As I continued my reading through 1 Kings, particularly in this passage, we see how King Ahab softened the heart God when he repented of his sins. Sure, Ahab got afraid of the judgement pronounced oh him by the prophet Elijah. Check this out on 1 Kings 21:21-24, “So now the Lord says, ‘I will bring disaster on you and consume you. I will destroy every one of your male descendants, slave and free alike, anywhere in Israel! I am going to destroy your family as I did the family of Jeroboam son of Nebat and the family of Baasha son of Ahijah, for you have made me very angry and have led Israel into sin.’ “And regarding Jezebel, the Lord says, ‘Dogs will eat Jezebel’s body at the plot of land in Jezreel.‘ The members of Ahab’s family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and those who die in the field will be eaten by vultures.’”
That was pretty frightening. An ordinary person would surely tremble at such words. But Ahab was the king of Israel. He has power and authority. Ahab could have been impenitent and unrepentant. but he humbled himself in the sight of God. He tore his royal clothes and wore burlap. He even slept on it. That was a humbling experience
Would you expect your president or your prime minister to do that when they sin and someone finds out? No, we’d have to go through an impeachment, legal proceedings and maneuverings, precedents, due process. That is what we do. Ahab went the other way and humbled himself before God and He was merciful.
God is also just in that He did not let Ahab get off the hook easily. God declared that His descendants would reap the punishment. God is tough when He needs to get tough. But more importantly, God is also gracious and merciful. WE can have confidence in that.