Is He Still Alive? 1Kings 20:31-34 (Questions)
Remember several weeks ago – we talked about the siege of Samaria by Ben Hadad of Aramen. The king of northern Israel was King Joram. Now we go back in time a bit – to Joram’s father – King Ahab.
Making a pact with the enemy.
How do you know when you have stepped outside the grace of God? When you are traveling down a destructive path?
1. When you are easily seduced by external things - (32a) “wearing”
No longer being guided by the internal rightness.
Knowingly allow deception: 1.by not guarding against known weaknesses. 2.by not being preventative / forward thinking – predetermined to say no. 3.by not building safeguards and accountability.
Enemy comes dressed as angel of light. He is the father of lies – the deceiver.
2. When you consider the request of the enemy. (32b) “let me live”
Pivotal path of decision – crossroads. We cease to resist the temptations and the enemies advances. When we allow our depravity room to play out it’s indulgences on the stage of our hearts and minds.
When self interest / pursuit of pleasure are embarked verses the will of God or His Lordship over our thoughts, attitudes, emotions, desires, intent,..
3. When you care enough to inquire of the enemy – testing the waters of sinful alliances. (32c) “is he still alive”
No – duh?! Didn’t the enemy just indicate that he was. This is the tell in the poker game – the king has shown his hand – the leaning of his heart. A tree will fall in the direction it is leaning.
4. When you identify with the enemy on an emotional and relational level. (32d) “he is my brother”
What???? Where is the reasoning here? Has the king forgotten?
Hooked by his own desires. James talks about this in chapter one. We bait the hook and then put it in our mouth.
This is the place of No self control. We allow ourselves to be mastered by an appetite, attitude, emotion, desire, … No wonder it doesn’t make sense. We sell out to self and it’s gratification.
The enemy in this passage quickly picks up on the opportunity – “they take this as a good sign.” Ig – telemarketer or thief casing prospective robbery
5. When you seek out an alliance with the enemy. (33b) “go and get him”
Can you imagine the enemy king – he wasn’t coming in fear – he put on his dancing shoes – there is going to be a party tonight.
To keep the birds from building the nest in your hair – wear a hat or kill the bird.
6. When you invite the enemy into your chariot. (33c) “come up into his chariot”
This step is a commitment to the sin “which so easily besets us.” Which give up the safety of God’s grace to become enslaved to a new master.
This is the area where we begin to flesh out what we have already brewed in our minds and heart. (thoughts and intent / motive).
7. When territory is exchanged with the enemy. (34a) “I will return the cities”
The king came to the point when he rationalized his alliance – excused is sin. He welcomed the deception. He sought out a reason to align himself to the enemy.
It is the place of repeat offenses. Giving up the ground once gain in hard fought conquest. Much blood was spilled – precious blood – for that victory. There was a reason those cities were subdued and conquered in the first place – to rid the enemy of a foothold in the land. Now the king gives no regard for the advances made – he gives back the land.
8. When you have a permanent place in your enemy’s city. (34b) “set up your own market areas.”
It wasn’t enough for them to dwell or coexist in the same land – now the king is has given them a blank check.
There is a sense that the king has realized how deep he has allowed himself to get into this pact and now resorts to a sense of hopelessness – “there is no turning back now – I am committed to the hilt.” You might as well set up your markets – perhaps I can benefit from the commerce with the enemy. How little did he realize, it was the enemy who would have the commercial advantage.
9. When you make a permanent treaty with the enemy. (34c) “on the basis of a treaty.”
A defining moment of rejecting the holiness of God. God no longer is a part of the equation in the pursuits of my life. We have cast lots with the enemy. We fly his banner.
10. When you let the enemy wander freely about your country. (34d) “I will set you free.”
Sound familiar? Isn’t that what God has done for us. The irony of this whole mess is that although the king has set the enemy free – he and his nation, now have become slaves to the enemy. The enemy’s freedom is my bondage. This will have a lasting effect for generations. As we read several weeks ago – King Joram – the son of this king Ahab – will undergo a siege by this Ben Hadad of Aramean.
King Ahab was living his life without regard to consequence.
Do you realize – that Scripture says that we do not have to sin? 2Peter 1:10 “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall.” What things? Verse 5ff – “add to your faith: goodness, knowledge, SELF CONTROL, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.”
To avoid sin – we can do two things: 1. Pursue God by adding to our faith 2. Avoid the path of the enemy as described by the actions of King Ahab