Pastor M. Beecroft, 09/20/2009
It was a time of drought and famine. The land was dry as dust. There were no crops to harvest. The stores of grain were low. Parents worried about how to feed their children. Anxiety, fear, and stress grew with the trouble of each day. People were desperate, desperate enough to leave their homes to search for food. Much like the Oklahoma Dust Bowl of the thirties, the drought during the reign of King Ahab was severe.
This drought was YHWH’s judgment on King Ahab and the people. King Ahab had married Jezebel, the pagan daughter of a Canaanite King. She was not good for Ahab or the people. While Ahab was wicked enough on his own, Jezebel drove him deeper into the depths of darkness. By Jezebel’s influence, Ahab re-introduced the worship of Baal to Israel. At first, they were content to allow the Israelites to worship YHWH, or Baal, or both, but this did not last long. Soon Jezebel wanted to eliminate the worship of YHWH altogether. Religious pluralism will allow people to think their religion is one of many ways to God, but to say there is only one true God is intolerable. The faith of Israel, of course, was exclusive. When the people were thinking rightly, they confessed YHWH as the only true God. His first commandment was clear, “You shall have no other gods.” The wicked, idolatrous Jezebel hated YHWH and Israel’s exclusive faith. So she began to systematically kill off the prophets of YHWH. And the people of Israel did not really mind. Baal was fine with them. So Ahab and Jezebel and the people of Israel followed after their false gods.
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