Applications from 1 Kings
If you read the last post, Some people just want a fight, please skip ahead to the application.
We have left Elijah and Elisha for a while and get to focus on King Ahab. Ben-Hadad King of Syria, along w/32 other Kings, was on the warpath. Approaching Israel he sends word to Ahab requesting all of his silver, gold, wives, and children. To avoid a war Ahab consents, but Ben-Hadad sends back for more. Ben-Hadad now wishes to have complete possession and control. Ahab calls his elders together and explains how he tried to avoid war, but Ben-Hadad seems to just be looking for a fight. They advise Ahab to not consent. Ben-Hadad responds w/a threat to which Ahab responds w/his own threat. At this point Ben-Hadad orders his armies to prepare for battle.
We have, of course, used this application before in 1 Kings. However, it is very unique in this situation, because in his stand Ahab replies this way to Ben-hadad. He says, “One who is just preparing for war shouldn’t boast as one who has just finished war. ” Or, “He who is just putting his armor on shouldn’t speak as one who is taking it off.”
After a ‘big-talking’ threat from Ben-hadad, Ahab replies with talk of his own. Only, Ahab’s talk is laced with wisdom and given in a more diplomatic manner. He essentially tells Ben-hadad that he shouldn’t count his chickens before they hatch!
While there is an application to be made there, I want to focus elsewhere since we have covered that application already. Let’s place our focus around Ahab’s manner in communication. Already we have established that he tried to avoid this conflict. Now, with war eminent, he still holds himself well: He remains composed, He chooses his words wisely, He stands his ground.
Keep your composure. Even when facing threats from a drunken savage, Ahab has manners and diplomacy. How many times do we find ourselves stooping to the level of those we are dealing with? Keep your composure.
Choose your words wisely. Once the composure is gone, the words begin to spew! Ahab gave a fitting reply full of wise words. Even while “talking smack” back to Ben-Hadad he said it in a way that would not later embarrass him or his nation.
“If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all…” When dealing with a Ben-hadad say what you must but be careful you don’t have to eat your words later.
Stand your ground. There are biblical grounds for us to ‘turn the other cheek’. But, sometimes we must stand our ground. Ahab was given the task as leader of the nation of God’s people. Once an outsider decided to try and completely take over Ahab had to stand his ground….So must we at times.
Pastor Chanc Strickland
Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN
This blog post was adapted from a sermon preached at Harpeth Baptist Church in the summer of 2012.