1 Kings – Chapter 20

1kings chapter 20

Verses 4-9 – Ahab tried to end the siege by a total surrender to Ben-Hadad’s initial demands, but Ben-Hadad then increased his demands so that even a desperate, weakened Ahab resorted to resistance.
Verse 11 – The point of this saying is to not count your victories before a battle. I guess Ahab didn’t remember what King David said before he took the head off of Goliath. David claimed the victory before he slung the rock out of his sling. He stood before Goliath and told him what he was about to do and gave the entire honor to God.
Verses 13-16 – Divine revelation gave encouragement and guidance to Ahab. Since there is no mention of Israelite chariots, Ahab’s chariot army may have been disabled by the drought. God’s intervention helped Ahab to lead a surprise attack while the Aramean army was drunk. The purpose of this divine intervention was that Ahab would recognize God’s character. The lesson failed.
Verse 21 – It is reasonable to conclude that much of the Israelite success came from God’s blessing on the surprise infantry attack on the unprepared unharnessed chariots of the Aramean army.
Verse 23 – Since the days of Joshua, Israel soldiers had a reputation for being superior fighters in the hills, but ineffective in the open plains and valleys because they did not use chariots in battle. What Ben-Hadad’s officers did not understand was that it was God, not chariots that made the difference in battle.
Verse 31 – Sackcloth was the symbol of mourning for the dead or for natural disaster. The rope around the head was a sign of submission.
Verses 35, 36 – The prophet needed a wound so he would look like an injured soldier and could effectively deliver his prophecy to Ahab. A lion killed the first man because he refused to obey the Lord’s instructions through the prophet.
Verses 41, 42 – God helped Ahab destroy the Aramean army to prove to Ahab and to Aram that He alone is God. But Ahab failed to destroy the king, his greatest enemy. Ben-Hadad was under God’s judgment to die, and Ahab had no authority to let him live. For this, God told Ahab that he must die instead. This prophet’s message soon came true when Ahab was killed on the battlefield (22:35)

This entry was posted in 1 Kings.

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