For all the admiration I have for Elijah in the story of 1 Kings, the one guy who drives me nuts is Ahab. He does nothing for his people, lives only for himself, and has a wife whose name represents evil personified in some Christian circles. (“She’s such a Jezebel.” Or, “This place has a Jezebel spirit.” Something like that.)
The height of his spoiled status is in 1 Kings 21, when he wanted Naboth’s vineyard. He had fabulous vineyards, and yet he wants one more. Naboth refuses to sell so Ahab pouts.
Jezebel comes in and asks what her spoiled little brat of a husband wants, and he whines about Naboth’s vineyard. Jezebel, being the loving wife she is, has Naboth brought in on trumped up charges so he is executed. She then delivers the vineyard to her spoiled, bratty little husband. (I really don’t like this guy.)
The Lord is angered because the king has taken complete advantage of his position. He wakes up Elijah and Elijah makes a return engagement to his favorite king. Ahab loved Elijah, and you can tell by the way he greeted Elijah: “So you’ve found me, my enemy!”
I am not going to lie. Elijah’s prophecies of what will happen to Ahab and Jezebel give me a bit of a smile. They’ll meet their end in horrible ways. What they dished out will be returned in some small way. Plus, Ahab’s family will lose the throne.
It’s a satisfying response from God, in my “humble” opinion. (“YEAH! Stick it to him!”)
The very human side of me truly wishes that was the end of the story. Ahab got his. Jezebel got hers. All the poor were revenged because of Ahab’s abuses in his years as king.
Sadly, in my very human view, Ahab actually repents. Repents.
God sees it and decides to actually relent a bit on the timing of the judgment.
What is this? People getting what they don’t deserve?
What kind of God is this?