Summary: We can trust God for enough.
Title: Enough is Enough!
Text: I Kings 17:8-16 (17-24)
Thesis: We can trust God for enough.
How much is enough? I read in Mary Winter’s Right at Home column in the Rocky Mountain News (Saturday, 6/9/07) that the average home built in Boulder County last year was 6,290 square feet.
She cited that the average square footage of a home in Japan is 1,000 square feet. In Ireland, the average home has 930 square feet. In the UK, it is 815 square feet. In comparison,… officials in the Aspen (Colorado) are considering banning the building of homes over 15,000 square feet.
King Ludwig II, who was King of the German state of Bavaria, was known as “Mad King Ludwig.” Mad King Ludwig reportedly died under mysterious circumstances three days after he was officially declared insane. However, the eccentric king was also known as the “Fairy Tale King” because of his love for beauty and fantasy.
I read recently that he spent twenty-three years building an extravagant royal residence, complete with hot air, running water and automatic flush toilets – and that was in 1869. The castle overlooks the Pollat Gorge – thought to be one of the most beautiful vistas in the world. Sadly, it is reported that he only lived in the castle eleven days. King Ludwig lived large.
I once heard that the determining factor in deciding if someone’s house is too large is this: If it is bigger than your house, it’s too large.
We tend to be a little hard on celebrities and the rich and famous who are extravagant in their lifestyles and live large in their behavior. Excessive living and excessive privilege is off-putting and offensive.
God was offended when he observed the large living of several of the kings of Israel, but particularly so with King Ahab. God essentially said, “Enough is enough!”
I. Sometimes, God says, “Enough is enough!”
As though it were not enough to live like Jeroboam, Ahab married Jezebel. First, he built a temple and an altar to Baal in Samaria and set us an asherah pole. He did more to arouse the anger of the Lord than any other king of Israel before him. I Kings 16:29-33
In a way, we can understand what God was thinking. I think God was thinking what the Judge who sentenced Paris Hilton to 45 days in the Los Angeles County Jail was thinking. Okay… we have a person of great privilege who has violated the conditions of her 36-month probation for alcohol-related, reckless driving charges. Here she is again… driving with a suspended license. Enough is enough! Okay, maybe 45 days is too much enough… let’s make it 23 days. Twenty-three days is enough. Then the sheriff releases her after serving 5 days, which really irritated the judge who said, “Five days is not enough! Enough is enough!” Back to jail…
God had had enough of Ahab’s behavior.
The bible says Ahab was more evil than any previous king. I Kings 16:30
God speaking to Jeroboam, who was one such previous king said, You have not been like my servant David, who obeyed my commands and followed me with all his heart and always did what I wanted him to do. You have done more evil than all who lived before you… and since you have turned your back on me, I will bring disaster to your dynasty. I Kings 14:9-10 Ahab was deemed more evil that even Jeroboam.
Ahab also practiced syncretism in that he combined different religious beliefs and practices. He wove pagan religions and practices into the religious fabric of Judaism. I Kings 16:31-33
He broke one of the first tenents of the 10 Commandments which states, Do not worship any other gods besides me (other than me). Deuteronomy 5:7 He disregarded the clear teaching of scripture in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And, you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.
In this story, we see that Ahab exceeded the limits of God’s patience… to his own detriment and loss. Though the story is not just about one sinner in the hands of an angry God, it is fitting that we consider how this part of the story might be applied to us.
I believe God is merciful and gracious; he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love. He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve… (Psalm 103:8-10) But, I also believe that we cannot ignore God and get away with it. We will always reap what we sow! (Galatians 6:7)
This story is a reminder to us all that at some point, enough is enough! And if we are wise, we will turn our hearts toward God rather than turn our backs on God.