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Marked for Death

Read 1 Kings 21:1-29

Elijah answered, “I have come because you have sold yourself to what is evil in the Lord’s sight. So now the Lord says, ‘I will bring disaster on you and consume you. I will destroy every one of your male descendants, slave and free alike, anywhere in Israel! I am going to destroy your family as I did the family of Jeroboam son of Nebat and the family of Baasha son of Ahijah, for you have made me very angry and have led Israel into sin.’

“And regarding Jezebel, the Lord says, ‘Dogs will eat Jezebel’s body at the plot of land in Jezreel.’

“The members of Ahab’s family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and those who die in the field will be eaten by vultures.” . . . But when Ahab heard this message, he tore his clothing, dressed in burlap, and fasted. He even slept in burlap and went about in deep mourning.

Then another message from the Lord came to Elijah: “Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has done this, I will not do what I promised during his lifetime. It will happen to his sons; I will destroy his dynasty.”
(1 Kings 21:20-29)


After hearing God’s judgment against him when Ahab unwisely spared the Syrian king that God marked for death (20:42), Ahab went home to pout. Driven by anger and rebellion against God, he had a fit of rage when Naboth refused to sell his vineyard. The same feelings that led him to a career of power grabbing drove him to resent Naboth. Rage turned to hatred and led to murder. Naboth, however, wanted to uphold God’s laws: Keeping ancestral land in the family was considered a duty (see Leviticus 25:23-28; Numbers 36:7-9). This incident shows the cruel interplay between Ahab and Jezebel. Yet even after Ahab’s cruelty, God showed mercy to him when Ahab humbled himself.


The same Lord who was merciful to Ahab wants to be merciful to you. Don’t let guilt from past actions or present misguided decisions, doubt, blame placing, or anger keep you away from your heavenly Father. Seek him anew. Soak in his grace and forgiveness.

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