MOORE — Good morning, Moore American readers. We are grateful for your presence today as we take a little time to read a portion from the Word of God.
In 1 Kings, we have the story of King Ahab. When we say “Ahab,” those that have some knowledge of him won’t be surprised that this lesson could be titled “The Man Who Was a Failure.” Few kings failed God’s people the way King Ahab did. His greatest weakness, I think, is weakness. Continue reading, and you’ll understand what we mean.
One day King Benhadad from Syria chooses to pick a fight with him. Benhadad essentially says, “I’m coming to get you, and I want your silver and gold, wives and also your children” (1 Kings 20:3).
Astonishingly, Ahab replies — in today’s vernacular — “OK.”
Can you imagine? He’s God’s king, and he is willing to give in without a fight to this evil king. This is like what we tend to do sometimes with Satan.
But, to Ahab’s credit, when Benhadad grows greedier and says he’s also going to take everything else out of his land that he admires, Ahab expresses a vaunting display. So, during a drunken party, Benhadad follows through and decides to attack Israel. Thankfully, despite Ahab’s weakness, God’s sovereignty steps in and gives Ahab the victory.
Time passes, and Syria wants to fight again. On this occasion, King Benhadad’s servants advise him to fight Israel down in the valley because they think Israel’s God is a God of the mountain, not a God of the valley.
We who are believers in God almost have to giggle at that. If you don’t know this message from the Bible, what happened is when the dust settled, they had learned that our God is God both of the mountain and the valley. Praise the Lord for that. Psalms 96:4 “For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.”
In defeat, the wicked and arrogant king Benhadad decides to go to king Ahab to beg for his life. Amazingly, Ahab listens to him and “made a covenant with him” (1 Kings 20:34).
We have to understand that the kingdoms of the Old Testament and the New are different. Because Israel was a national kingdom, they fought literal warfare, looking forward to the day when God’s kingdom would not be of the world as Christ says in John 18:3 “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”
Christ’s kingdom is the church of our Lord. Israel’s battle against the sinful nations around them is parallel to our fight with Satan today. Ahab should not have negotiated with Benhadad, just as we must not negotiate with Satan. As Paul tells the Ephesians, “Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). That is, don’t give the Satan an opportunity, a foothold or an opening in your daily life.
Ahab fails in his obligation to defeat Benhadad soundly. Later, Benhadad, like Satan, breaks a promise and kills Ahab. Ahab suffers the consequences for giving “place to the devil.” We can’t do that. We don’t give him an opportunity. We don’t consider, deliberate, discuss within ourselves or rub elbows with Satan or the likes of him.
Instead, the apostle says in Ephesians 6:10-11, to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Do you catch that word “wiles” — the schemes, devices of trickery?
Know that God has the ability to hear all prayers, but only answers the prayers of the righteous (Exodus 9:27-35; Psalms 8, 66:16-20, 109:2, 7; Proverbs 28:9; Isaiah 1:15, 59:1-2; 1 Chronicles 4:9-10; Luke 1:1-6, 12-13; John 9:1-3, 9:30-31; Acts 10:1-2, 30-31, 35; Romans 3:21-23; 1 John 1:5-10, 3:22; 1 Peter 3:12; James 5:16).
It is so important to find out what God wants from us today.
Only in Jesus Christ will you have the power (1 John 3:8) to fight Satan, which will be given to you at baptism, the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:37-38; Mark 16:16) for your obedience to Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20; John 3:3-8, 14:13-15).
Then you can pray to God (1 John 5:1-15) to help you resist the devil as found in 1 Peter 5:6-8 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”