Summary: A Borderline Believer is one who lives either on the border of believing or below it. The tale-tell sign of a borderline believer is that they never get very far into Christianity; they always linger near the border. Ahab was one; Are You?
AHAB: THE BORDERLINE BELIEVER
A. POLICE HUMOR
1. On a rural road a state trooper pulled this farmer over and said: "Sir, do you realize your wife fell out of the car several miles back?" To which the farmer replied: "Thank God, I thought I had gone deaf!"
2. COP: "When I saw you driving down the road, I guessed 55 at least." LADY: "You're wrong, officer, it's only my hat that makes me look that old.”
3. A tourist asks a man in uniform, "Are you a policeman?" "No, I’m an undercover detective." "If you’re under cover, why are you wearing a uniform?" "Because today is my day off."
4. We’re going to read about a guy who definitely needed to be arrested.
30 Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. 31 He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. 32 He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him. 1 Kgs. 16:30-33
[God said to Elijah] “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.” 1 Kgs. 21:29.
1. We’re going to look today at a person who was a Borderline Believer. We’ll see that his lack of commitment made him easy prey for the devil. This caused him no only to be a loser in life, but a loser in death.
2. Let’s look at the evil he did, the good things he did, and finally what God requires of us. The title of this message is, “The Borderline Believer.”
I. THE EVIL THAT AHAB DID
A. GENERAL REFERENCES
1. “Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him” 1 Kings 16:30
2. “There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife” 1 Kings 21:25.
3. In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua son of Nun. 1 Kings 16:34
B. HE BECAME A TERRIBLE IDOLATER
1. Ahab married Jezebel, a princess from Zidon, where paganism and its associated evil were rampant. Marriage to foreigners was, of course, forbidden by the LORD.
2. Not content with Jeroboam's golden calf cult, Ahab sponsored Baal and Asherah worship, introduced by his evil wife, Jezebel. Rituals of the Baal and Asherah cults involved detestable practices, including prostitution & homosexual prostitution, and human sacrifice of children.
C. HE DESTROYED WORSHIP OF JEHOVAH
1. The worship of Jehovah was outlawed. As a result of all this evil, God sent a famine through Elijah.
2. Then Jezebel set out to kill all the prophets of the Lord (1 Kgs. 18:4). It was so severe that Elijah thought he was the only one left.
3. Ahab added to all his other sins the murder of Naboth and his sons to get their vineyard property.
II. THE GOOD THINGS AHAB DID
A. HE COOPERATED WITH ELIJAH
1. As the result of Elijah’s prophesying a terrible famine that lasted 3 ½ years, Ahab became submissive to Elijah.
2. Ahab would probably have liked to lop off Elijah's head, blaming him for the famine — but he feared that if he did that, it might never rain again! It would only rain at his word!
3. At Elijah’s request, Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets and the men of Israel on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:20).
4. Ahab saw powerlessness of the Baalite prophets and then watched as the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed Elijah’s sacrifice. He must’ve been effected, as all the rest of the nation was, by the spectacular sign from God.
5. Ahab allowed Elijah to kill the 450 prophets of Baal, and heeded Elijah’s advice to ride his chariot swiftly to Jezreel.
B. OBEYED THE PROPHETS OF THE LORD
1. In 1 Kgs. 20:13-21, the Syrian King Ben Hadad invaded. Meanwhile a prophet came to Ahab king of Israel and announced, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the Lord.’” 1 Kings 20:13.