Topic: THE FOOLS NEVER LEARN! 1 Kings 20:22-43
Bible Reading: 1 Kings 20:22-43
22 And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.
23 And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.
24 And do this thing, Take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their rooms:
25 And number thee an army, like the army that thou hast lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot: and we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. And he hearkened unto their voice, and did so.
26 And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Benhadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.
27 And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country.
28 And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
29 And they pitched one over against the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day.
30 But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and there a wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand of the men that were left. And Benhadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber.
31 And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save thy life.
32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy servant Benhadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And he said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother.
33 Now the men did diligently observe whether any thing would come from him, and did hastily catch it: and they said, Thy brother Benhadad. Then he said, Go ye, bring him. Then Benhadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot.
34 And Ben-hadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.
35 And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the Lord, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him.
36 Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him.
37 Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him, so that in smiting he wounded him.
38 So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face.
39 And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver.
40 And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.
41 And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets.
42 And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people.
43 And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.
Topic: THE FOOLS NEVER LEARN! 1 Kings 20:22-43
The Lord was with Israel, but it did not mean they could go to sleep: “Strengthen your position” (v.22). Ben-Hadad would attack again! The Syrians recognised, like our people in traditional Africa, that there is a spiritual dimension to human conflicts. A war was not fought merely between two armies, but between the gods that stand behind the armies. Unfortunately for them, their gods were too limited (v.23). They knew nothing of the Almighty God who is not only the ‘God of the hills’ but also of the valley and plain lands. Therefore, they needed to learn that lesson as v.28 shows. The Lord of the universe gave His people a great victory. An army like “two small flocks of goats” crushed one that “covered the countryside”. Ahab spared Ben-Hadad, the archenemy of God’s people. God was not pleased with this. Apparently, God had asked Ahab to put Ben-Hadad to death but he did not carry this out (v.42, cf. 1Sam. 15:10). Instead, he made a treaty with him. He would pay dearly for this, and so would Israel (v.42, cf. 1 Kgs. 22:29-37). Is there an enemy of God you are keeping in your life? Never entertain sin in your life. Topic: THE FOOLS NEVER LEARN! 1 Kings 20:22-43
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Missions: TAJIKISTAN-The birth of a Tajik Church, although a slow and painstaking process, is now reality. The Church among Tajiks is small, only a thousand, but growing. The whole Bible in Tajik exists and there are many programs in Farsi that can be understood in many minority languages; pray for more to listen to these life-changing words.
Prayer: Father, please forgive me for being ungrateful sometimes. Thank You again for being always there for me.
Bible In One Year: Ezekiel 8-11
Afterward, the prophet came to the king of Israel and said, “Strengthen your position and see what must be done, because next spring the king of Aram will attack you again.” (1Kgs. 20:22) – Topic: THE FOOLS NEVER LEARN! 1 Kings 20:22-43