June 19 - Sold to Idolatry

King Ahab was a bad king, a spiritually weak leader, making compromises and was blind to what was going on. Initially, he surrendered to Ben Hadad, king of Syria, giving his wives, sons, daughters and the nation’s wealth to him. Later, he changed his mind. God honored that and the Syrians were defeated twice, once on the hills and the second time in the valleys. Even so, the weakness of Ahab was shown forth in that he did not finish up Ben Hadad but made a covenant with him and let him go. He listened to his wife Jezebel, the daughter of the Sidonian king and brought in Baal worship to the land of Israel. Later, he took the vineyard of Naboth by the evil scheme of Jezebel. The reason why he was weak spiritually was because he sold himself to idolatry, to the worship of other gods.

 

The whole life of Ahab is summarized in an earlier chapter in 1 Kings: “There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited. He acted very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the Lord cast out before the people of Israel” (21:25-27) The Lord said very clearly that Ahab sold himself to idolatry and so that was his downfall. Instead of leading his wife to fear God, he was incited by his wife to do evil. Instead of leading Israel to Jehovah, he led them to the abominations of the Amorites. He failed as a leader, a husband and a father. It was a total failure.

 

The psalmist describes those who are sold out to idolatry. Both the makers and worshippers of idols have a serious problem: they are like the idols they serve. They look good on the outside, with great promises to help and to bless. Wealth, health and power in the form of gold and silver are the empty promises the idols offer to their worshippers. But when they sell themselves to the idols, something happens immediately: they would be like the idols they worship. The idols have mouths but do not speak; they have eyes but do not see; they have ears but do not hear. All our spiritual faculties are lost once we are sold to the idols. Ahab was a good example.

 

When you cannot speak, see or hear, you are in darkness and cannot discern anything around you. You cannot tell good from evil, the things of God and the things of the devil. You end up calling good evil and evil good. Your vision of God is obscured and you are left without help. One bad decision after another and your life, your marriage and your family are ruined. This all begins with turning your heart to other things that can satisfy your needs. When God is not meeting all your needs and you need someone or something else other than God. Such reliance can become your idol and can cause the loss of your spiritual faculties. What are some of the things that you cannot do without? Are there people or things that you are depending on right now? Remove them and ask God to meet all your needs now.

 

Ps 135:15-21     1 Kgs 20:1-21:29     Acts 12:24-13:15     Prov 17:16

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