Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Resentful and Sullen

The last few chapters of I Kings revolve around King Ahab, one of the worst kings in the northern kingdom.  Two words used to describe King Ahab that stood out to me on this read through were resentful and sullen.  Every time Ahab doesn't get what he wants that is what he becomes, resentful and sullen.  When a prophet condemns Ahab's behavior, he becomes resentful and sullen.  When Naboth refuses to sell Ahab his vineyard, Ahab is resentful and sullen.  He's like a spoiled brat of a child, completely self absorbed, and that got me thinking.

One of the major themes, if not the major theme, going on behind the kings in I & II Kings is whether the kings will worship God alone or worship false gods and goddesses.  Ahab is remembered as one of the worst kings of Israel specifically because of all the false deities he actively worshiped.  At the same time, he's also just a rotten human being.  King Saul wasn't a great example of a king.  He was selfish too, but how do we find Saul dying in the end?  Saul dies trying to free his people from the Philistines.  Granted, Ahab dies fighting the Aramians, but it's not to protect any of his people.  It's to take back a city that had been lost a long time ago.  In other words, it's Naboth's vineyard all over again.  Ahab wants Ramath-gilead, and so Ahab will take Ramath-gilead, or at least he would have if he hadn't been killed trying.

I don't think it is by accident that as the kings of Israel and Judah veer farther and farther away from God they become less and less honorable, noble, and regal.  Ahab, about as far as you can get from God, is nothing but a pre-pubescent man-child, at least emotionally.  It makes you think about many of the powerful elites in world politics today, and I don't know whether to be sad or scared.

Stopping point I Kings 22

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