First Kings 20 Commentary
That the LORD is still dealing with Israel is one very strange attribute of God’s character. Under Ahab, the nation is nearly hundred percent apostate. They no longer know the God of their fathers. Without Israel asking or even showing signs of wanting help, the LORD moves in compassion and saves the nation from Ben-Hadad’s hand.
But Ahab is so much out of sync with the purposes of the LORD that he allows Ben-Hadad to live. The LORD had wanted Ben-Hadad dead.
The two victories against Aram are won against the background of idolatry. You sense these victories are a message to the errant king and his subjects that the LORD is still thinking about Israel. It is this message that the gospels give us. The LORD decided to come down to help us right in the midst of our sinfulness.
The behavior of Ahab here reminds us of the behavior of Saul when he spared Agag king of the Amalekites. The LORD is not happy and Ahab would die instead.
The courage of the prophet who confronted Ahab is impressive! But we are also left wide-eyed by the punishment inflicted on an apparently innocent man who was ordered to wound the prophet. Such is the power of the word of the LORD. It must be obeyed without question. Yes, without question because the LORD is perfect and does no wrong. Deuteronomy 32 verse 4.
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