Friday is for Heart Songs
Reading in 1 Kings 21 this morning, and the despicable life of Ahab, king of Israel. He is a idol worshiping, petulant child in a man’s body. Ruled by his whims and his wicked wife Jezebel, he alternately pouts and demands, and then is manipulated by his wife to use his power to kill an innocent man (Naboth). God moves Elijah to proclaim his judgment and then a startling thing happens.
This wicked disgusting man-child, this King whose wickedness was greater than the Amorites whose own evil was so great it served as the cause for God taking the Land away from them and giving to Judah, this same man repents. Here’s how the writer of 1 Kings tells the story in verses 25-29:
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. He acted very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the Lord cast out before the sons of Israel. It came about when Ahab heard these words, that he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about despondently. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but I will bring the evil upon his house in his son’s days.” (NASB 1995 Update)
The story wasn’t finished. Ahab would regress. He would return to his evil ways. But for a moment, in the face of judgment, his heart broke and fled to the mercy of God, and God, our marvelous God, gave him a reprieve. Oh that we might bow our knees to our King and receive his mercy and abide in his ways that our service to our King would be long and fruitful. And oh that it might not take the threat of judgment to do it.
Oh Lord God, give us humble hearts, repentant hearts, that your mercy and tenderness toward sinners like us would be kindled and our service to you would be long, and righteous, and glorifying to you.