1 Kings 20

1 Kings 20 is filled with the underdog facing the Goliath.  Ahab and his people Israel are being pursued by Ben-hadad and 32 other kings.  That is hardly fair.  They are going to come together to do battle with Ahab and his people.  Seems like a pretty predictable outcome, doesn’t it.  Very outnumbered, Ahab immediately caves and says he will comply with whatever these kings want. The request was sent: “Deliver to me your silver and your gold, your wives and your children”.

Ahab asks his elders what to do.  This is a big request, but the option isn’t looking very good.  But as he prepares to give in and give away his money and his family, a prophet comes by.  “Thus says the Lord, Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will give it into your hand this day, and you shall know that I am the Lord”.  Seems like a lopsided situation, but God sent a message that He was showing up and Ahab’s troops would prevail.  And that they did.  They routed the enemy.

The enemies of Israel begin making excuses about why they were defeated.  It was because of the place the battle occurred – in the hills.  If only they could get the battle moved to the plains they would easily prevail.  So they wait for spring and prepare for battle then. Ahab brings his army out for the battle.  “The people of Israel encamped before them like two little flocks of goats, but the Syrians filled the country”.   This wasn’t going to be fair.  It looked bad again.  But once again God showed up.

The few thousand of Israel killed over 127K warriors that day.  It was an amazing victory.  But Ahab blows it when he has Ben-hadad before him and lets him go.  He doesn’t finish the job.  And because of that God announces that He will be punishing him.  He won’t tolerate the failure to obey.  Ahab has just experienced a coupld of amazing victories, both definitely given by the Lord, and he negotiates with the enemy and lets him go in spite of what God had commanded.  Obedience is not optional.  We need to follow God’s direction and do it quickly and according to His plan.

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