Thursday, December 12, 2019

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Share your stories and ideas with the network as you respond to crisis and disaster.

The Bible says a lot about ways God works in and through disasters.   Here's just one instance where many lessons come forth.


Lessons from Elijah and Ahab: God’s Working Through Disasters
By Steve Marr, CEN’s Director of Business

The Lord has used disasters, and allowed disastrous circumstances for the opportunity of personal growth. 1 Kings 21:17-29 gives us a word picture of how God may work.

I Kings 21:17-19…

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’ Then say to him, “This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood - yes, yours!’”

Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!”

“I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord. ‘I am going to bring disaster on you. I will consume your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel - slave or free. I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have provoked me to anger and have caused Israel to sin.’


“And also concerning Jezebel the Lord says: ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.’

“Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds of the air will feed on those who die in the country.”

(There was never a man like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.)


When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”

First, “The word of the Lord came to Elijah” (1 Kings 21:17). God’s word was directed to a holy, godly person. The Lord does prompt us all at times, but the holy, those totally sold out will be open channels of His communication. We need to be holy.

Second, “The Lord said, ‘Arise, go down and meet Ahab king of Israel…” (1 Kings 21:18). When the Lord speaks to us, He speaks so we will take action. What action is God calling you to make?

Third, we are equipped for whatever task the Lord intends us to accomplish. Elijah was given the words to speak to the king. Likewise, when the Lord sends us out, we will be equipped with what we need to act on those instructions. Even blunt words and actions may be required.

Fourth, when we are on God’s errand, we may not always be received well.   The king said, “So you have found me, O my enemy!” (1 Kings 21:20) when Elijah arrived.   Our obedience may come at some personal cost. Truth can be received badly.

Fifth, the Lord said through Elijah, “I am going to bring disaster on you…” (1 Kings 21:21). In reality, the Lord will use disasters to grab our attention. God is clear about His plans.

Sixth, God’s anger was provoked “…because you have made Israel to sin” (1 Kings 21:22). The Lord was justly angry with King Ahab.

Seventh, God’s judgment was extended beyond the king; others in his family would also pay the price (1 Kings 21:22-23). Also, “Anyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat” (1 Kings 21:24, English Standard Version). This is a very depressing picture indeed, and conveys the biblical truth that sin affects others.

Eighth, Ahab was the worst sort of character, “There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab…” (1 Kings 21:25). “He acted very abominably in going after idols…” (1 Kings 21:25). It’s a brutal picture.

Ninth, “When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly” (1 Kings 21:27). The evil king repented!

Tenth, “The Lord then spoke to Elijah, ‘Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days, but in his son’s days I will bring disaster upon his house.’” (1 Kings 21:28-29). The Lord wants to see our repentance, and change of behavior, and may then relent and not bring upon us a disaster.   Would God have spared his son’s generation, too, if there was repentence then as well?

Final thoughts: Strengthen your biblical worldview and understanding of God’s ways by studying the Bible. God will reveal truth to you, layer upon layer, as you open the Bible’s pages. God is capable to addressing many issues and plans through even just one event.


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