If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using.
King Ahab was the worst of the worst. Part of our reading today, 1 Kings 20:26-22:12 contains this description: (25-26) “There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited. He acted very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the Lord cast out before the people of Israel.”
And yet, just 4 verses later God shows remarkable compassion on this man. What are we to make of it? We’ll consider that in today’s installment of Through the Word in 2020. I’m your host Reid Ferguson.
Along with our reading in 1 Kings today, we also have Psalm 98, Mark 14:43-52 and Galatians 4:1-20. But it is God’s dealing with Ahab that draws my attention today. As already mentioned, The Bible makes it abundantly clear that few within its pages lived as dissolute and a sinful life in conscious rebellion against God as did this man Ahab. Petty, petulant, egotistical, immature, greedy, foolish and spineless.
I find it all the more amazing then that God deals so patiently with him when he humbles himself before God in the aftermath of having been told how God will judge him.
And here is a very great lesson: No matter how wicked the man, God honors the humbling of oneself.
Other issues aside, this is why things like AA work even though sobriety itself is not salvation. The Creator responds to the Sons of Adam humbling themselves – period. As I said, it isn’t salvation, but it is a demonstration of His exceeding goodness toward us.
Christians often forget that every human being still has a Creator/creature relationship with God even if they have not been reconciled to Him in the blood of Christ and been made His children. They are still responsible to Him. And He, in untold grace and mercy deals graciously with all men when they respond by acting in ways that are more in line with His overall framework for life in this world.
Pride, arrogance and hubris are things God hates in a special manner. And humility, something He honors in a special manner. Even among the lost. How much more then within the Church? And it is why the Church especially must be on guard against braggarts, self-promoters, status seekers and blowhards. They are met with special resistance by God. As James 4:6 says “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” And this is true both within the Church and outside of it – in the public realm.
But look once again at how God responds to someone – even like Ahab, when they humble themselves. It’s a miracle to behold. And wouldn’t it behoove us then to pray for such humbling in our leadership today? Both inside and outside the Church?
America needs revival. A renewal of God’s Spirit drawing men and women to Himself for salvation. Which always requires the humbling of oneself in owning their sin, helplessness and need of a Savior. Revival which stirs professing Christians again to humbly seek God with all their might. Rejecting material prosperity or political power as either means or goals. And what we might even call a secular revival. A wave of humility which drives even those outside of Christ to see that we are helpless to change the human condition by all of our plans, schemes and machinations.
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. So how will you respond to the challenges of this present age? Socially, spiritually, or even personally in wrestling with your own sin? With mere rage, grit and reaction? Or humbly crying out to God to do what only He can do?
If you would have more grace, humble yourself. And watch.
Meditate on that today Christian.
God bless. And God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.