1 Kings 20* Benhadad besieges Samaria. (1-11) Benhadad's defeat. (12-21)The Syrians again defeated. (22-30) Ahab makes peace withBenhadad. (31-43)1-11 Benhadad sent Ahab a very insolent demand. Ahab sent avery disgraceful submission; sin brings men into such straits,by putting them out of the Divine protection. If God do not ruleus, our enemies shall: guilt dispirits men, and makes themcowards. Ahab became desperate. Men will part with their mostpleasant things, those they most love, to save their lives; yetthey lose their souls rather than part with any pleasure orinterest to prevent it. Here is one of the wisest sayings thatever Ahab spake, and it is a good lesson to all. It is folly toboast of any day to come, since we know not what it may bringforth. Apply it to our spiritual conflicts. Peter fell byself-confidence. Happy is the man who is never off his watch. 12-21 The proud Syrians were beaten, and the despisedIsraelites were conquerors. The orders of the proud, drunkenking disordered his troops, and prevented them from attackingthe Israelites. Those that are most secure, are commonly leastcourageous. Ahab slew the Syrians with a great slaughter. Godoften makes one wicked man a scourge to another. 22-30 Those about Benhadad advised him to change his ground.They take it for granted that it was not Israel, but Israel'sgods, that beat them; but they speak very ignorantly of Jehovah.They supposed that Israel had many gods, to whom they ascribedlimited power within a certain district; thus vain were theGentiles in their imaginations concerning God. The greatestwisdom in worldly concerns is often united with the mostcontemptible folly in the things of God. 31-43 This encouragement sinners have to repent and humblethemselves before God; Have we not heard, that the God of Israelis a merciful God? Have we not found him so? That is gospelrepentance, which flows from an apprehension of the mercy ofGod, in Christ; there is forgiveness with him. What a change ishere! The most haughty in prosperity often are most abject inadversity; an evil spirit will thus affect a man in both theseconditions. There are those on whom, like Ahab, success is illbestowed; they know not how to serve either God or theirgeneration, or even their own true interests with theirprosperity: Let favour be showed to the wicked, yet will he notlearn righteousness. The prophet designed to reprove Ahab by aparable. If a good prophet were punished for sparing his friendand God's when God said, Smite, of much sorer punishment shoulda wicked king be thought worthy, who spared his enemy and God's,when God said, Smite. Ahab went to his house, heavy anddispleased, not truly penitent, or seeking to undo what he haddone amiss; every way out of humour, notwithstanding hisvictory. Alas! many that hear the glad tidings of Christ, arebusy and there till the day of salvation is gone.
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