Reading 1 Kings 20 and 21 we see the wicked king, Ahab, let an enemy Syrian king slip out of his hands. A king who was appointed by God for complete destruction. As a consequence God says that Ahab’s people and Ahab’s life will be taken in place of the king of Syria. Ahab is discouraged, displeased, perhaps even depressed. I can imagine how many of us would have similar emotions if our failure were to result in us soon dying or the death of our family.
Ahab is discouraged because the consequences of his improper actions are about to take place, but many times in our lives the consequences for our actions have already taken place. We are hurt and others are hurt because of things that we have said, done or failed to do. These consequences can be just as emotionally disturbing. Frustrations, irritations, depression and feelings of being a failure can easily set in. It is unfortunate that Ahab tries to overcome the discouragement by focusing his attention on his neighbor’s vineyard (1 Kings 21). This improper focus causes more problems as Naboth, the owner of the vineyard is killed, and further curses are placed upon Ahab. The cycle of destruction is worsening.
There have been other Biblical kings who made mistakes and were to die as a consequence, yet many of these kings repented, and God held back the curse (see the response of King Hezekiah in Isaiah 38). In our failures, God looks for proper responses, those of repentance, humility, drawing nearer to God, focusing on God’s word and choosing to become more Christ-like.
How do you respond when you make mistakes? Is there a softening of the heart and a looking to The Lord? Or are you like King Ahab, just moving on, unchanged, to the next thing we see?
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