A Tale of Two Journeys, Part One: Ahab’s Disobedient Journey

“For Ahab it seemed like a light thing to walk in the sins of Jeroboam” (1 Kings 16:31).

Sins that had seemed shocking to one generation had come to seem light and trivial to the next. Older people, who could remember the days of Solomon, must have looked back and wondered, “What in the world happened in our nation? 

 

1 Kings tells us of two men. Ahab and Elijah, who two took very different life journeys. I want to show you Ahab’s disobedient journey, and then, in a second article, show you Elijah’s faithful journey.  

Meet Ahab 

Ahab came to the throne about sixty years after the death of Solomon. He was the seventh king in line after that terrible schism in which ten of the twelve tribes declared independence from the line of David’s descendants. 

Vast changes had taken place in just over half a century, “For Ahab it seemed like a light thing to walk in the sins of Jeroboam” (1 Kings 16:31). 

Sins that had seemed shocking to one generation had come to seem light and trivial to the next. Older people, who could remember the days of Solomon, must have looked back and wondered, “What in the world happened in our nation? 

He Broke the Commandment of God

He took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshipped him. (1 Kings 16:31) 

When God’s people entered the Promised Land, he gave them a clear command that they were not to marry, under any circumstances, people who worshiped idols (see Deuteronomy 7:3).  

The issue here is not interracial marriage. We know that because Ruth, a Moabitess who took refuge under the wings of the Lord, married Boaz, and took her place in the line of Christ. God smiles on the marriage of a man and a woman of a different race when they marry in the Lord.  

But God speaks clearly to his own people about entering marriage with someone who does submit to him. Ahab paid no attention to that. What did he care about old books written hundreds of years before his time? He would have said he was dealing with political realities. Assyria was growing in power and Ahab reckoned that the ten tribes of Israel needed a strong ally to bolster their defense. 

The Sidonians seemed to be the answer, and what better way to cement an alliance with them than for him to marry the crown princess, the daughter of Ethbaal, whose name was Jezebel. So that is what Ahab did. 

He Subverted the Worship of God 

He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal which he built in Samaria. (1 Kings 16:32) 

In the first commandment, God says “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). What does that mean? There is only one God, but because our nature is to rebel against him, we invent other gods who fit comfortably with our pleasures. 

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