Today the Syrians learn that God is the God of the hills and the valleys! 🙌 The Israelites again defeat the Syrians resulting in Ben-Hadad, the king of Syria, surrendering to Ahab. Ben-Hadad promises to restore all that his father took from Israel so Ahab makes a treaty with him. 😏 The Lord has already told His people not to make treaties with the nations around them. Plus, the Lord just delivered the Syrians, who were blaspheming Him, into the hands of Israel. He did not deliver them to Israel for Israel to make a treaty with them but to destroy them.
So God sends a prophet to rebuke Ahab. “Because you have let slip out of your hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people.” We will see this play out when Ahab gets killed by a Syrian soldier (1 Kings 22:34-35) and the people suffer at the hands of a Syrian king, Hazael (2 Kings 8:12-13). So Ahab goes home sullen and displeased.
Ahab continues his baby pout 🍼 when he sees a vineyard he wants but Naboth refuses to give it to him. Naboth is following the instructions of the Lord by not transferring his inheritance to another (Deut 19:14). Well, Jezebel sees her husband pouting and decides to take matters into her own hands and comes up with an idea! 💡 She has Naboth falsely accused of speaking against the Lord and stoned to death. This news cheers Ahab right up so he leaves to go and enjoy his newly acquired vineyard. However, the Lord is displeased.
God sends Elijah to tell Ahab that because of his wickedness the Lord will destroy Ahab and his household and the dogs will lick his blood in the place where Naboth was killed, and the dogs will eat Jezebel within the walls of Jezreel. 😳 Yikes! She is about to go down in a major way and this will all play out soon in the Story.
The reading ends with an alliance between Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and Ahab, king of Israel, through marriage. Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram, is married to Ahab’s daughter, Athaliah. Ahab asks Jehoshaphat to go to battle with him against Syria and said that his 400 prophets said they would have victory. But Jehoshaphat isn’t really interested in what these false prophets, who just tell Ahab what he wants to hear, have to say. Jehoshaphat tells Ahab to inquire of a prophet of the Lord. Ahab doesn’t like this idea bc the prophet of the Lord never tells him what he wants to hear but instead speaks truth. But Ahab listens to Jehoshaphat and finds a true prophet of the Lord still living in Israel, Micaiah.
Tomorrow we see the Lord’s response to Ahab so keep reading.
(1 Kings 20:23-22:9, 2 Chronicles 18:1-8)