Ahab… King, Warrior, Big Baby

Ahab

Wednesday 12/16/20 

Series: Thru the Bible

Message – Ahab… King, Warrior, Big Baby


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Ahab… King, Warrior, Big Baby

Scriptures covered: 1Kings 21:1-29; 2Chron. 17:1-9;10-19;18:1-34; 1Kings 22:1-40

Remember God had told Elijah to anoint a man named Hazael as King over Syria and Jehu as king over Israel. – 1Kings 19:15-16

Also, the current King of Syria, Ben-Hadad, God had appointed to die by the hand of King Ahab who was king of Israel at the time. Ahab disobedyed, NOT killing Ben-hadad but letting him live so God appointed Ahab to death for his (ongoing) disobedience.

So far however, neither of the two kings who were to be replaced through the agency of Elijah had died as they were appointed to.

This is a HUGE lesson. There have been many times in my own life, as well as in examples I’ve come to know in the lives of others where a prophetic word was spoken or God had given clear direction regarding something and it either did not pan out or it took far longer than one would have ever thought, given the nature of what God had said.

Here you have Elijah being told to do something – seemingly immediately.

“(15) Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria.  (16)  Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.– 1Kings 19:15-16

However, in order to do anoint someone as King, both kings would have to be removed from power which USUALLY required them to die. Neither had died…so what is Elijah to do? Now to be fair, we do kave one example in Samuel and David where David was anointed king many years before he took the throne, but such was not typically the case.

Two things I learned early in ministry from more than one source were:

  • Never question in the darkness what God told you in the light.
      1. By which is meant, if you knew at a certain time that God told you something and later it appeared difficult or impossible to come to pass, do not question what you heard! Most of the time, when things are difficult, challenging or seem impossible it is human nature to worry and try to figure things out and that is the WORST environment in which to hear God, because worry runs contrary to trust. You are FAR safer continuing with what you are certain you hear Him say before the difficulty came.
  • If God has not told you something new, then the last thing you heard is still the truth.
    1. This is a lesson in stability in your walk with God. So far in our trek ‘Thru the Bible’ we have seen times when God made a decree that something would happen and it either did – but took MANY years to come about (like we are about to see with King Ahab) OR He relented concerning His statement due to the sin or repentance of those involved – as we have already seen with King Rehoboam in 2Chron.12:12.

The greatest lessons regarding all of this is – love God, keep His commandments, honor what He has told you and TRUST.

We are called upon by God throughout scripture to Trust Him! Trust what you believe you heard and trust that IF you heard wrong, God can and WILL reveal it to you.

Your eyes have GOT to remain on HIM, NOT what you think He said NOR on the situations which are in any way connected to what you believe you heard.

This is about TRUST! You cannot go wrong with Trusting God!!!

King Ahab, Naboth & Jezebel

1Kings 21:1-29, 

“(1) Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.  (2)  And after this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.”  

(3)  But Naboth said to Ahab, “The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”  

(4)  And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” 

And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and would eat no food. 

Now this isn’t the first time we see Ahab acting like a baby. He is a man who walks as though he had no authority. He allows his wife to use his position and authority – even to the point of allowing her to abuse his authority – meaning taking it beyond to scope of his true jurisdiction.

If you remember, according to the book of  Numbers, the land allotted to the tribes of Israel were NEVER to leave the ownership  of that tribe.

Num 36:7, “The inheritance of the people of Israel shall not be transferred from one tribe to another, for every one of the people of Israel shall hold on to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.”

As such, Naboth was correct in his answer to the king and he knew it.  Naboth was of the tribe of Issachar while Ahab was an Ephraimite.

Now you might wonder, then how were they neighbors?

Well, his father King Omri, had chosen Jezreel as the location of his winter residence. So, while Ahab didn’t have any official land he owned in Jezreel, he wintered there as did his father before him and that palace was adjacent to Naboth’s property.

(5)  But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, “Why is your spirit so vexed that you eat no food?”  

(6)  And he said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money, or else, if it please you, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ And he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’”  

(7)  And Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now govern Israel? Arise and eat bread and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”  

Jezebel oversteps her boundaries

“(8)  So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and she sent the letters to the elders and the leaders who lived with Naboth in his city.  (9)  And she wrote in the letters, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth at the head of the people.  (10)  And set two worthless men opposite him, and let them bring a charge against him, saying, ‘You have cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.”  (11)  And the men of his city, the elders and the leaders who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them. As it was written in the letters that she had sent to them,  (12)  they proclaimed a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people.  (13)  And the two worthless men came in and sat opposite him. And the worthless men brought a charge against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones.  (14)  Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned; he is dead.”  (15)  As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money, for Naboth is not alive, but dead.”  (16)  And as soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.” 

Though these were the actions of Jezebel, we will see that God holds Ahab responsible for them since it was executed by the authority God had delegated to him…not her. He failed to be either the head of his own home or the unrivaled king in his own kingdom.

Now regarding the actions of Jezebel, we will see that she will share in her husband’s and king’s fate and so does not escape culpability for her crimes either.

Now we have addressed the fact that all authority and all of its given expressions come from God – Rom. 13:1. Many Christians make excuses for this passage, creatively interpreting it in light and favor of their own beliefs. God however, in inspiring these words did not stutter and spoke with ZERO ambiguity. (For more on this please see – If My people would seek first my Kingdom, Israel is Divided & Is God Sovereign?)

We have also, out of necessity dove deeply into the biblical teachings regarding the specifics of gender authority and its limitations in the following messages:

As such I feel no need to go super deep with it now, however, some of it bears repeating here.

In creation, God created the woman FOR the man. Much went on before Eve was made from Adam’s rib.

God planted a garden and taught Adam how the tend and keep it and also caused every KIND of animal to pass before Adam for him to name them – all before Eve was fashioned from Adam’s rib.

When she was, God said she was created to be a help mate FOR Adam.

Once she was made, God presented Eve to Adam not the couple to each other.

The Biblical statements about this in both Testaments are very clear and deliberate.

Satan, hating God and His authority, did many things by approaching the woman. The first and most significant was his usurping of God’s order of authority. Satan by-passed Adam and went directly to Eve. Tempted her RIGHT under Adam’s nose and Adam surrendered his authority by not speaking up, by not reprimanding the serpent and by following his wife’s lead into sin.

Now this is NOT a lesson on whose sin was greater – though if it were to be weighed, it would be Adam without question. This is not about equality or value or significance all of which are not in any way connected to this reality. It is simply a matter of order. Jesus is submissive to the Father and the Spirit to them both – yet, there is perfect equality amongst them and not One is superior to the other.

That having been said, when Eve fell, she incurred a curse which would be with her and all her daughters until the end of this earthly age. This was a curse of the fall not the curse of the law. Women still have pain in child birth and men still work by the sweat of their brow. Nothing about the New Covenant changes these things.

Let’s read the account in Genesis 3:16…

(16) To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”

I very much like the commentary of Keil & Delitzsch on this verse. It reads,

“The woman had [also] broken through her divinely appointed subordination to the man; she had not only emancipated herself from the man to listen to the serpent, but had led the man into sin. For that, she was punished with a desire bordering upon disease (תְּשׁוּקָה from שׁוּק to run, to have a violent craving for a thing), and with subjection to the man. “And he shall rule over thee.” Created for the man, the woman was made subordinate to him from the very first; but the supremacy of the man was not intended to become a despotic rule, crushing the woman into a slave, which has been the rule in ancient and modern Heathenism, and even in Mahometanism also-a rule which was first softened by the sin-destroying grace of the Gospel, and changed into a form more in harmony with the original relation, viz., that of a rule on the one hand, and subordination on the other, which have their roots in mutual esteem and love.”

The desire the woman would have towards her husband, was not sexual in nature, though that is a real desire that is greater in some than in others regardless of gender. This desire, which can easily escalate into a craving, almost animalistic desire, is to control

Both the words “unto the Woman” and “thine husband” are generalized words of gender meaning you (Eve) as a woman and men in general.

In this given context it “may have meant” Eve as a wife – rather than just a woman and for Adam as her husband rather than men in general. It is obvious that such would have, at that singular moment, had that understanding due to their immediate context since Adam was the only male in existence at the time. However, there is nothing in the statement itself, so far as I can discover, which requires it to be understood as restricted to the husband alone. 

This is something God said the women (or wives) would desire but that men (or husbands) must rule over her. 

The word “rule” means to reign and have dominion over. These were things which would happen at large without prompting and were in fact part of creation NOT the fall.

In order to discover whether this desire to control was intended to mean wives regardingtheir husbands or women in general regarding men one only needs to look at the world around us and there we can easily discover the broader, if not its specific meaning, of God’s words to Eve.

The desire to control men is not limited to a wife with a husband. In fact, it could be argued in many cases, that women often “shop” for a husband out of this initial desire, so that it is clear that the desire predates the relationship.

This is SO true that it has become a bit of a modern proverb which goes something like this “a man marries a woman for who he believes her to be, expecting she will not change but she does. A woman marries a man for who she wants him to be, thinking she can change him, and he doesn’t change.”

While that may be a little humorous it isn’t very far from the truth.

For some women this desire may be a simple matter of seeking favor or attention through means of service or compliments or acting coy so as to attract attention. 

In others it may be a much more garish display used as a means of securing both physical and financial security. 

For others still it may be due to a very poor and low self-esteem. 

In any case, it is on some level or another a universal truth or God is simply flat wrong here.

Far from liberating themselves however in all their attempts, feminism and lesbianism have almost gone out of their way to illustrate and prove that these truths are in fact inescapable, though that was clearly not their intention.

The harder they run from it the more they confirm it.

One does not need to run away from something, which has no real existence.

It has been illustrated time and again that in fact, in today’s world, women actually have more opportunities and greater advantages then men in virtually every field of industry. Yet, their conscience tells them otherwise.

They KNOW they were created FOR man, it is instinctive, so they must maintain an endless struggle against it in order to maintain the ruse.

Many times this is expressed in them becoming more lewd and loud in their pursuit of freedom from their design. Every step they take only further illustrates this truth.

Just look at the entertainment industry. There are more female superheroes than ever before, and yet, NONE of them dress like men. Typically, the only way to sell it is by casting women with voluptuous figures poured into skin tight and revealing outfits. What does that say? What does it affirm? Independence from men or a dependence upon using their femininity to usurp authority and reprogram they way they are perceived. Yet, in many cases the impact doesn’t even last the trip back to the car in the movie parking lot, because what Hollywood can pull off with special training and effects on the screen is NOT duplicated in mass in the real world and everybody knows it. 

Quite by accident, I ran across an article today where the left is divided yet once more. They want freedom from gender distinctions but then cry foul when it further proves that the such distinctions are concrete, universal and quite inescapable. The article was about how Tulsi Gabbard has introduced a bill that would ban trans-women from female sports. In a statement she made she evidently said, “As a woman myself, I’d find it incredibly frustrating to have to compete against a man posing as a woman. I’d stand almost no change in boxing him out for a rebound.” The same article stated, “With gender being treated as fluid as ever, we have to protect women’s sports from being overrun with testosterone. If we don’t, then what’s the point of having women’s and men’s sports? We might as well just be unisex sports, at that point.” – and they are right. Of course they  know this is true and it frustrates them that their push for freedom has backfired on them once again. So the left media spin doctors are doing what they always do. Today they dutifully created articles claiming that there is no significant difference between the genders in terms of athletic performance – which is not only incorrect, it is a flat lie!

Yet, in another (less publicies) article in Healio News told a different story – one that actually offered real numbers and cited real studies. It was entitled,Transgender women outpace cisgender women in athletic tests after 1 year on hormones

What this means is that when a man who has declared that he self-identifies as a woman and begins to take estrogen, they still outperform women even up to and past 2 years on estrogen. This of course runs contrary to the party line and so the information gets marginalized and criticized. However, the data in this article is taken from controlled studies in the U.S. Air Force one of which is called the Robert’s study.

I know that perhaps our church may tire of hearing this truth, but it is needed to be heard now more than ever. The enemy is working overtime in an attempt to erase gender and in so doing SO distort the image of God as to make Him appear all the more repulsive and oppressive to the world. Satan wants the human race who bears God’s image and likeness to hate their Creator and so drag them all to hell with himself at the end and the best way to do that is to get them on his side. He is ALWAYS crying “Here is freedom” while he holds open the door of the jail-cell for the masses to enter in. 

God is not fooled and God is not mocked!

“(17)  Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,  (18)  “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession.  (19)  And you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Have you killed and also taken possession?”’ And you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD: “In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood.”’”  

(20)  Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” 

He answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the LORD.  (21)  Behold, I will bring disaster upon you. I will utterly burn you up, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel.  (22)  And I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin.  (23)  And of Jezebel the LORD also said, ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel within the walls of Jezreel.’  (24)  Anyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat.”  

(25)  (There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the LORD like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited.  (26)  He acted very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the people of Israel.)  (27)  And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly.  (28)  And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,  (29)  “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster upon his house.”

Jehoshaphat, Asa’s son begins his reign

2Chron. 17:1-19, “(1) Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place and strengthened himself against Israel.  (2)  He placed forces in all the fortified cities of Judah and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim that Asa his father had captured.  

(3)  The LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals,  (4)  but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel.  (5)  Therefore the LORD established the kingdom in his hand. And all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor.  

(6)  His heart was courageous in the ways of the LORD. And furthermore, he took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah.  

(7)  In the third year of his reign he sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah;  (8)  and with them the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tobadonijah; and with these Levites, the priests Elishama and Jehoram.  (9)  And they taught in Judah, having the Book of the Law of the LORD with them. They went about through all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.  (10)  And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, and they made no war against Jehoshaphat.  

(11)  Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents and silver for tribute, and the Arabians also brought him 7,700 rams and 7,700 goats.  (12)  And Jehoshaphat grew steadily greater. He built in Judah fortresses and store cities,  (13)  and he had large supplies in the cities of Judah. He had soldiers, mighty men of valor, in Jerusalem.  

(14)  This was the muster of them by fathers’ houses: 

Of Judah, the commanders of thousands: Adnah the commander, with 300,000 mighty men of valor;  (15)  and next to him Jehohanan the commander, with 280,000;  (16)  and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, a volunteer for the service of the LORD, with 200,000 mighty men of valor.  

(17)  Of Benjamin: Eliada, a mighty man of valor, with 200,000 men armed with bow and shield;  (18)  and next to him Jehozabad with 180,000 armed for war.  (19)  These were in the service of the king, besides those whom the king had placed in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.”

2Chron. 18:1-34, “(1) Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor, and he made a marriage alliance with Ahab.  (2)  After some years he went down to Ahab in Samaria. And Ahab killed an abundance of sheep and oxen for him and for the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. (3)  Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?” 

He answered him, “I am as you are, my people as your people. We will be with you in the war.”  

(4)  And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Inquire first for the word of the LORD.”  

(5)  Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?” 

And they said, “Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king.”  

(6)  But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the LORD of whom we may inquire?”  

(7)  And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, Micaiah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil.” 

And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.”  

(8)  Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah the son of Imlah.”  

(9)  Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting on their thrones, arrayed in their robes. And they were sitting at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying before them.  

(10)  And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for himself horns of iron and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.’”  (11)  And all the prophets prophesied so and said, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph. The LORD will give it into the hand of the king.”  

(12)  And the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, “Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king. Let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.”  

(13)  But Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what my God says, that I will speak.”  

(14)  And when he had come to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” 

And he answered, “Go up and triumph; they will be given into your hand.”  

(15)  But the king said to him, “How many times shall I make you swear that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?”  

(16)  And he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the LORD said, ‘These have no master; let each return to his home in peace.’”  

(17)  And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”  

(18)  And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.  (19)  And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab the king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another.  (20)  Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the LORD said to him, ‘By what means?’  (21)  And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’  (22)  Now therefore behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets. The LORD has declared disaster concerning you.”  

(23)  Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “Which way did the Spirit of the LORD go from me to speak to you?”  

(24)  And Micaiah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.”  

(25)  And the king of Israel said, “Seize Micaiah and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son,  (26)  and say, ‘Thus says the king, Put this fellow in prison and feed him with meager rations of bread and water until I return in peace.’”  

(27)  And Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Hear, all you peoples!”  

(28)  So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.  (29)  And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.” And the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle.  

(30)  Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of his chariots, “Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel.”  (31)  As soon as the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him. 

And Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; God drew them away from him.  (32)  For as soon as the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.  

(33)  But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.”  (34)  And the battle continued that day, and the king of Israel was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians until evening. Then at sunset he died.”

1Kings 22:1-40, “(1) For three years Syria and Israel continued without war.  (2)  But in the third year Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel.  (3)  And the king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you know that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, and we keep quiet and do not take it out of the hand of the king of Syria?”  (4)  And he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?” 

And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”  (5)  And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Inquire first for the word of the LORD.”  

(6)  Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?” 

And they said, “Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.”  

(7)  But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the LORD of whom we may inquire?”  

(8)  And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil.” 

And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.”  

(9)  Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah the son of Imlah.”  (10)  Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting on their thrones, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying before them.  

(11)  And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for himself horns of iron and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.’”  (12)  And all the prophets prophesied so and said, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph; the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.”  

(13)  And the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, “Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king. Let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.”  

(14)  But Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I will speak.”  (15)  And when he had come to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?” And he answered him, “Go up and triumph; the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.”  

(16)  But the king said to him, “How many times shall I make you swear that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?”  

(17)  And he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the LORD said, ‘These have no master; let each return to his home in peace.’”  

(18)  And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”  

(19)  And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left;  (20)  and the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another.  (21)  Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, ‘I will entice him.’  (22)  And the LORD said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’  (23)  Now therefore behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the LORD has declared disaster for you.”  

(24)  Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “How did the Spirit of the LORD go from me to speak to you?”  

(25)  And Micaiah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.”  

(26)  And the king of Israel said, “Seize Micaiah, and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son,  (27)  and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this fellow in prison and feed him meager rations of bread and water, until I come in peace.”’”  

(28)  And Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Hear, all you peoples!”  

(29)  So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.  (30)  And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.” And the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.  

(31)  Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, “Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel.”  

(32)  And when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is surely the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him. 

And Jehoshaphat cried out.  (33)  And when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.  (34)  But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. 

Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.”  

(35)  And the battle continued that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, until at evening he died. And the blood of the wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot.  (36)  And about sunset a cry went through the army, “Every man to his city, and every man to his country!”  

(37)  So the king died, and was brought to Samaria. And they buried the king in Samaria.  (38)  And they washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood, and the prostitutes washed themselves in it, according to the word of the LORD that he had spoken.  

(39)  Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did, and the ivory house that he built and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?  (40)  So Ahab slept with his fathers, and Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.”

Blessings!

 

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!