Not everyone who says they are for you are! Not everyone who speaks to you is speaking the truth! Not everyone who comes to lead you should you follow! Seek God’s wisdom! Follow God’s direction with complete obedience! Partial obedience isn’t obedience at all! Don’t be deceived! Don’t be tricked! Only listen to God’s Word and His direction! This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Don’t just start strong, but keep on the full armor of God and finish strong! Persevere! Don’t give up! Even if you do everything right, some people still won’t get the message and turn back to God. Just make sure that you do what you have been called to do! Full obedience to God is all you can do! What others do is between them and God!
Today’s reading is the Old Testament readings from the week. It contains 1 Kings 13-22.
1At the Lord’s command a prophet from Judah went to Bethel and arrived there as Jeroboam stood at the altar to offer the sacrifice. 2Following the Lord’s command, the prophet denounced the altar: “O altar, altar, this is what the Lord says: A child, whose name will be Josiah, will be born to the family of David. He will slaughter on you the priests serving at the pagan altars who offer sacrifices on you, and he will burn human bones on you.” 3And the prophet went on to say, “This altar will fall apart, and the ashes on it will be scattered. Then you will know that the Lord has spoken through me.” 4When King Jeroboam heard this, he pointed at him and ordered, “Seize that man!” At once the king’s arm became paralyzed so that he couldn’t pull it back. 5The altar suddenly fell apart and the ashes spilled to the ground, as the prophet had predicted in the name of the Lord. 6King Jeroboam said to the prophet, “Please pray for me to the Lord your God, and ask him to heal my arm!”The prophet prayed to the Lord, and the king’s arm was healed. 7Then the king said to the prophet, “Come home with me and have something to eat. I will reward you for what you have done.” 8The prophet answered, “Even if you gave me half of your wealth, I would not go with you or eat or drink anything with you. 9The Lord has commanded me not to eat or drink a thing, and not to return home the same way I came.” 10So he did not go back the same way he had come, but by another road.
The Old Prophet of Bethel
11At that time there was an old prophet living in Bethel. His sons came and told him what the prophet from Judah had done in Bethel that day and what he had said to King Jeroboam. 12“Which way did he go when he left?” the old prophet asked them. They showed him the road 13and he told them to saddle his donkey for him. They did so, and he rode off 14down the road after the prophet from Judah and found him sitting under an oak tree. “Are you the prophet from Judah?” he asked. “I am,” the man answered. 15“Come home and have a meal with me,” he said. 16But the prophet from Judah answered, “I can’t go home with you or accept your hospitality. And I won’t eat or drink anything with you here, 17because the Lord has commanded me not to eat or drink a thing, and not to return home the same way I came.” 18Then the old prophet from Bethel said to him, “I, too, am a prophet just like you, and at the Lord’s command an angel told me to take you home with me and offer you my hospitality.” But the old prophet was lying. 19So the prophet from Judah went home with the old prophet and had a meal with him. 20As they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet, 21and he cried out to the prophet from Judah, “The Lord says that you disobeyed him and did not do what he commanded. 22Instead, you returned and ate a meal in a place he had ordered you not to eat in. Because of this you will be killed, and your body will not be buried in your family grave.” 23After they had finished eating, the old prophet saddled the donkey for the prophet from Judah, 24who rode off. On the way a lion met him and killed him. His body lay on the road, and the donkey and the lion stood beside it. 25Some men passed by and saw the body on the road, with the lion standing near by. They went on into Bethel and reported what they had seen. 26When the old prophet heard about it, he said, “That is the prophet who disobeyed the Lord’s command! And so the Lord sent the lion to attack and kill him, just as the Lord said he would.” 27Then he said to his sons, “Saddle my donkey for me.” They did so, 28and he rode off and found the prophet’s body lying on the road, with the donkey and the lion still standing by it. The lion had not eaten the body or attacked the donkey. 29The old prophet picked up the body, put it on the donkey, and brought it back to Bethel to mourn over it and bury it. 30He buried it in his own family grave, and he and his sons mourned over it, saying, “Oh my brother, my brother!” 31After the burial the prophet said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in this grave and lay my body next to his. 32The words that he spoke at the Lord’s command against the altar in Bethel and against all the places of worship in the towns of Samaria will surely come true.”
Jeroboam’s Fatal Sin
33King Jeroboam of Israel still did not turn from his evil ways but continued to choose priests from ordinary families to serve at the altars he had built. He ordained as priest anyone who wanted to be one. 34This sin on his part brought about the ruin and total destruction of his dynasty.
–1 Kings 13
Whether we know it or not, no matter how good our eyesight is or not, God can see beyond the tricks and the illusions and provide us the wisdom and discernment we need to do what is right. Turn to God first and allow Him to make your path straight! When people don’t remember the past, they will be doomed to repeat it. When people don’t follow thru on what God has called them to be and do, it will be taken away and they will have to deal with the consequences. So persevere! Finish strong! Don’t give up! Walk in relationship with God, in alignment to His will, and become all that God has planned and purposed for you to be!
The Death of Jeroboam’s Son
1At that time King Jeroboam’s son Abijah got sick. 2Jeroboam said to his wife, “Disguise yourself so that no one will recognize you, and go to Shiloh, where the prophet Ahijah lives, the one who said I would be king of Israel. 3Take him ten loaves of bread, some cakes, and a jar of honey. Ask him what is going to happen to our son, and he will tell you.” 4So she went to Ahijah’s home in Shiloh. Old age had made Ahijah blind. 5The Lord had told him that Jeroboam’s wife was coming to ask him about her son, who was sick. And the Lord told Ahijah what to say.When Jeroboam’s wife arrived, she pretended to be someone else. 6But when Ahijah heard her coming in the door, he said, “Come in. I know you are Jeroboam’s wife. Why are you pretending to be someone else? I have bad news for you. 7Go and tell Jeroboam that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to him: ‘I chose you from among the people and made you the ruler of my people Israel. 8I took the kingdom away from David’s descendants and gave it to you. But you have not been like my servant David, who was completely loyal to me, obeyed my commands, and did only what I approve of. 9You have committed far greater sins than those who ruled before you. You have rejected me and have aroused my anger by making idols and metal images to worship. 10Because of this I will bring disaster on your dynasty and will kill all your male descendants, young and old alike. I will get rid of your family; they will be swept away like dung. 11Any members of your family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and any who die in the open country will be eaten by vultures. I, the Lord, have spoken.’” 12And Ahijah went on to say to Jeroboam’s wife, “Now go back home. As soon as you enter the town, your son will die. 13All the people of Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He will be the only member of Jeroboam’s family who will be properly buried, because he is the only one with whom the Lord, the God of Israel, is pleased. 14The Lord is going to place a king over Israel who will put an end to Jeroboam’s dynasty. 15The Lord will punish Israel, and she will shake like a reed shaking in a stream. He will uproot the people of Israel from this good land which he gave to their ancestors, and he will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, because they have aroused his anger by making idols of the goddess Asherah. 16The Lord will abandon Israel because Jeroboam sinned and led the people of Israel into sin.” 17Jeroboam’s wife went back to Tirzah. Just as she entered her home, the child died. 18The people of Israel mourned for him and buried him, as the Lord had said through his servant, the prophet Ahijah.
The Death of Jeroboam
19Everything else that King Jeroboam did, the wars he fought and how he ruled, are all recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 20Jeroboam ruled as king for twenty-two years. He died and was buried, and his son Nadab succeeded him as king.
King Rehoboam of Judah
(2 Chronicles 11.5—12.15)
21Solomon’s son Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen from all the territory of Israel as the place where he was to be worshiped. Rehoboam’s mother was Naamah from Ammon. 22The people of Judah sinned against the Lord and did more to arouse his anger against them than all their ancestors had done. 23They built places of worship for false gods and put up stone pillars and symbols of Asherah to worship on the hills and under shady trees. 24Worst of all, there were men and women who served as prostitutes at those pagan places of worship. The people of Judah practiced all the shameful things done by the people whom the Lord had driven out of the land as the Israelites advanced into the country. 25In the fifth year of Rehoboam’s reign King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. 26He took away all the treasures in the Temple and in the palace, including the gold shields Solomon had made. 27To replace them, King Rehoboam made bronze shields and entrusted them to the officers responsible for guarding the palace gates. 28Every time the king went to the Temple, the guards carried the shields and then returned them to the guardroom. 29Everything else that King Rehoboam did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Judah. 30During all this time Rehoboam and Jeroboam were constantly at war with each other. 31Rehoboam died and was buried in the royal tombs in David’s City and his son Abijah succeeded him as king. –1 Kings 14
You either are or you are not! Are you loyal? Are you obedient? Or are you NOT!? Want to get things to be better? Want to make amend? Then we need to get back in alignment with God’s plan and God’s will! Otherwise…
King Abijah of Judah
(2 Chronicles 13.1—14.1)
1In the eighteenth year of the reign of King Jeroboam of Israel, Abijah became king of Judah, 2and he ruled three years in Jerusalem. His mother was Maacah, the daughter of Absalom. 3He committed the same sins as his father and was not completely loyal to the Lord his God, as his great-grandfather David had been. 4But for David’s sake the Lord his God gave Abijah a son to rule after him in Jerusalem and to keep Jerusalem secure. 5The Lord did this because David had done what pleased him and had never disobeyed any of his commands, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite. 6The war which had begun between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continued throughout Abijah’s lifetime. 7And everything else that Abijah did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Judah. 8Abijah died and was buried in David’s City, and his son Asa succeeded him as king.
King Asa of Judah
(2 Chronicles 14.1-5; 15.16—16.6, 11-14)
9In the twentieth year of the reign of King Jeroboam of Israel, Asa became king of Judah, 10and he ruled forty-one years in Jerusalem. His grandmother was Maacah, the daughter of Absalom. 11Asa did what pleased the Lord, as his ancestor David had done. 12He expelled from the country all the male and female prostitutes serving at the pagan places of worship, and he removed all the idols his predecessors had made. 13He removed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made an obscene idol of the fertility goddess Asherah. Asa cut down the idol and burned it in Kidron Valley. 14Even though Asa did not destroy all the pagan places of worship, he remained faithful to the Lord all his life. 15He placed in the Temple all the objects his father had dedicated to God, as well as the gold and silver objects that he himself dedicated. 16King Asa of Judah and King Baasha of Israel were constantly at war with each other as long as they were in power. 17Baasha invaded Judah and started to fortify Ramah in order to cut off all traffic in and out of Judah. 18So King Asa took all the silver and gold that was left in the Temple and the palace, and sent it by some of his officials to Damascus, to King Benhadad of Syria, the son of Tabrimmon and grandson of Hezion, with this message: 19“Let us be allies, as our fathers were. This silver and gold is a present for you. Now break your alliance with King Baasha of Israel, so that he will have to pull his troops out of my territory.” 20King Benhadad agreed to Asa’s proposal and sent his commanding officers and their armies to attack the cities of Israel. They captured Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maacah, the area near Lake Galilee, and the whole territory of Naphtali. 21When King Baasha heard what had happened, he stopped fortifying Ramah and went to Tirzah. 22Then King Asa sent out an order throughout all of Judah requiring everyone, without exception, to help carry away from Ramah the stones and timber that Baasha had been using to fortify it. With this material Asa fortified Mizpah and Geba, a city in the territory of Benjamin. 23Everything else that King Asa did, his brave deeds and the towns he fortified, are all recorded in The History of the Kings of Judah. But in his old age he was crippled by a foot disease. 24Asa died and was buried in the royal tombs in David’s City, and his son Jehoshaphat succeeded him as king.
King Nadab of Israel
25In the second year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, King Jeroboam’s son Nadab became king of Israel, and he ruled for two years. 26Like his father before him, he sinned against the Lord and led Israel into sin. 27Baasha son of Ahijah, of the tribe of Issachar, plotted against Nadab and killed him as Nadab and his army were besieging the city of Gibbethon in Philistia. 28This happened during the third year of the reign of King Asa of Judah. And so Baasha succeeded Nadab as king of Israel. 29At once he began killing all the members of Jeroboam’s family. In accordance with what the Lord had said through his servant, the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh, all of Jeroboam’s family were killed; not one survived. 30This happened because Jeroboam aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by the sins that he committed and that he caused Israel to commit. 31Everything else that Nadab did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 32King Asa of Judah and King Baasha of Israel were constantly at war with each other as long as they were in power.
King Baasha of Israel
33In the third year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king of all Israel, and he ruled in Tirzah for twenty-four years. 34Like King Jeroboam before him, he sinned against the Lord and led Israel into sin.
— 1 Kings 15
There are consequences to our choices and actions. There are repercussions that will take place if we choose improperly. Walk close to God! Accept God’s correction and become who He is making you to be! Don’t walk away! Don’t lead others astray! Help yourself and others to stay on track!
1The Lord spoke to the prophet Jehu son of Hanani and gave him this message for Baasha: 2“You were a nobody, but I made you the leader of my people Israel. And now you have sinned like Jeroboam and have led my people into sin. Their sins have aroused my anger, 3and so I will do away with you and your family, just as I did with Jeroboam. 4Any members of your family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and any who die in the open country will be eaten by vultures.” 5Everything else that Baasha did and all his brave deeds are recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 6Baasha died and was buried in Tirzah, and his son Elah succeeded him as king. 7That message from the Lord against Baasha and his family was given by the prophet Jehu because of the sins that Baasha committed against the Lord. He aroused the Lord’s anger not only because of the evil he did, just as King Jeroboam had done before him, but also because he killed all of Jeroboam’s family.
King Elah of Israel
8In the twenty-sixth year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel, and he ruled in Tirzah for two years. 9Zimri, one of his officers who was in charge of half of the king’s chariots, plotted against him. One day in Tirzah, Elah was getting drunk in the home of Arza, who was in charge of the palace. 10Zimri entered the house, assassinated Elah, and succeeded him as king. This happened in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of King Asa of Judah. 11As soon as Zimri became king he killed off all the members of Baasha’s family. Every male relative and friend was put to death. 12And so, in accordance with what the Lord had said against Baasha through the prophet Jehu, Zimri killed all the family of Baasha. 13Because of their idolatry and because they led Israel into sin, Baasha and his son Elah had aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel. 14Everything else that Elah did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel.
King Zimri of Israel
15In the twenty-seventh year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, Zimri ruled in Tirzah over Israel for seven days. The Israelite troops were besieging the city of Gibbethon in Philistia, 16and when they heard that Zimri had plotted against the king and assassinated him, then and there they all proclaimed their commander Omri king of Israel. 17Omri and his troops left Gibbethon and went and besieged Tirzah. 18When Zimri saw that the city had fallen, he went into the palace’s inner fortress, set the palace on fire, and died in the flames. 19This happened because of his sins against the Lord. Like his predecessor Jeroboam, he displeased the Lord by his own sins and by leading Israel into sin. 20Everything else that Zimri did, including the account of his conspiracy, is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel.
King Omri of Israel
21The people of Israel were divided: some of them wanted to make Tibni son of Ginath king, and the others were in favor of Omri. 22In the end, those in favor of Omri won out; Tibni died and Omri became king. 23So in the thirty-first year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, Omri became king of Israel, and he ruled for twelve years. The first six years he ruled in Tirzah, 24and then he bought the hill of Samaria for six thousand pieces of silver from a man named Shemer. Omri fortified the hill, built a town there, and named it Samaria, after Shemer, the former owner of the hill. 25Omri sinned against the Lord more than any of his predecessors. 26Like Jeroboam before him, he aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by his sins and by leading the people into sin and idolatry. 27Everything else that Omri did and all his accomplishments are recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 28Omri died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Ahab succeeded him as king.
— 1 Kings 16
Ahab … Ever heard of someone called a Jezebel? Do you know what that means? Do you know what they are saying about that person? Let’s continue through the book of Kings and learn…
King Ahab of Israel
29In the thirty-eighth year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he ruled in Samaria for twenty-two years. 30He sinned against the Lord more than any of his predecessors. 31It was not enough for him to sin like King Jeroboam; he went further and married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ethbaal of Sidon, and worshiped Baal. 32He built a temple to Baal in Samaria, made an altar for him, and put it in the temple. 33He also put up an image of the goddess Asherah. He did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than all the kings of Israel before him. 34During his reign Hiel from Bethel rebuilt Jericho. As the Lord had foretold through Joshua son of Nun, Hiel lost his oldest son Abiram when he laid the foundation of Jericho, and his youngest son Segub when he built the gates. — 1 Kings 16
Even if you are trying to help and give good direction, the other person may not listen…
Elijah and the Drought
1A prophet named Elijah, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to King Ahab, “In the name of the Lord, the living God of Israel, whom I serve, I tell you that there will be no dew or rain for the next two or three years until I say so.” 2Then the Lord said to Elijah, 3“Leave this place and go east and hide yourself near Cherith Brook, east of the Jordan. 4The brook will supply you with water to drink, and I have commanded ravens to bring you food there.” 5Elijah obeyed the Lord’s command, and went and stayed by Cherith Brook. 6He drank water from the brook, and ravens brought him bread and meat every morning and every evening. 7After a while the brook dried up because of the lack of rain.
Do you realize that with the little that you have in the hands of God it can become more than enough? God will provide! Will you be obedient?
Elijah and the Widow in Zarephath
8Then the Lord said to Elijah, 9“Now go to the town of Zarephath, near Sidon, and stay there. I have commanded a widow who lives there to feed you.” 10So Elijah went to Zarephath, and as he came to the town gate, he saw a widow gathering firewood. “Please bring me a drink of water,” he said to her. 11And as she was going to get it, he called out, “And please bring me some bread, too.” 12She answered, “By the living Lord your God I swear that I don’t have any bread. All I have is a handful of flour in a bowl and a bit of olive oil in a jar. I came here to gather some firewood to take back home and prepare what little I have for my son and me. That will be our last meal, and then we will starve to death.” 13“Don’t worry,” Elijah said to her. “Go on and prepare your meal. But first make a small loaf from what you have and bring it to me, and then prepare the rest for you and your son. 14For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The bowl will not run out of flour or the jar run out of oil before the day that I, the Lord, send rain.’” 15The widow went and did as Elijah had told her, and all of them had enough food for many days. 16As the Lord had promised through Elijah, the bowl did not run out of flour nor did the jar run out of oil. 17Some time later the widow’s son got sick; he got worse and worse, and finally he died. 18She said to Elijah, “Man of God, why did you do this to me? Did you come here to remind God of my sins and so cause my son’s death?” 19“Give the boy to me,” Elijah said. He took the boy from her arms, carried him upstairs to the room where he was staying, and laid him on the bed. 20Then he prayed aloud, “O Lord my God, why have you done such a terrible thing to this widow? She has been kind enough to take care of me, and now you kill her son!” 21Then Elijah stretched himself out on the boy three times and prayed, “O Lord my God, restore this child to life!” 22The Lord answered Elijah’s prayer; the child started breathing again and revived. 23Elijah took the boy back downstairs to his mother and said to her, “Look, your son is alive!” 24She answered, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the Lord really speaks through you!” — 1 Kings 17
With God on our side, we have already won! If God is for us who can be against us?
Elijah and the Prophets of Baal
1After some time, in the third year of the drought, the Lord said to Elijah, “Go and present yourself to King Ahab, and I will send rain.” 2So Elijah started out.The famine in Samaria was at its worst, 3so Ahab called in Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. (Obadiah was a devout worshiper of the Lord, 4and when Jezebel was killing the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah took a hundred of them, hid them in caves in two groups of fifty, and provided them with food and water.) 5Ahab said to Obadiah, “Let us go and look at every spring and every stream bed in the land to see if we can find enough grass to keep the horses and mules alive. Maybe we won’t have to kill any of our animals.” 6They agreed on which part of the land each one would explore, and set off in different directions. 7As Obadiah was on his way, he suddenly met Elijah. He recognized him, bowed low before him, and asked, “Is it really you, sir?” 8“Yes, I’m Elijah,” he answered. “Go and tell your master the king that I am here.” 9Obadiah answered, “What have I done that you want to put me in danger of being killed by King Ahab? 10By the living Lord, your God, I swear that the king has made a search for you in every country in the world. Whenever the ruler of a country reported that you were not in his country, Ahab would require that ruler to swear that you could not be found. 11And now you want me to go and tell him that you are here? 12What if the spirit of the Lord carries you off to some unknown place as soon as I leave? Then, when I tell Ahab that you are here and he can’t find you, he will put me to death. Remember that I have been a devout worshiper of the Lord ever since I was a boy. 13Haven’t you heard that when Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord I hid a hundred of them in caves, in two groups of fifty, and supplied them with food and water? 14So how can you order me to go and tell the king that you are here? He will kill me!” 15Elijah answered, “By the living Lord Almighty, whom I serve, I promise that I will present myself to the king today.” 16So Obadiah went to King Ahab and told him, and Ahab set off to meet Elijah. 17When Ahab saw him, he said, “So there you are—the worst troublemaker in Israel!” 18“I’m not the troublemaker,” Elijah answered. “You are—you and your father. You are disobeying the Lord’s commands and worshiping the idols of Baal. 19Now order all the people of Israel to meet me at Mount Carmel. Bring along the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the goddess Asherah who are supported by Queen Jezebel.” 20So Ahab summoned all the Israelites and the prophets of Baal to meet at Mount Carmel. 21Elijah went up to the people and said, “How much longer will it take you to make up your minds? If the Lord is God, worship him; but if Baal is God, worship him!” But the people didn’t say a word. 22Then Elijah said, “I am the only prophet of the Lord still left, but there are 450 prophets of Baal. 23Bring two bulls; let the prophets of Baal take one, kill it, cut it in pieces, and put it on the wood—but don’t light the fire. I will do the same with the other bull. 24Then let the prophets of Baal pray to their god, and I will pray to the Lord, and the one who answers by sending fire—he is God.”The people shouted their approval. 25Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Since there are so many of you, you take a bull and prepare it first. Pray to your god, but don’t set fire to the wood.” 26They took the bull that was brought to them, prepared it, and prayed to Baal until noon. They shouted, “Answer us, Baal!” and kept dancing around the altar they had built. But no answer came. 27At noon Elijah started making fun of them: “Pray louder! He is a god! Maybe he is day-dreaming or relieving himself, or perhaps he’s gone off on a trip! Or maybe he’s sleeping, and you’ve got to wake him up!” 28So the prophets prayed louder and cut themselves with knives and daggers, according to their ritual, until blood flowed. 29They kept on ranting and raving until the middle of the afternoon; but no answer came, not a sound was heard. 30Then Elijah said to the people, “Come closer to me,” and they all gathered around him. He set about repairing the altar of the Lord which had been torn down. 31He took twelve stones, one for each of the twelve tribes named for the sons of Jacob, the man to whom the Lord had given the name Israel. 32With these stones he rebuilt the altar for the worship of the Lord. He dug a trench around it, large enough to hold about four gallons of water. 33Then he placed the wood on the altar, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood. He said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the offering and the wood.” They did so, 34and he said, “Do it again”—and they did. “Do it once more,” he said—and they did. 35The water ran down around the altar and filled the trench. 36At the hour of the afternoon sacrifice the prophet Elijah approached the altar and prayed, “O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove now that you are the God of Israel and that I am your servant and have done all this at your command. 37Answer me, Lord, answer me, so that this people will know that you, the Lord, are God and that you are bringing them back to yourself.” 38The Lord sent fire down, and it burned up the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones, scorched the earth and dried up the water in the trench. 39When the people saw this, they threw themselves on the ground and exclaimed, “The Lord is God; the Lord alone is God!” 40Elijah ordered, “Seize the prophets of Baal; don’t let any of them get away!” The people seized them all, and Elijah led them down to Kishon Brook and killed them.
The End of the Drought
41Then Elijah said to King Ahab, “Now, go and eat. I hear the roar of rain approaching.” 42While Ahab went to eat, Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel, where he bowed down to the ground, with his head between his knees. 43He said to his servant, “Go and look toward the sea.”The servant went and returned, saying, “I didn’t see a thing.” Seven times in all Elijah told him to go and look. 44The seventh time he returned and said, “I saw a little cloud no bigger than a man’s hand, coming up from the sea.”Elijah ordered his servant, “Go to King Ahab and tell him to get in his chariot and go back home before the rain stops him.” 45In a little while the sky was covered with dark clouds, the wind began to blow, and a heavy rain began to fall. Ahab got in his chariot and started back to Jezreel. 46The power of the Lord came on Elijah; he fastened his clothes tight around his waist and ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.
–1 Kings 18
Jezebel who manipulated and tricked her husband wasn’t done yet…And as God’s Word says, in this world you will face troubles, but Jesus gives us the hope that we are not to fear, because He has overcome the world. We see Elijah facing many challenges, but God never leaves him nor abandons him. He provides for him even using birds to bring him food. Now let’s see what Jezebel is up to…
Elijah on Mount Sinai
1King Ahab told his wife Jezebel everything that Elijah had done and how he had put all the prophets of Baal to death. 2She sent a message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me dead if by this time tomorrow I don’t do the same thing to you that you did to the prophets.” 3Elijah was afraid and fled for his life; he took his servant and went to Beersheba in Judah.Leaving the servant there, 4Elijah walked a whole day into the wilderness. He stopped and sat down in the shade of a tree and wished he would die. “It’s too much, Lord,” he prayed. “Take away my life; I might as well be dead!” 5He lay down under the tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said, “Wake up and eat.” 6He looked around and saw a loaf of bread and a jar of water near his head. He ate and drank, and lay down again. 7The Lord’s angel returned and woke him up a second time, saying, “Get up and eat, or the trip will be too much for you.” 8Elijah got up, ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to walk forty days to Sinai, the holy mountain. 9There he went into a cave to spend the night.Suddenly the Lord spoke to him, “Elijah, what are you doing here?” 10He answered, “Lord God Almighty, I have always served you—you alone. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed all your prophets. I am the only one left—and they are trying to kill me!” 11“Go out and stand before me on top of the mountain,” the Lord said to him. Then the Lord passed by and sent a furious wind that split the hills and shattered the rocks—but the Lord was not in the wind. The wind stopped blowing, and then there was an earthquake—but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12After the earthquake there was a fire—but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the soft whisper of a voice. 13When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, “Elijah, what are you doing here?” 14He answered, “Lord God Almighty, I have always served you—you alone. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed all your prophets. I am the only one left—and they are trying to kill me.” 15The Lord said, “Return to the wilderness near Damascus, then enter the city and anoint Hazael as king of Syria; 16anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17Anyone who escapes being put to death by Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and anyone who escapes Jehu will be killed by Elisha. 18Yet I will leave seven thousand people alive in Israel—all those who are loyal to me and have not bowed to Baal or kissed his idol.”
The Call of Elisha
19Elijah left and found Elisha plowing with a team of oxen; there were eleven teams ahead of him, and he was plowing with the last one. Elijah took off his cloak and put it on Elisha. 20Elisha then left his oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Let me kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you.”Elijah answered, “All right, go back. I’m not stopping you!” 21Then Elisha went to his team of oxen, killed them, and cooked the meat, using the yoke as fuel for the fire. He gave the meat to the people, and they ate it. Then he went and followed Elijah as his helper.
–1 Kings 19
God will provide wisdom. God will provide support. God will provide! If you go against God, you are just asking for trouble!
War with Syria
1King Benhadad of Syria gathered all his troops, and supported by thirty-two other rulers with their horses and chariots, he marched up, laid siege to Samaria, and launched attacks against it. 2He sent messengers into the city to King Ahab of Israel to say, “King Benhadad demands that 3you surrender to him your silver and gold, your women and the strongest of your children.” 4“Tell my lord, King Benhadad, that I agree; he can have me and everything I own,” Ahab answered. 5Later the messengers came back to Ahab with another demand from Benhadad: “I sent you word that you were to hand over to me your silver and gold, your women and your children. 6Now, however, I will send my officers to search your palace and the homes of your officials, and to take everything they consider valuable. They will be there about this time tomorrow.” 7King Ahab called in all the leaders of the country and said, “You see that this man wants to ruin us. He sent me a message demanding my wives and children, my silver and gold, and I agreed.” 8The leaders and the people answered, “Don’t pay any attention to him; don’t give in.” 9So Ahab replied to Benhadad’s messengers, “Tell my lord the king that I agreed to his first demand, but I cannot agree to the second.” The messengers left and then returned with another message 10from Benhadad: “I will bring enough men to destroy this city of yours and carry off the rubble in their hands. May the gods strike me dead if I don’t!” 11King Ahab answered, “Tell King Benhadad that a real soldier does his bragging after a battle, not before it.” 12Benhadad received Ahab’s answer as he and his allies, the other rulers, were drinking in their tents. He ordered his men to get ready to attack the city, and so they moved into position. 13Meanwhile, a prophet went to King Ahab and said, “The Lord says, ‘Don’t be afraid of that huge army! I will give you victory over it today, and you will know that I am the Lord.’” 14“Who will lead the attack?” Ahab asked. The prophet answered, “The Lord says that the young soldiers under the command of the district governors are to do it.” “Who will command the main force?” the king asked. “You,” the prophet answered. 15So the king called out the young soldiers who were under the district commanders, 232 in all. Then he called out the Israelite army, a total of seven thousand men. 16The attack began at noon, as Benhadad and his thirty-two allies were getting drunk in their tents. 17The young soldiers advanced first. Scouts sent out by Benhadad reported to him that a group of soldiers was coming out of Samaria. 18He ordered, “Take them alive, no matter whether they are coming to fight or to ask for peace.” 19The young soldiers led the attack, followed by the Israelite army, 20and each one killed the man he fought. The Syrians fled, with the Israelites in hot pursuit, but Benhadad escaped on horseback, accompanied by some of the cavalry. 21King Ahab took to the field, captured the horses and chariots, and inflicted a severe defeat on the Syrians. 22Then the prophet went to King Ahab and said, “Go back and build up your forces and make careful plans, because the king of Syria will attack again next spring.”
The Second Syrian Attack
23King Benhadad’s officials said to him, “The gods of Israel are mountain gods, and that is why the Israelites defeated us. But we will certainly defeat them if we fight them in the plains. 24Now, remove the thirty-two rulers from their commands and replace them with field commanders. 25Then call up an army as large as the one that deserted you, with the same number of horses and chariots. We will fight the Israelites in the plains, and this time we will defeat them.” King Benhadad agreed and followed their advice. 26The following spring he called up his men and marched with them to the city of Aphek to attack the Israelites. 27The Israelites were called up and equipped; they marched out and camped in two groups facing the Syrians. The Israelites looked like two small flocks of goats compared to the Syrians, who spread out over the countryside. 28A prophet went to King Ahab and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Syrians say that I am a god of the hills and not of the plains, I will give you victory over their huge army, and you and your people will know that I am the Lord.’” 29For seven days the Syrians and the Israelites stayed in their camps, facing each other. On the seventh day they started fighting, and the Israelites killed a hundred thousand Syrians. 30The survivors fled into the city of Aphek, where the city walls fell on twenty-seven thousand of them. Benhadad also escaped into the city and took refuge in the back room of a house. 31His officials went to him and said, “We have heard that the Israelite kings are merciful. Give us permission to go to the king of Israel with sackcloth around our waists and ropes around our necks, and maybe he will spare your life.” 32So they wrapped sackcloth around their waists and ropes around their necks, went to Ahab and said, “Your servant Benhadad pleads with you for his life.” Ahab answered, “Is he still alive? Good! He’s like a brother to me!” 33Benhadad’s officials were watching for a good sign, and when Ahab said “brother,” they took it up at once, and said, “As you say, Benhadad is your brother!” “Bring him to me,” Ahab ordered. When Benhadad arrived, Ahab invited him to get in the chariot with him. 34Benhadad said to him, “I will restore to you the towns my father took from your father, and you may set up a commercial center for yourself in Damascus, just as my father did in Samaria.” Ahab replied, “On these terms, then, I will set you free.” He made a treaty with him and let him go.
A Prophet Condemns Ahab
35At the Lord’s command a member of a group of prophets ordered a fellow prophet to hit him. But he refused, 36so he said to him, “Because you have disobeyed the Lord’s command, a lion will kill you as soon as you leave me.” And as soon as he left, a lion came along and killed him. 37Then this same prophet went to another man and said, “Hit me!” This man did so; he hit him a hard blow and hurt him. 38The prophet bandaged his face with a cloth, to disguise himself, and went and stood by the road, waiting for the king of Israel to pass. 39As the king was passing by, the prophet called out to him and said, “Your Majesty, I was fighting in the battle when a soldier brought a captured enemy to me and said, ‘Guard this man; if he escapes, you will pay for it with your life or else pay a fine of three thousand pieces of silver.’ 40But I got busy with other things, and the man escaped.” The king answered, “You have pronounced your own sentence, and you will have to pay the penalty.” 41The prophet tore the cloth from his face, and at once the king recognized him as one of the prophets. 42The prophet then said to the king, “This is the word of the Lord: ‘Because you allowed the man to escape whom I had ordered to be killed, you will pay for it with your life, and your army will be destroyed for letting his army escape.’” 43The king went back home to Samaria, worried and depressed.
–1 Kings 20
She is never satisfied that Jezebel. If she can’t get what she want’s in a civilized manor, she goes over the top.
1Near King Ahab’s palace in Jezreel there was a vineyard owned by a man named Naboth. 2One day Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard; it is close to my palace, and I want to use the land for a vegetable garden. I will give you a better vineyard for it or, if you prefer, I will pay you a fair price.” 3“I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors,” Naboth replied. “The Lord forbid that I should let you have it!” 4Ahab went home, depressed and angry over what Naboth had said to him. He lay down on his bed, facing the wall, and would not eat. 5His wife Jezebel went to him and asked, “Why are you so depressed? Why won’t you eat?” 6He answered, “Because of what Naboth said to me. I offered to buy his vineyard or, if he preferred, to give him another one for it, but he told me that I couldn’t have it!” 7“Well, are you the king or aren’t you?” Jezebel replied. “Get out of bed, cheer up, and eat. I will get you Naboth’s vineyard!” 8Then she wrote some letters, signed Ahab’s name to them, sealed them with his seal, and sent them to the officials and leading citizens of Jezreel. 9The letters said: “Proclaim a day of fasting, call the people together, and give Naboth the place of honor. 10Get a couple of scoundrels to accuse him to his face of cursing God and the king. Then take him out of the city and stone him to death.” 11The officials and leading citizens of Jezreel did what Jezebel had commanded. 12They proclaimed a day of fasting, called the people together, and gave Naboth the place of honor. 13The two scoundrels publicly accused him of cursing God and the king, and so he was taken outside the city and stoned to death. 14The message was sent to Jezebel: “Naboth has been put to death.” 15As soon as Jezebel received the message, she said to Ahab, “Naboth is dead. Now go and take possession of the vineyard which he refused to sell to you.” 16At once Ahab went to the vineyard to take possession of it. 17Then the Lord said to Elijah, the prophet from Tishbe, 18“Go to King Ahab of Samaria. You will find him in Naboth’s vineyard, about to take possession of it. 19Tell him that I, the Lord, say to him, ‘After murdering the man, are you taking over his property as well?’ Tell him that this is what I say: ‘In the very place that the dogs licked up Naboth’s blood they will lick up your blood!’” 20When Ahab saw Elijah, he said, “Have you caught up with me, my enemy?”“Yes, I have,” Elijah answered. “You have devoted yourself completely to doing what is wrong in the Lord’s sight. 21So the Lord says to you, ‘I will bring disaster on you. I will do away with you and get rid of every male in your family, young and old alike. 22Your family will become like the family of King Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the family of King Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have stirred up my anger by leading Israel into sin.’ 23And concerning Jezebel, the Lord says that dogs will eat her body in the city of Jezreel. 24Any of your relatives who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and any who die in the open country will be eaten by vultures.”( 25There was no one else who had devoted himself so completely to doing wrong in the Lord’s sight as Ahab—all at the urging of his wife Jezebel. 26He committed the most shameful sins by worshiping idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the Lord had driven out of the land as the people of Israel advanced.) 27When Elijah finished speaking, Ahab tore his clothes, took them off, and put on sackcloth. He refused food, slept in the sackcloth, and went about gloomy and depressed. 28The Lord said to the prophet Elijah, 29“Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has done this, I will not bring disaster on him during his lifetime; it will be during his son’s lifetime that I will bring disaster on Ahab’s family.”
–1 Kings 21
Trickery and deception aren’t the solution. Disguise and deception won’t get you far. In the end such tactics will get you to lose.
The Prophet Micaiah Warns Ahab
(2 Chronicles 18.2-27)
1There was peace between Israel and Syria for the next two years, 2but in the third year King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to see King Ahab of Israel. 3Ahab asked his officials, “Why is it that we have not done anything to get back Ramoth in Gilead from the king of Syria? It belongs to us!” 4And Ahab asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to attack Ramoth?”“I am ready when you are,” Jehoshaphat answered, “and so are my soldiers and my cavalry. 5But first let’s consult the Lord.” 6So Ahab called in the prophets, about four hundred of them, and asked them, “Should I go and attack Ramoth, or not?”“Attack it,” they answered. “The Lord will give you victory.” 7But Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn’t there another prophet through whom we can consult the Lord?” 8Ahab answered, “There is one more, Micaiah son of Imlah. But I hate him because he never prophesies anything good for me; it’s always something bad.”“You shouldn’t say that!” Jehoshaphat replied. 9Then Ahab called in a court official and told him to go and get Micaiah at once. 10The two kings, dressed in their royal robes, were sitting on their thrones at the threshing place just outside the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying in front of them. 11One of them, Zedekiah son of Chenaanah, made iron horns and said to Ahab, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will fight the Syrians and totally defeat them.’” 12All the other prophets said the same thing. “March against Ramoth and you will win,” they said. “The Lord will give you victory.” 13Meanwhile, the official who had gone to get Micaiah said to him, “All the other prophets have prophesied success for the king, and you had better do the same.” 14But Micaiah answered, “By the living Lord I promise that I will say what he tells me to!” 15When he appeared before King Ahab, the king asked him, “Micaiah, should King Jehoshaphat and I go and attack Ramoth, or not?”“Attack!” Micaiah answered. “Of course you’ll win. The Lord will give you victory.” 16But Ahab replied, “When you speak to me in the name of the Lord, tell the truth! How many times do I have to tell you that?” 17Micaiah answered, “I can see the army of Israel scattered over the hills like sheep without a shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These men have no leader; let them go home in peace.’” 18Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good for me? It’s always something bad!” 19Micaiah went on: “Now listen to what the Lord says! I saw the Lord sitting on his throne in heaven, with all his angels standing beside him. 20The Lord asked, ‘Who will deceive Ahab so that he will go and be killed at Ramoth?’ Some of the angels said one thing, and others said something else, 21until a spirit stepped forward, approached the Lord, and said, ‘I will deceive him.’ 22‘How?’ the Lord asked. The spirit replied, ‘I will go and make all of Ahab’s prophets tell lies.’ The Lord said, ‘Go and deceive him. You will succeed.’” 23And Micaiah concluded: “This is what has happened. The Lord has made these prophets of yours lie to you. But he himself has decreed that you will meet with disaster!” 24Then the prophet Zedekiah went up to Micaiah, slapped his face, and asked, “Since when did the Lord’s spirit leave me and speak to you?” 25“You will find out when you go into some back room to hide,” Micaiah replied. 26Then King Ahab ordered one of his officers, “Arrest Micaiah and take him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Prince Joash. 27Tell them to throw him in prison and to put him on bread and water until I return safely.” 28“If you return safely,” Micaiah exclaimed, “then the Lord has not spoken through me!” And he added, “Listen, everyone, to what I have said!”
The Death of Ahab
(2 Chronicles 18.28-34)
29Then King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to attack the city of Ramoth in Gilead. 30Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “As we go into battle, I will disguise myself, but you wear your royal garments.” So the king of Israel went into battle in disguise. 31The king of Syria had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders to attack no one else except the king of Israel. 32So when they saw King Jehoshaphat, they all thought that he was the king of Israel, and they turned to attack him. But when he cried out, 33they realized that he was not the king of Israel, and they stopped their attack. 34By chance, however, a Syrian soldier shot an arrow which struck King Ahab between the joints of his armor. “I’m wounded!” he cried out to his chariot driver. “Turn around and pull out of the battle!” 35While the battle raged on, King Ahab remained propped up in his chariot, facing the Syrians. The blood from his wound ran down and covered the bottom of the chariot, and at evening he died. 36Near sunset the order went out through the Israelite ranks: “Each of you go back to your own country and city!” 37So died King Ahab. His body was taken to Samaria and buried. 38His chariot was cleaned up at the pool of Samaria, where dogs licked up his blood and prostitutes washed themselves, as the Lord had said would happen. 39Everything else that King Ahab did, including an account of his palace decorated with ivory and of all the cities he built, is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 40At his death his son Ahaziah succeeded him as king.
King Jehoshaphat of Judah
(2 Chronicles 20.31—21.1)
41In the fourth year of the reign of King Ahab of Israel, Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah 42at the age of thirty-five, and he ruled in Jerusalem for twenty-five years. His mother was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. 43Like his father Asa before him, he did what was right in the sight of the Lord; but the places of worship were not destroyed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. 44Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel. 45Everything else that Jehoshaphat did, all his bravery and his battles, are recorded in The History of the Kings of Judah. 46He got rid of all the male and female prostitutes serving at the pagan altars who were still left from the days of his father Asa. 47The land of Edom had no king; it was ruled by a deputy appointed by the king of Judah. 48King Jehoshaphat had ocean-going ships built to sail to the land of Ophir for gold; but they were wrecked at Eziongeber and never sailed. 49Then King Ahaziah of Israel offered to let his men sail with Jehoshaphat’s men, but Jehoshaphat refused the offer. 50Jehoshaphat died and was buried in the royal tombs in David’s City, and his son Jehoram succeeded him as king.
King Ahaziah of Israel
51In the seventeenth year of the reign of King Jehoshaphat of Judah, Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel, and he ruled in Samaria for two years. 52He sinned against the Lord, following the wicked example of his father Ahab, his mother Jezebel, and King Jeroboam, who had led Israel into sin. 53He worshiped and served Baal, and like his father before him, he aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel.
–1 Kings 22