Monday, March 2, 2020

A Bad King

Monday, March 2, 2020You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:3-6

A Bad King Of all the kings of Israel, King Ahab was one of the most evil kings.  His father, Omri, was also evil, as 1 Kings 16 states that he sinned more than all the other kings before him - Omri did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did more evil than all who were before him. When he died, his son Ahab takes the throne, and he follows in his father’s footsteps very well.  He marries a woman named Jezebel, who was also very evil.  She especially hated God’s people. The worship of idols and false Gods was already rampant in Israel, but Jezebel and Ahab took it to a new level.  She persuaded Ahab to promote the false Gods, Baal and Asherah.  She insisted on a temple and an altar for Baal be built in Samaria.  She also ordered the death of the prophets of the Lord while supporting the prophets of Baal and Asherah. All this idol worshipping eventually led to the downfall of his kingdom. 
The prophet Elijah warned Ahab that God’s judgment was coming, and it did, in the form of a three-year drought.  The drought was a direct consequence of loving their idols more than God. For three years the Israelites suffered from the severe drought, all the while crying out to the false god, Baal to save them. The irony is that Baal was the Canaanite storm god and believed to be the bringer of rain, yet he never delivered. The very thing they believed would deliver them, they worshiped and gave their heart to, but it left them empty and parched in the end.
Just as idol worship was the downfall of King Ahab, idol worship in our lives will always lead to a downfall. Satan always distorts the good things of God and mimics them to trick us and lead us away from Him. Idol worship is one of the most direct ways he does this. When the light hits it just right, an idol gives off a warm promising glow.  It will promise you exactly what you are seeking and desperate for. But idols cannot follow through on these empty promises. Most of the time it will fill a void temporarily, but never completely.  The reality is that they turn us away from the only One who can fill the empty spaces and they leave us emptier than before
What is it you are turning to?  What false god are you bowing down to, getting a quick fix and expecting it to last forever?  The Bible gives us so many examples of the consequences of idol worship, yet sometimes we still look for an answer everywhere but in the right place. We look for a solution or at least something to numb the pain and struggle of life, but it leaves a bigger gaping hole than what was already there.  Turning back to God for all things is the only way to get relief, and still there will continue to be some difficult seasons of life. They will be much less difficult if we know where to go for help.  God is the only true provider, deliverer, sustainer, healer, and filling our hearts with Him fills in all the holes. If you are hurting, tired, sad, sick, or hopeless, let Him fill your heart today. 

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.  Psalm 15:4

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