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Day by Day - July 30, 2008

July 30, 2008

by Charles R. Swindoll

1 Kings 21

After recording these dire predictions, spoken by the Lord through Elijah, the writer of 1 Kings gives this commentary on the lives of Ahab and Jezebel: "Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him" (1 Kings 21:25). What a partnership! They were partners in unparalleled evil, until God finally said, "That's enough."

Here are two sobering and solemn reminders for us to consider:

First, there is an end to God's patience. No one knows it. God's wheels of justice grind slowly but exceedingly fine. God, in gracious patience and mercy, waits for us to hear His voice and obey. People hear the Gospel of salvation and do not respond. Yet God waits. Some claim His name, but live in a way that says otherwise. Still God waits.

God's patience sometimes even frustrates us, particularly when evil persists, and He doesn't step in and stop it. At times like that, it's easy to convince ourselves that evil goes perpetually unnoticed.

You and I don't know at what point God reaches His divine limit and says, "That's enough! That's all! I will tolerate this no longer." But I know from this passage and others in Scripture, and I know from His dealings with Sodom and Gomorrah, Herod Agrippa, Ahab and Jezebel that God's patience can, and does, finally run out. Don't be fooled into thinking that His longsuffering is everlasting suffering.

Second, God keeps His word. No one stops it. Never forget what you've read in this section. Ahab and Jezebel were so powerful, so intimidating, so wicked. They thought they were in charge of everything---invincible. But when God stepped in, it was curtains for them. They were helpless to stop His judgment.

If you are a child of God, He will not cast you out of His family. But if you are stubbornly refusing to obey Him, continuing to walk your own way, He will bring severe discipline upon you. He loves you too much to ignore your actions.

God is good and just. And when His justice finally kicks in, there's no escaping it. If you think otherwise, you've bought into "a deadly opiate."

Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.

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