What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV)
Individuals may change but humanity has stayed consistent from the beginning. Some of us will learn from others’ mistakes, some of us will not. Today’s Bible Study is one of self-examination. How well do you know your heart? We can learn our core beliefs if we examine our reactions to crises.
1 Kings 22:1-28 tells the story of Ahab King of Israel and Jehoshaphat King of Judah preparing to battle Syria. Micaiah a prophet of the Lord told Ahab that he will die in battle but Ahab’s actions show that he believed he could out smart God.
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle. (1 Kings 22:30 NIV)
But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.” (1 Kings 22:34 NIV)
God is in control of every random arrow. He sent the arrow exactly through the small crack in Ahab’s armor.
They washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria (where the prostitutes bathed), and the dogs licked up his blood, as the word of the Lord had declared (1 Kings 22:38 NIV)
Elijah’s prophecy concerning Ahab’s remains was full-filled. (1 Kings 21:24 NIV)
Did Ahab’s son, Ahaziah choose to respect the Lord and not worship idols as his parents had?
After Ahab’s death, Moab rebelled against Israel. Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury.” (2 Kings 1:1-2 NIV)
In order to enjoy a breeze without being in the direct sun, strips of wood or reed were woven into a lattice wall. This wall was place along the edge of the flat roof of the king’s palace. Perhaps Ahaziah thought that he would escape death if stayed home surrounded by guards. But he fell from the roof and injured himself.Now in a life or death crisis Ahaziah had an opportunity to humble himself before God. Click To Tweet
Now in a life or death crisis Ahaziah had an opportunity to humble himself before God. In 1 Kings 21: 27-29 Ahab did repent and God had postponed his justice. Even though God knew Ahaziah’s heart, He still gave him a chance to change. But Ahaziah revealed his heart of idolatry when he sent messengers to consult with the false god located in Ekron.
But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?’ Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!’” So Elijah went. (2 Kings 1: 3-4 NIV)
Elijah was instructed by an angel to meet up with the messengers. Perhaps this was the angel that had cooked Elijah his meals by the broom tree (1 Kings 19:5-7 NIV). God’s message was: “Since you choose to ignore Me, the God of Israel. You will not be given another opportunity to repent. You will soon die.”
Imagine if Ahaziah had asked for Elijah or Micaiah instead. God would have given him mercy just as He did for Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:1-11). As wicked as the people of Nineveh were, God forgave them when they repented (Jonah 3:10). God wants people to choose to worship Him (Joshua 24:15). Ahaziah’s heart was just as hardened as the Pharisees who accused Jesus of using the power of Beelzebul (Matthew 12:24)
Ahaziah is not the only one in the Bible whose action’s revealed their heart.
Peter repented. Judas hung himself.
Job refused to curse God, King Saul found a witch.
Hosea married a prostitute out of obedience. King Belshazzar used consecrated items for personal pleasure.
Rahab hid the spies. Eli’s sons chose the sacrificial meat for themselves.
Sometimes we don’t know our own hearts. David wisely prayed:
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139: 23, 24 NIV)
- How do you react to a crisis?
- Where do you turn for answers?
- Do you recognize your opportunities to repent?