sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who were dwelling in the city with Naboth.9 She wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth with high honor among the people;10 and seat two men, scoundrels, before him to bear witness against him, saying, "You have blasphemed God and the king." Then take him out, and stone him, that he may die.11 So the men of his city, the elders and nobles who were inhabitants of his city, did as Jezebel had sent to them, as it was written in the letters which she had sent to them.12 They proclaimed a fast, and seated Naboth with high honor among the people.13 And two men, scoundrels, came in and sat before him; and the scoundrels witnessed against him, against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, "Naboth has blasphemed God and the king!" Then they took him outside the city and stoned him with stones, so that he died.14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, "Naboth has been stoned and is dead."

 

Ahab did not ask any questions about how his wife would do this for him because he did not care. All he cared about was getting the vineyard he did not deserve.

 

1 Kings 21:15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, "Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead."16 So it was, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab got up and went down to take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

 

In my mind, I can see Ahab running to the vineyard he wanted so badly with big a smile on his face even though came at the price of death. This is sad indeed, but there are people today that think this same way. They do not care how they reach their goal or gain a possession as long at their desire is met. This is really sad when it happens in the church and is not all that uncommon. I have heard many stories of what Christians have done get their way in a congregation. It did not matter if they split the church and caused people much misery and pain as long as they got their way.

 

If we find ourselves having these kinds of thoughts, then we definitely need to change our ways. None of the things that Ahab or his evil wife did went unnoticed by God, and they got their just rewards. Ahab was killed in battle and Jezebel was thrown down from a wall and eaten by dogs.

 

We can definitely see a big difference between Job and Ahab. As I said in the beginning, I hope that you look more like Job than Ahab. However, if you find yourself be more like Ahab you still have time to change your ways, and I would suggest that you do it quickly because you never know if today is your last day.

 

I hope the lesson over Job has encouraged you to be more faithful to the Lord no matter what you might go through in this life, and I hope that the lesson of Ahab has taught you what the consequence of living the evil way can do and horrible a person it will make you. Let us never cease to learn from the good and the bad from the Bible.