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Bible Pathways - Apr. 30, 2009


April 30

1 Kings 21

Highlights In Today's Reading:

God sends His man to confront Ahab openly. The doom of Ahab is predicted (21:17-24) and comes to pass in 22:37-38. Jehoshaphat is a king doing right in the eyes of the Lord (22:43).

Near the end of Ahab's reign, a total of 40 verses is taken up with his death and the events that led to it. There was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols (21:25-26). God gave him a miraculous victory over the Syrian king Ben-hadad at Aphek (20:28-30). Although Ahab made no covenant with the Lord, he did make a covenant with Ben-hadad, his enemy, after defeating him, calling him my brother (20:32). He released him with the assurance that he would return Ramoth-gilead, a strategic fortress near the border. But three years passed and it was still under Syrian control (22:1-3).

Ahab invited Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, to Samaria for a sumptuous banquet and then persuaded him to join him in war against Syria to regain Ramoth-gilead (II Chr. 18:1-3). Jehoshaphat immediately said he would. Then he had second thoughts and said: Inquire, I pray thee, at the Word of the Lord to day (I Kin. 22:5). About four hundred of Ahab's popular prophets assured them of great victories (22:6). Still Jehoshaphat was uneasy and asked for a prophet of the Lord, and Ahab said: There is yet one man (22:8). That one was Micaiah, who courageously proclaimed: I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd (22:17).

Ahab hated Micaiah. Nevertheless, he removed his royal garments, dressed as a peasant soldier, and assumed the Syrians would not recognize him. He encouraged Jehoshaphat to keep his royal robes on, thinking the battle would turn toward Jehoshaphat. Could he have been so evil as to think that if Jehoshaphat died in battle Ahab's own daughter and son-in-law would rule Judah, which he could then control? However, Ahab failed to consider that he could not hide from God, and he died in the first day of battle at Ramoth-gilead when a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness (22:34). His disguise made it all the more obvious that Ahab's death was by the hand of God (22:34-38).

Just as Ahab and Jehoshaphat fought in battle, so every Christian today faces a battle with satanic forces. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph. 6:12).

Thought for Today:

Some people plan to harm others, but the Christian is to love like God loves and therefore thinketh no evil (I Cor. 13:5).

Christ Portrayed:

By Micaiah, who would say only what God instructed him to say (I Kin. 22:14). Jesus faithfully told others only what God told Him to say. Then said Jesus unto them . . . I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things (John 8:28; 12:49-50).

Word Studies:

21:27 went softly =went sadly, subdued; 22:3 be still =do nothing; 22:10 void =open place, perhaps at the city gate; 22:11 push =ore; 22:13 with one mouth =unanimously; 22:16 adjure =put you under oath; 22:34 at a venture =without specific aim; harness =armor; 22:48 broken =wrecked.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash • Staff: Barbara Bivens • Government Officials: Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (OH) and Rep. Robert Scott (VA) • Country: Kuwait (2 million) in the northeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula • Major languages: Arabic and English • Some religious freedom • 95% Muslim; 4% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church (Eph. 5:25).

Optional Reading: Romans 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:14

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