But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. 1 Kings 21:25.
Ahab was weak in moral power. His union by marriage with an idolatrous woman of decided character and positive temperament resulted disastrously both to himself and to the nation. Unprincipled, and with no high standard of rightdoing, his character was easily molded by the determined spirit of Jezebel….
Under the blighting influence of Ahab’s rule, Israel wandered far from the living God and corrupted their ways before Him…. The dark shadow of apostasy covered the whole land. Images of Baalim and Ashtoreth were everywhere to be seen. Idolatrous temples and consecrated groves, wherein were worshiped the works of men’s hands, were multiplied. The air was polluted with the smoke of the sacrifices offered to false gods. Hill and vale resounded with the drunken cries of a heathen priesthood who sacrificed to the sun, moon, and stars.
Through the influence of Jezebel and her impious priests, the people were taught that the idol gods that had been set up were deities, ruling by their mystic power the elements of earth, fire, and water. All the bounties of heaven—the running brooks, the streams of living water, the gentle dew, the showers of rain which refreshed the earth and caused the fields to bring forth abundantly—were ascribed to the favor of Baal and Ashtoreth, instead of to the Giver of every good and perfect gift. The people forgot that the hills and valleys, the streams and fountains, were in the hand of the living God, that He controlled the sun, the clouds of heaven, and all the powers of nature….
In their blind folly they chose to reject God and His worship.
How few realize the power of an unconsecrated woman…. God would have been with Ahab if he had walked in the counsel of heaven. But Ahab did not do this. He married a woman given to idolatry. Jezebel had more power over the king than God had. She led him into idolatry, and with him the people.
Conflict and Courage p. 204
—–Please pray for John who is having a heart cath today. Ron
In 1890, when my grandfather was six, he and his brother, Harold, got their picture taken. It was the only photograph of him until he was about 20 and in the national guard. My grandmother kept it in a special place because it was the only one of him when he was little. Occasionally she would allow me to look at it. I used to look at his face, childish yet a little sad and with big frightened eyes, and try to imagine what he was like in those far off days. I knew that in just four short years from when that photo was taken, he left home to wander up and down the eastern seaboard. I thought about the unhappiness that was in that home. His father would not allow his boys to laugh or to sing. They dreaded to see him come home because every night he would beat them because he was sure that they must have done something to deserve a whipping.
Paul says, “we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.” Heb 12:9-10 Parents often correct their children in anger or because of mistaken concepts of discipline, but our Heavenly Father has a far different motive when He must correct us. He allows trials and troubles to come into our life that we may draw closer to Him. He allows it for our benefit. When our life is turned upside down, the dross is consumed away and the pure gold can shine through. Paul continues, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” “We are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” 11-14, 1 Cor 11:32
David prayed, “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.” “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps 79:9,139:23,24 Solomon adds, “Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.” Prov 25:4
Let us allow ourselves to become finer vessels because of the trials that must come upon us. Let us cling to our Dear Saviour’s nail scarred hand that is extended to us to comfort us when we must endure troubles. Let us be filled with love and gratitude for our Heavenly Father’s working in our life.