Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)


Ms 19, 1906

Ahab—A Wicked King


February 7, 1906 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2BC 1033.

Ahab’s sins were great in the sight of the Lord. His wife was a wicked woman, controlled by the power of Satan. Her influence over Ahab was used to lead him from God, to remove the fear of God from his mind. Through her influence he was led into idolatry; he served and worshiped the gods of the heathen. The record says, “There was none like Ahab, which did set himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols.” [1 Kings 21:25, 26.] 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 1

Ahab sanctioned the building up of Jericho, which God in His wrath had caused to be torn down, declaring through His prophet that it should never be rebuilt, that the curse of heaven would surely rest upon the one who should venture to rebuild the city that God designed should remain unbuilt as a monument of His displeasure. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 2

The grievous sins into which Ahab led the people called down upon the land the wrath of God. For three years the Lord withheld both dew and rain, and there was a great famine. Deceived by Satan, Ahab thought that Elijah was the one who had brought this calamity; and if God had not in a special manner preserved his servant, Ahab would have put him to death. Instead of searching in his own life and in the lives of the people for the cause of the famine, Ahab charged Elijah with being the cause of the trouble. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 3

When at the end of the three years’ drought, Ahab saw Elijah, he said, “Art thou he that troubleth Israel?” [1 Kings 18:17.] 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 4

Mark the answer, “I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim. Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.” [Verses 18, 19.] 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 5

“So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 6

“Then said Elijah unto the people, I even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under; and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under; and call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God that answereth by fire, let Him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 7

“And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many. And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 8

“And it came to pass at noon that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud; for he is a god, either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 9

“And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name; and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. ... 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 10

“And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that Thou art God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant, and that I have done all these things at Thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that Thou art the Lord, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 11

“Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, The Lord, He is the God; the Lord, He is the God. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 12

“And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 13

“And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 14

“And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees.” [Verses 20-42.] Strong and earnest was the prayer of the servant of God for rain. His faith was sorely tried, but he continued in earnest prayer, bowed in a most painful, humiliating position. At last his faith was rewarded by tokens of rain. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 15

“And it came to pass ... that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.” [Verses 44, 45.] 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 16

What effect did this have upon Ahab? He was convinced that a wonderful miracle had been wrought. How long did he keep this in mind? Until he had related the particulars to his wife. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 17

“Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a message unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” [1 Kings 19:1, 2.] 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 18

The influence of Jezebel over Ahab was greater than the influence of the Spirit of God, however powerful and convincing the evidence from heaven. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 19

A Deed of Shame

Ahab was covetous. He had followed the dictates of his own evil heart, strengthened and sustained in every evil work by Jezebel, until he was controlled by selfishness. He wished to gain possession of a piece of land belonging to his neighbor, Naboth the Jezreelite. Naboth valued this piece of land very highly because it had belonged to his fathers. But Ahab had set his heart on it, and he proposed to buy it or exchange it for another piece of land. But the owner refused to part with it. His refusal made the selfish monarch sick. His will had been crossed. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 20

His wicked wife, a medium of Satan, soon learned the particulars. She was indignant and assured Ahab that he governed the kingdom of Israel and that he need be no longer sad. “Let thine heart be merry,” she said, “I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” [1 Kings 21:7.] 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 21

The wicked king, caring not in what manner his wife accomplished the desired object, agreed to her arrangement. This God-forsaken woman had a most fiendish plan to carry out. She had great power over the king, and she wrote letters in his name to the elders and nobles of the city where Naboth dwelt, saying, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people; and set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 22

“And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 23

“They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him; and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 24

“And they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died. Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.” [Verses 9-14.] 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 25

“Arise, and take possession of the vineyard,” Jezebel said to Ahab; “for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” [Verse 15.] 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 26

As Ahab went down to take possession of the vineyard, Elijah, who had fled for his life from the death with which Jezebel had threatened him, was sent by God to meet the wicked king with the stern rebuke, “Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? ... In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. ... Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.” [Verses 19, 24.] 21LtMs, Ms 19, 1906, par. 27