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Ahab.

Ahab.

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Published by glennpease
BY THE REV. ISAAC WILLIAMS, B.D,


1 Kings xxi. 25.
But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to
work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his
wife stirred up."
BY THE REV. ISAAC WILLIAMS, B.D,


1 Kings xxi. 25.
But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to
work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his
wife stirred up."

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 02, 2013
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AHAB.BY THE REV. ISAAC WILLIAMS, B.D,1 Kings xxi. 25.But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself towork wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel hiswife stirred up."We may be sure that Scripture has somewise purposein holding up so much to our notice an account of thewicked Ahab, that there is something in it calculated toteach us the knowledge of ourselves and of the humanheart, and set before us in the person of a king, inorder to arrest our more particular attention. Themercies of God shown to Ahab, and signal warnings,chastenings intended for his correction, and prosperi-ties to call forth his thankfulness, the knowledge whichhe had of the true God, his understanding and feelingof what was right, the memorials of good which weregiven him in living examples, all these things makethe character one of great weight with regard to our-selves. He had Elijah, one of the greatest of Prophets,living in his time and country, and sent to deal espe-cially with himself; we find incidentally that he hadAHAB. 233even at his right hand a witness of God in thefaithfiil Obadiah ; like as his counterpart Herod hadof his own household, and his own steward's wife onethat ministered to our Lord. And by this Obadiahnumerous Prophets of God were protected. Add towhich, there was Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, whogave him wise counsel and good example. There wastherefore no want of better knowledge on the part of Ahab. There were signal miracles wrought for his
 
especial benefit. And even at last one Prophet of God, Micaiah, the son of Imlah, had so often warnedhim as to have incurred his settled hate as a messengerof evil to him. Often reproved, he hardened his neck till destruction came upon him without remedy. Hewent on from bad to worse, he opened his heart moreand more to the returns of the evil spirit, till that evilspirit entered in with seven others, and took his per-manent abode within him.The scene as it proceeds becomes crowded as itwere with living agents, for and against his soul ; withSatan also in the background promising life whereGod had warned of death ; obtaining leave to deceivewhere he wished to be deceived, filling the mouths of the false prophets to his ruin. Jerusalem on the oneside ; Tyre and Zidon on the other ; and behind theveil Heaven and Hell.Ahab too himself was one in whose soul there wasa contest between good and evil. He was not as onethat neither knew nor cared any thing for God, likeJezebel ; as one that feared neither God nor man ; buthe had his misgivings, his miserable upbraidings of conscience. It is more than once said of him, that he"went to his house heavy and displeased," till thegloom of his dark soul, like the groves in which he234 ahab;worshipped, became the resort of wicked spirits ; therewas the wish to do evil even when he had not thecourage to do it; conscience enough to make himwretched, not enough to do what is right ; so that itis said of him repeatedly that he " sold himself," thatis, that he gave up his better self in exchange for thewages of wickedness. And what paved the waj to hissoid*s ruin was what is usual with such persons, that
 
he associated with others more wicked than himself ;so that part of the description of him is "whomJezebel his wife stirred up :" by the company of theevil wickedness became familiar to him ; his " way wasmade plain with stones, while the end thereof was thepit of hell *.'* Yet the care of God never left him,although that care he never ceased to frustrate andmake void.Let us then more particularly consider his history.He comes before us as a king of Israel. ow Israelhad already fallen from God, and given up the purerworship at Jerusalem, following " Jeroboam, the sonof ebat, who taught Israel to sin," and proceedingon that high road of declension ; the kings of Israelwere in consequence worse than the kings of Judah;in this respect then Ahab the more strongly repre-sents the great body of people among ourselves, whoby the sins of their forefathers or their own havefallen from the highest and best privileges of grace ;yet they have sufficient knowledge of God to rise, andnot to fall lower ; but they are for the most part con-tent with this state, and to be no better than othersbefore them and around them ; and this necessarilyleads to their being worse. Thus we find it was with^ ECCIUS. XXL 10.AHAB. 235Ahab ; the kings of Israel had fallen from God, yetthey knew far better than the heathen, but they wentdownward in their course and united themselves tothem. Thus the first thing we are told of Ahab isthis, " as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam, he took to wife Jezebel, thedaughter of Ethbaal, king of the Zidonians *." owthis was a splendid and rich alliance ; Zidon was one

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