Eliyahu ~ Part 15

In my last post, we looked at a Synopsis of Chapters 20 and 21:1-16. In this post, we finally get back to Eliyahu who hears God’s Sentence to Ach’av in 1 Kings 21:17-29.

We pick up our story of Eliyahu shortly after Ach’av and Izevel plotted to defraud and murder Navot to steal his vineyard.

17 But the word of Adonai came to Eliyahu from Tishbe: 18 “Get up, go down to meet Ach’av king of Isra’el, who lives in Shomron. Right now he is in the vineyard of Navot; he has gone down there to take possession of it. 19 This is what you are to say to him: ‘Here is what Adonai says: “You have committed murder, and now you are stealing the victim’s property!” ’Also say to him, ‘Here is what Adonai says: “In the very place where dogs licked up the blood of Navot, dogs will lick up your blood— yours!”’”

20 Ach’av said to Eliyahu, “My enemy! You’ve found me!” He answered, “Yes, I have found you; because you have given yourself over to do what is evil from Adonai’s perspective. 21 ‘Here,’ [says Adonai,] ‘I am bringing disaster on you! I will sweep you away completely; I will cut off from Ach’av every male, whether a slave or free in Isra’el. 22 I will make your house like the house of Yarov‘am the son of N’vat and like the house of Ba‘sha the son of Achiyah for provoking my anger and leading Isra’el into sin.’ 23 Adonai also said this about Izevel: ‘The dogs will eat Izevel by the wall around Yizre‘el. 24 If someone from the line of Ach’av dies in the city, the dogs will eat him; if he dies in the countryside, the vultures will eat him.’”

25 Truly, there was never anyone like Ach’av. Stirred up by his wife Izevel, he gave himself over to do what is evil from Adonai’s perspective. 26 His behavior in following idols was grossly abominable; he did everything the Emori had done, whom Adonai expelled ahead of the people of Isra’el.

27 Ach’av, on hearing these words, tore his clothes, put sackcloth on himself and fasted. He slept in the sackcloth and went about dejectedly. 28 Then the word of Adonai came to Eliyahu from Tishbe: 29 “Do you see how Ach’av has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring this evil during his lifetime; but during his son’s lifetime I will bring the evil on his house.” ~ 1 Kings 21:17-29 (CJB)

Adonai, God, does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” ~ Amos 3:7 (CJB) We have heard nothing from or about Eliyahu since he called Elisha to be his successor, but now God brings His servant into center stage to confront the king. He always does when He gives an assignment; He told Eliyahu just what to say to the evil king. Ach’av had shed innocent blood, and his guilty blood would be licked up by the dogs. What a way for the king of Israel to end his reign!

To me, verse 22 is reminiscent of 1 Kings 15:29 and 1 Kings 16:3,11.

Previously, Ach’av called Eliyahu the troubler of Israel, but now he makes it more personal and calls the prophet my enemy. By fighting against the Lord, Ach’av was his enemy and brought upon himself the sentence that Eliyahu pronounced. Ach’av would die dishonorably, and the dogs would lick his blood. Izevel would die and be eaten by the dogs. All their posterity would eventually be eradicated from the land. They had enjoyed their years of sinful pleasure and selfish pursuits, but it would all end in judgment.

Instead of going home to pout, Ach’av repented! What his wife thought about his actions isn’t recorded, but the Lord who sees the heart accepted his humiliation and told it to His servant. The Lord didn’t cancel the announced judgments but postponed them until the reign of Ach’av’s son Yoram (see 2 Kings 9:14-37). Ach’av was slain on the battlefield, and the dogs licked his blood at the pool of Samaria (22:37-38). Because of the postponement of the judgment, the dogs licked his son Yoram’s blood on Navot’s property, just as Eliyahu predicted (2 Kings 9:14-37). Later events proved that Ach’av’s repentance was short-lived, but the Lord at least gave him another opportunity to turn from sin and obey the Word. How much more evidence did Ach’av need? But the influence of his wife couldn’t easily be broken, for when Ach’av married her, he sold himself into sin. {I don’t think I will say any more on that point.}

In my next post, we continue to explore the Biblical story of Eliyahu. We next meet up with Eliyahu in 2 Kings 1-17 where once again God Judges Sin.

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