Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 20:1-21:29 / Acts 18:9-19:13 / Psalm 78:32-39
How far reaching is the mercy and grace of God? Farther than we would ever reach or imagine. Mercy is not giving us what we deserve and grace is giving us what we do not deserve. We deserve judgment but God in his mercy forgives. Because of our rebellion, we do not deserve His love but God gives us His love anyway.
Our mercy and grace is often limited and measured. We often regulate mercy and grace to those whom we feel are deserving or worthy of it. If the individual is a “good” person, we are favorably inclined to forgive. If the individual is a “bad” person, we are stingy with forgiveness believing they should pay for their “badness”.
Ahab is described as a vile and evil man. “There was never a man like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.” (1 Kings 21:25,26)
Ahab would be an object of our righteous indignation, not our grace and mercy. God sent Elijah to pronounce judgment upon Ahab after he and Jezebel murdered Naboth. God promised to bring disaster on him, to consume his descendants, and to tragically destroy him and Jezebel. He deserved everything God was giving him! But he did not defy Elijah’s message, “When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.” (vs.27)
Ahab responded in humility and repentance…and God responded in mercy. “Because he humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.” (vs.29) God did not remove His judgment but delayed part of it because of Ahab’s humility. Why? Because God responds to a broken and contrite heart...no matter whose it is – good or bad. His grace and mercy, where would we be without it…while we were yet sinners He Died For Us!