Friday, July 7: 1Kings 20- Ahab and deep seeded sin.

I can certainly understand why some people do not honor and follow the Lord. Many have not heard of Him and many others may have heard only a bit about the Lord but have no meaningful connection and no interaction with Him.  However, I struggle wondering why someone like Ahab who has seen the Lord work countless times and ways doesn’t believe the Lord.

I guess I don’t understand a hardened heart?!

Ahab witnessed Mt Carmel, lived through the drought which was spoken and then the rains which were predicted. Now in his battles with Ben-Hadad, the Lord has proven himself faithful twice.  Yet the moment he receives an offer of tribute and pledge of a treaty that provides him with trading access and wealth, Ahab says, “Yes.”

Yet another example of Jesus’ line, “You cannot serve both God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13). Apparently the pull of money, riches and power were so strong over Ahab, they blinded him from seeing these great and obvious works of the Lord.

Ahab’s story begs the question, “Is there anything blinding you from seeing works of the Lord and following Him?”

Like Ahab it could be the pull of money, fame and power or it could be a more subtle version, ‘comfort in life.’ I have met people who have varying decrees of wealth, on some scales some of these people might be considered at or near poverty. But they are comfortable. They know what they have and are ‘enjoying’ their life and they do not want to change. Personal comfort hides the call of the Lord to faithfulness.

For others, family could be the pull. Giving themselves and children opportunities in life crowds out room for the Lord. Sport activities happen 7 days a week and it is more important for children to participate than worship or go to youth events. The ultimate prize might be ‘greatest parent’ award or building your child’s resume so they get into the best college and become successful –i.e. make lots of money. There’s that mammon again!

It could be simply fun… filling life with all things fun –toys, hobbies, travel, you name it –that any desire for God or things of the Spirit are crowded out.

I walk past a small patch of lawn. It was sodded beautifully six or so years ago, green and lush. Weeds eventually found their way, but could be controlled by pulling one here and one there. Over time more invasive weeds came. A pull here and there sort of worked; nothing systemic was every used. Apparently in the soil the weed roots were gaining strength starving off the lawn roots. And the weeds are green so driving by one can’t really tell.  I don’t know if the mildness of this past winter was the final blow or not but this spring there is virtually no grass. It is all weed! It is too late for systemic weed killer, there is no grass left.

If we don’t deal with the early signs of mammon worship or fun worship or resume building worship or any other worship it will eventually kill off any vestige of God’s work in our lives.

Am I, are you, allowing any weeds of sin to linger and live in our lives? If so we better deal with it now before it becomes too strong and like Ahab, we cannot see the obvious works of God around us…

Oh, Lord, do the interior work in me. Spread Your Holy Spirit through me so that His light and life kills off every vestige of original and embraced sin in me. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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