1 Kings 21:21-22, 25-29 – Tender Mercies

1 Kings 21:21-22, 25-29
21 Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel,
22 And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin.
25 But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.
26 And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.
27 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.
28 And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
29 Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.

-Ahab’s actions had led to the shedding of innocent blood simply to possess a piece of land. (1 Kings 21:1-16)  If that wasn’t bad enough, his wickedness is taken to another level in the form of forsaking the Lord in order to follow idols.  But look in verse 29 at how quickly the Lord withholds judgment because of Ahab’s repentance.  God’s anger can be felt in His words in verses 21 and 22 but all that is gone in an instant at the sight of Ahab’s humility.  Man’s capacity for evil defies explanation, but the Lord’s ability to forgive is even more unbelievable.  “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.  The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” (Psalm 145:8-9)

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