Lessons from 1 Kings 20-22
20:1-43 - Sometimes we say, ‘I can’t’, when we mean, ‘I won’t’! We are ‘busy here and there’ – too busy for God, for doing His will, for obeying His Word. Is this a case of ‘I can’t’? No! It is ‘I won’t’. We choose. We decide how we will use our time. God looks at our life. He sees what is most important to us and He says, ‘You yourself have decided it’. He sees that our choices have been self-centred rather than Christ-centred. He says, ‘So shall your judgment be’ (40). Can we change? Yes! God says, ‘Come, strengthen yourself, and consider well what you have to do’ (12). There is a decision to be made. We must be obedient to God’s Word: ‘Be strong in the Lord’ (Ephesians 6:10). Our strength is not in ourselves. It is in the Lord. Wait on the Lord and renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31). ‘Strengthen yourself’ – in the Lord.
21:1-22:14 - We read of human sin and divine judgment (21:1-4,15-16,20-24). There is also something else here: the mercy of God – ‘Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days…’(29). The judgment of God will come – but not yet. It is held back by the mercy of God. We live in confusing times. There is much evidence of sin. There are some signs of repentance. What are the servants of the Lord to say? Is there a single message, a Word of judgment, a Word of mercy? Here is what we must say: ‘What the Lord says to me, that I will speak’(22:14). Let us not settle for a one-sided message – preaching judgment without a glimmer of hope, promising mercy without issuing the Gospel warning. May God help us to be like Paul: ‘I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God’ (Acts 20:27).
22:15-53 - Ahab’s repentance (21:27) didn’t last long! He continued to live in sin (22:8). He died in shame (37-38). Ahab’s son – Ahaziah – was just like his father – ‘a chip off the old block’: ‘He … provoked the Lord, the God of Israel to anger in every way that his father had done’ (51-53). Jehoshapat was a different type of king – ‘he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord’ (43). Here, we catch a glimpse of our Lord Jesus Christ – ‘I do as the Father commanded Me’ (John 14:31). Don’t be like Ahaziah -‘he walked in the ways of his father… the ways of sin’ (52). Let’s be like Jesus – Walking in the ways of our Heavenly Father. God says to us, ‘This is the way; walk in it’ (Isaiah 30:21). Let us say, ‘As for God, His way is perfect’ (2 Samuel 22:31). Let us pray, ‘Our Father in heaven… Your will be done (Matthew 6:9-10).