January 11, 2007


1 Kings 21:17-29

"Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me?" 1 Kings 21:29


Ahab is not only the worst king in Israel's history; he is also fairly moody. He pouts like a spoiled brat, and he hates God's prophets. But suddenly, at least briefly, he listens to the hard truth of God's verdict on his life, and he repents. He is a changed man--for a while.

I saw a cartoon in which a woman was telling her Bible study group, "No, I can't say I've ever been slain in the Spirit, but I did feel kind of faint once ..." Ahab, it seems, has at least a touch of the fever of repentance.

I sure wish I were less like him. Some days I feel really righteous--my faith in Jesus is working ... I am progressing. Other days, like Ahab, I am moody, and sinful, and pretty much a spoiled little brat.

But still, God has mercy.

Does it surprise you? God talks to Elijah as if Ahab's brief moment of repentance means something. God seems truly excited about it, and he gives Ahab mercy because of it.

Truthfully, from my small-minded, human viewpoint, I think God is much too generous.

Yes! God is much too generous! And he still is today--to all of us prodigal, moody sons and daughters. Our Father is much, much too generous to us in Christ.

Here's your moment. Take it. Repent and believe-- and trust God's mercy.

Father, I am often like Ahab. I am so sinful, but I am also sorry for my sins. In your mercy, please forgive me, Lord, and help me to be more like Jesus. In his name I pray. Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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