Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Oh, the power of prophetic confrontation! Since earliest times, kings and leaders of nations have been challenged by the miracles and rebukes of anointed prophets. Ahab was shown a miraculous sign when God delivered the Arameans into his hands. Then Elijah confronted Ahab in Naboth's vineyard as God judged him for Naboth's murder (1 Kings 21:17). The proconsul Sergius Paulus witnessed a powerful miracle when God struck the sorcerer blind (Acts 13:11). These confrontational miracles were intended to demonstrate to those in authority that God is Lord of heaven and earth.

In Christ you have the authority to confront those in leadership with the claims of Christ. No power is greater than God, and He has given you power so you might bring the Gospel to world leaders. The same Spirit that filled Paul and blinded Elymas (Acts 13:9) is in you. Don't be afraid, but speak boldly. God will surely back you up!

1 Kings 20:1-21:29

Ben-Hadad Attacks Samaria

20 Now Ben-HadadS 1Ki 15:18 king of Aram mustered his entire army. Accompanied by thirty-two kings with their horses and chariots, he went up and besieged SamariaS 1Ki 13:32 and attacked it.He sent messengers into the city to Ahab king of Israel, saying, “This is what Ben-Hadad says:‘Your silver and gold are mine, and the best of your wives and children are mine.’”

The king of Israel answered, “Just as you say, my lord the king. I and all I have are yours.”

The messengers came again and said, “This is what Ben-Hadad says: ‘I sent to demand your silver and gold, your wives and your children.But about this time tomorrow I am going to send my officials to search your palace and the houses of your officials. They will seize everything you value and carry it away.’”

The king of Israel summoned all the elders1Sa 11:3 of the land and said to them, “See how this man is looking for trouble!2Ki 5:7 When he sent for my wives and my children, my silver and my gold, I did not refuse him.”

The elders and the people all answered, “Don’t listen to him or agree to his demands.”

So he replied to Ben-Hadad’s messengers, “Tell my lord the king, ‘Your servant will do all you demanded the first time, but this demand I cannot meet.’” They left and took the answer back to Ben-Hadad.

10 Then Ben-Hadad sent another message to Ahab: “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if enough dustS 2Sa 22:43 remains in Samaria to give each of my men a handful.”

11 The king of Israel answered, “Tell him: ‘One who puts on his armor should not boastPr 27:1; Jer 9:23; Am 2:14 like one who takes it off.’”

12 Ben-Hadad heard this message while he and the kings were drinkingS 1Ki 16:9 in their tents,Or in Sukkoth; also in verse 16 and he ordered his men: “Prepare to attack.” So they prepared to attack the city.

Ahab Defeats Ben-Hadad

13 Meanwhile a prophetS Jdg 6:8 came to Ahab king of Israel and announced, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will knowS Ex 6:7 that I am the Lord.’”

14 “But who will do this?” asked Ahab.

The prophet replied, “This is what the Lord says: ‘The junior officers under the provincial commanders will do it.’”

“And who will startS Jdg 1:1 the battle?” he asked.

The prophet answered, “You will.”

15 So Ahab summoned the 232 junior officers under the provincial commanders. Then he assembled the rest of the Israelites, 7,000 in all.16 They set out at noon while Ben-Hadad and the 32 kings allied with him were in their tents getting drunk.S 1Ki 16:917 The junior officers under the provincial commanders went out first.

Now Ben-Hadad had dispatched scouts, who reported, “Men are advancing from Samaria.”

18 He said, “If they have come out for peace, take them alive; if they have come out for war, take them alive.”

19 The junior officers under the provincial commanders marched out of the city with the army behind them20 and each one struck down his opponent. At that, the Arameans fled, with the Israelites in pursuit. But Ben-Hadad king of Aram escaped on horseback with some of his horsemen.21 The king of Israel advanced and overpowered the horses and chariots and inflicted heavy losses on the Arameans.

22 Afterward, the prophetS Jdg 6:8 came to the king of Israel and said, “Strengthen your position and see what must be done, because next springS 2Sa 11:1 the king of Aram will attack you again.”

23 Meanwhile, the officials of the king of Aram advised him, “Their gods are godsver 28; Isa 36:20; Ro 1:21-23 of the hills. That is why they were too strong for us. But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they.24 Do this: Remove all the kings from their commands and replace them with other officers.25 You must also raise an army like the one you lost—horse for horse and chariot for chariot—so we can fight Israel on the plains. Then surely we will be stronger than they.” He agreed with them and acted accordingly.

26 The next springS 2Sa 11:1 Ben-Hadad mustered the Arameans and went up to Aphekver 30; S 1Sa 4:1; 2Ki 13:17 to fight against Israel.27 When the Israelites were also mustered and given provisions, they marched out to meet them. The Israelites camped opposite them like two small flocks of goats, while the Arameans covered the countryside.Jdg 6:6; S 1Sa 13:6

28 The man of God came up and told the king of Israel, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Arameans think the Lord is a god of the hills and not a godS ver 23 of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will knowS Ex 6:7; Jer 16:19-21 that I am the Lord.’”

29 For seven days they camped opposite each other, and on the seventh day the battle was joined. The Israelites inflicted a hundred thousand casualties on the Aramean foot soldiers in one day.30 The rest of them escaped to the city of Aphek,S ver 26 where the wall collapsedPs 62:4; Isa 26:21; 30:13 on twenty-seven thousand of them. And Ben-Hadad fled to the city and hid1Ki 22:25 in an inner room.

31 His officials said to him, “Look, we have heard that the kings of Israel are merciful.Job 41:3 Let us go to the king of Israel with sackclothS Ge 37:34 around our waists and ropes around our heads. Perhaps he will spare your life.”

32 Wearing sackcloth around their waists and ropes around their heads, they went to the king of Israel and said, “Your servant Ben-Hadad says: ‘Please let me live.’”

The king answered, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.”

33 The men took this as a good sign and were quick to pick up his word. “Yes, your brother Ben-Hadad!” they said.

“Go and get him,” the king said. When Ben-Hadad came out, Ahab had him come up into his chariot.

34 “I will return the cities1Ki 15:20 my father took from your father,” Ben-HadadS Ge 10:22 offered. “You may set up your own market areas2Sa 8:6 in Damascus,S Ge 14:15; Jer 49:23-27 as my father did in Samaria.”

Ahab said, “On the basis of a treatyS Ex 23:32 I will set you free.” So he made a treaty with him, and let him go.

A Prophet Condemns Ahab

35 By the word of the Lord one of the company of the prophetsS 1Sa 10:5; Am 7:14 said to his companion, “Strike me with your weapon,” but he refused.S 1Ki 13:21

36 So the prophet said, “Because you have not obeyed the Lord, as soon as you leave me a lion1Ki 13:24 will kill you.” And after the man went away, a lion found him and killed him.

37 The prophet found another man and said, “Strike me, please.” So the man struck him and wounded him.38 Then the prophet went and stood by the road waiting for the king. He disguised himself with his headband down over his eyes.39 As the king passed by, the prophet called out to him, “Your servant went into the thick of the battle, and someone came to me with a captive and said, ‘Guard this man. If he is missing, it will be your life for his life,S Jos 2:14 or you must pay a talentThat is, about 75 pounds or about 34 kilograms of silver.’40 While your servant was busy here and there, the man disappeared.”

“That is your sentence,”2Sa 12:5; S 14:13 the king of Israel said. “You have pronounced it yourself.”

41 Then the prophet quickly removed the headband from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the prophets.42 He said to the king, “This is what the Lord says: ‘YouS 2Sa 12:7 have set free a man I had determined should die.The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.Jer 48:10 Therefore it is your life for his life,S Jos 2:14 your people for his people.’”43 Sullen and angry,1Ki 21:4 the king of Israel went to his palace in Samaria.

Naboth’s Vineyard

21 Some time later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth2Ki 9:21 the Jezreelite. The vineyard was in Jezreel,S 1Sa 29:1; 2Ki 10:1 close to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth.”

But Naboth replied, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritanceS Lev 25:23 of my ancestors.”

So Ahab went home, sullen and angry1Ki 20:43 because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” He lay on his bed sulking and refused1Sa 28:23 to eat.

His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, “Why are you so sullen? Why won’t you eat?”

He answered her, “Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, ‘Sell me your vineyard; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’”

Jezebel his wife said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyardS 1Sa 8:14 of Naboth the Jezreelite.”

So she wrote letters2Sa 11:14 in Ahab’s name, placed his sealS Ge 38:18 on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him.In those letters she wrote:

“Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people.10 But seat two scoundrelsS Dt 13:13; Ac 6:11 opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursedS Ex 22:28; Lev 24:15-16 both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”

11 So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city did as Jezebel directed in the letters she had written to them.12 They proclaimed a fastIsa 58:4 and seated Naboth in a prominent place among the people.13 Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, “Naboth has cursed both God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death.S Lev 24:1614 Then they sent word to Jezebel: “Naboth has been stoned to death.”

15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Get up and take possession of the vineyardS 1Sa 8:14 of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you. He is no longer alive, but dead.”16 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard.

17 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite:18 “Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it.19 Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’Job 24:6; 31:39 Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood,2Ki 9:26; Ps 9:12; Isa 14:20 dogs1Ki 22:38; Ps 68:23; Jer 15:3 will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’”

20 Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!”S 1Ki 18:17

“I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold2Ki 17:17; Ro 7:14 yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord.21 He says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you. I will wipe out your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last maleJdg 9:5; 2Ki 10:7 in Israel—slave or free.Or Israel—every ruler or leaderS Dt 32:3622 I will make your house1Ki 16:3 like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have aroused my anger and have caused Israel to sin.’S 1Ki 12:30

23 “And also concerning Jezebel the Lord says: ‘Dogs2Ki 9:10, 34-36 will devour Jezebel by the wall ofMost Hebrew manuscripts; a few Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac (see also 2 Kings 9:26) the plot of ground at Jezreel.’

24 “Dogs1Ki 14:11 will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birdsS Ge 40:19; S Dt 28:26 will feed on those who die in the country.”

25 (There was neverS 1Ki 14:9; S 16:33 anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife.26 He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the AmoritesS Ge 15:16 the Lord drove out before Israel.)

27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackclothS Ge 37:34; S Jer 4:8 and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.Isa 38:15

28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite:29 “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbledS Ex 10:3 himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day,S Ex 32:14; 2Ki 22:20 but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”Ex 20:5; 2Ki 9:26; 10:6-10

Ben-Hadad Attacks Samaria

20 About that time King Ben-hadad of Aram mobilized his army, supported by the chariots and horses of thirty-two allied kings. They went to besiege Samaria, the capital of Israel, and launched attacks against it.Ben-hadad sent messengers into the city to relay this message to King Ahab of Israel: “This is what Ben-hadad says:‘Your silver and gold are mine, and so are your wives and the best of your children!’”

“All right, my lord the king,” Israel’s king replied. “All that I have is yours!”

Soon Ben-hadad’s messengers returned again and said, “This is what Ben-hadad says: ‘I have already demanded that you give me your silver, gold, wives, and children.But about this time tomorrow I will send my officials to search your palace and the homes of your officials. They will take away everything you consider valuable!’”

Then Ahab summoned all the elders of the land and said to them, “Look how this man is stirring up trouble! I already agreed with his demand that I give him my wives and children and silver and gold.”

“Don’t give in to any more demands,” all the elders and the people advised.

So Ahab told the messengers from Ben-hadad, “Say this to my lord the king: ‘I will give you everything you asked for the first time, but I cannot accept this last demand of yours.’” So the messengers returned to Ben-hadad with that response.

10 Then Ben-hadad sent this message to Ahab: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if there remains enough dust from Samaria to provide even a handful for each of my soldiers.”

11 The king of Israel sent back this answer: “A warrior putting on his sword for battle should not boast like a warrior who has already won.”

12 Ahab’s reply reached Ben-hadad and the other kings as they were drinking in their tents.Or in Succoth; also in 20:16. “Prepare to attack!” Ben-hadad commanded his officers. So they prepared to attack the city.

Ahab’s Victory over Ben-Hadad

13 Then a certain prophet came to see King Ahab of Israel and told him, “This is what the Lord says: Do you see all these enemy forces? Today I will hand them all over to you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

14 Ahab asked, “How will he do it?”

And the prophet replied, “This is what the Lord says: The troops of the provincial commanders will do it.”

“Should we attack first?” Ahab asked.

“Yes,” the prophet answered.

15 So Ahab mustered the troops of the 232 provincial commanders. Then he called out the rest of the army of Israel, some 7,000 men.16 About noontime, as Ben-hadad and the thirty-two allied kings were still in their tents drinking themselves into a stupor,17 the troops of the provincial commanders marched out of the city as the first contingent.

As they approached, Ben-hadad’s scouts reported to him, “Some troops are coming from Samaria.”

18 “Take them alive,” Ben-hadad commanded, “whether they have come for peace or for war.”

19 But Ahab’s provincial commanders and the entire army had now come out to fight.20 Each Israelite soldier killed his Aramean opponent, and suddenly the entire Aramean army panicked and fled. The Israelites chased them, but King Ben-hadad and a few of his charioteers escaped on horses.21 However, the king of Israel destroyed the other horses and chariots and slaughtered the Arameans.

22 Afterward the prophet said to King Ahab, “Get ready for another attack. Begin making plans now, for the king of Aram will come back next spring.Hebrew at the turn of the year; similarly in 20:26. The first day of the year in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in March or April.

Ben-Hadad’s Second Attack

23 After their defeat, Ben-hadad’s officers said to him, “The Israelite gods are gods of the hills; that is why they won. But we can beat them easily on the plains.24 Only this time replace the kings with field commanders!25 Recruit another army like the one you lost. Give us the same number of horses, chariots, and men, and we will fight against them on the plains. There’s no doubt that we will beat them.” So King Ben-hadad did as they suggested.

26 The following spring he called up the Aramean army and marched out against Israel, this time at Aphek.27 Israel then mustered its army, set up supply lines, and marched out for battle. But the Israelite army looked like two little flocks of goats in comparison to the vast Aramean forces that filled the countryside!

28 Then the man of God went to the king of Israel and said, “This is what the Lord says: The Arameans have said, ‘The Lord is a god of the hills and not of the plains.’ So I will defeat this vast army for you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

29 The two armies camped opposite each other for seven days, and on the seventh day the battle began. The Israelites killed 100,000 Aramean foot soldiers in one day.30 The rest fled into the town of Aphek, but the wall fell on them and killed another 27,000. Ben-hadad fled into the town and hid in a secret room.

31 Ben-hadad’s officers said to him, “Sir, we have heard that the kings of Israel are merciful. So let’s humble ourselves by wearing burlap around our waists and putting ropes on our heads, and surrender to the king of Israel. Then perhaps he will let you live.”

32 So they put on burlap and ropes, and they went to the king of Israel and begged, “Your servant Ben-hadad says, ‘Please let me live!’”

The king of Israel responded, “Is he still alive? He is my brother!”

33 The men took this as a good sign and quickly picked up on his words. “Yes,” they said, “your brother Ben-hadad!”

“Go and get him,” the king of Israel told them. And when Ben-hadad arrived, Ahab invited him up into his chariot.

34 Ben-hadad told him, “I will give back the towns my father took from your father, and you may establish places of trade in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria.”

Then Ahab said, “I will release you under these conditions.” So they made a new treaty, and Ben-hadad was set free.

A Prophet Condemns Ahab

35 Meanwhile, the Lord instructed one of the group of prophets to say to another man, “Hit me!” But the man refused to hit the prophet.36 Then the prophet told him, “Because you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, a lion will kill you as soon as you leave me.” And when he had gone, a lion did attack and kill him.

37 Then the prophet turned to another man and said, “Hit me!” So he struck the prophet and wounded him.

38 The prophet placed a bandage over his eyes to disguise himself and then waited beside the road for the king.39 As the king passed by, the prophet called out to him, “Sir, I was in the thick of battle, and suddenly a man brought me a prisoner. He said, ‘Guard this man; if for any reason he gets away, you will either die or pay a fine of seventy-five poundsHebrew 1 talent [34 kilograms]. of silver!’40 But while I was busy doing something else, the prisoner disappeared!”

“Well, it’s your own fault,” the king replied. “You have brought the judgment on yourself.”

41 Then the prophet quickly pulled the bandage from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the prophets.42 The prophet said to him, “This is what the Lord says: Because you have spared the man I said must be destroyed,The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering. now you must die in his place, and your people will die instead of his people.”43 So the king of Israel went home to Samaria angry and sullen.

Naboth’s Vineyard

21 Now there was a man named Naboth, from Jezreel, who owned a vineyard in Jezreel beside the palace of King Ahab of Samaria.One day Ahab said to Naboth, “Since your vineyard is so convenient to my palace, I would like to buy it to use as a vegetable garden. I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or if you prefer, I will pay you for it.”

But Naboth replied, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance that was passed down by my ancestors.”

So Ahab went home angry and sullen because of Naboth’s answer. The king went to bed with his face to the wall and refused to eat!

“What’s the matter?” his wife Jezebel asked him. “What’s made you so upset that you’re not eating?”

“I asked Naboth to sell me his vineyard or trade it, but he refused!” Ahab told her.

“Are you the king of Israel or not?” Jezebel demanded. “Get up and eat something, and don’t worry about it. I’ll get you Naboth’s vineyard!”

So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, sealed them with his seal, and sent them to the elders and other leaders of the town where Naboth lived.In her letters she commanded: “Call the citizens together for a time of fasting, and give Naboth a place of honor.10 And then seat two scoundrels across from him who will accuse him of cursing God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”

11 So the elders and other town leaders followed the instructions Jezebel had written in the letters.12 They called for a fast and put Naboth at a prominent place before the people.13 Then the two scoundrels came and sat down across from him. And they accused Naboth before all the people, saying, “He cursed God and the king.” So he was dragged outside the town and stoned to death.14 The town leaders then sent word to Jezebel, “Naboth has been stoned to death.”

15 When Jezebel heard the news, she said to Ahab, “You know the vineyard Naboth wouldn’t sell you? Well, you can have it now! He’s dead!”16 So Ahab immediately went down to the vineyard of Naboth to claim it.

17 But the Lord said to Elijah,Hebrew Elijah the Tishbite; also in 21:28.18 “Go down to meet King Ahab of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He will be at Naboth’s vineyard in Jezreel, claiming it for himself.19 Give him this message: ‘This is what the Lord says: Wasn’t it enough that you killed Naboth? Must you rob him, too? Because you have done this, dogs will lick your blood at the very place where they licked the blood of Naboth!’”

20 “So, my enemy, you have found me!” Ahab exclaimed to Elijah.

“Yes,” Elijah answered, “I have come because you have sold yourself to what is evil in the Lord’s sight.21 So now the Lord says,As in Greek version; Hebrew lacks 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!22 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.’

23 “And regarding Jezebel, the Lord says, ‘Dogs will eat Jezebel’s body at the plot of land in Jezreel.As in several Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, and Latin Vulgate (see also 2 Kgs 9:26, 36); most Hebrew manuscripts read at the city wall.

24 “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.”

25 (No one else so completely sold himself to what was evil in the Lord’s sight as Ahab did under the influence of his wife Jezebel.26 His worst outrage was worshiping idolsThe Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung. just as the Amorites had done—the people whom the Lord had driven out from the land ahead of the Israelites.)

27 But when Ahab heard this message, he tore his clothing, dressed in burlap, and fasted. He even slept in burlap and went about in deep mourning.

28 Then another message from the Lord came to Elijah:29 “Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has done this, I will not do what I promised during his lifetime. It will happen to his sons; I will destroy his dynasty.”

20 And Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots; and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.

And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Benhadad,

Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine.

And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have.

And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaketh Benhadad, saying, Although I have sent unto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children;

Yet I will send my servants unto thee to morrow about this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away.

Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, Mark, I pray you, and see how this man seeketh mischief: for he sent unto me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold; and I denied him not.

And all the elders and all the people said unto him, Hearken not unto him, nor consent.

Wherefore he said unto the messengers of Benhadad, Tell my lord the king, All that thou didst send for to thy servant at the first I will do: but this thing I may not do. And the messengers departed, and brought him word again.

10 And Benhadad sent unto him, and said, The gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me.

11 And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.

12 And it came to pass, when Ben-hadad heard this message, as he was drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions, that he said unto his servants, Set yourselves in array. And they set themselves in array against the city.

13 And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.

14 And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Even by the young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who shall order the battle? And he answered, Thou.

15 Then he numbered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty two: and after them he numbered all the people, even all the children of Israel, being seven thousand.

16 And they went out at noon. But Benhadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him.

17 And the young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; and Benhadad sent out, and they told him, saying, There are men come out of Samaria.

18 And he said, Whether they be come out for peace, take them alive; or whether they be come out for war, take them alive.

19 So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the army which followed them.

20 And they slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled; and Israel pursued them: and Benhadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse with the horsemen.

21 And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.

22 And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.

23 And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.

24 And do this thing, Take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their rooms:

25 And number thee an army, like the army that thou hast lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot: and we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. And he hearkened unto their voice, and did so.

26 And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Benhadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.

27 And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country.

28 And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

29 And they pitched one over against the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day.

30 But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and there a wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand of the men that were left. And Benhadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber.

31 And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save thy life.

32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy servant Benhadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And he said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother.

33 Now the men did diligently observe whether any thing would come from him, and did hastily catch it: and they said, Thy brother Benhadad. Then he said, Go ye, bring him. Then Benhadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot.

34 And Ben-hadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.

35 And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the Lord, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him.

36 Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him.

37 Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him, so that in smiting he wounded him.

38 So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face.

39 And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver.

40 And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.

41 And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets.

42 And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people.

43 And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.

21 And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.

And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.

And Naboth said to Ahab, The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.

And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.

But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?

And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.

And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.

And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:

10 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.

11 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.

12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.

13 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. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.

14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.

15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.

16 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

17 And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,

18 Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it.

19 And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.

20 And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord.

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.

23 And of Jezebel also spake the Lord, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.

24 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.

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.

Acts 12:24-13:15

24 But the word of GodS Heb 4:12 continued to spread and flourish.Ac 6:7; 19:20

Barnabas and Saul Sent Off

25 When BarnabasS Ac 4:36 and Saul had finished their mission,Ac 11:30 they returned fromSome manuscripts to Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.S ver 1213 Now in the church at AntiochS Ac 11:19 there were prophetsS Ac 11:27 and teachers:S Eph 4:11 Barnabas,S Ac 4:36 Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,S Mt 27:32 Manaen (who had been brought up with HerodS Mt 14:1 the tetrarch) and Saul.While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,S Ac 8:29 “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the workAc 14:26 to which I have called them.”Ac 9:15; 22:21So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on themS Ac 6:6 and sent them off.Ac 14:26

On Cyprus

The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit,ver 2, 3 went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.Ac 4:36When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of GodS Heb 4:12 in the Jewish synagogues.S Ac 9:20 JohnS Ac 12:12 was with them as their helper.

They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcererAc 8:9 and false prophetS Mt 7:15 named Bar-Jesus,who was an attendant of the proconsul,ver 8, 12; Ac 18:12; 19:38 Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God.But Elymas the sorcererAc 8:9 (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsulS ver 7 from the faith.Isa 30:11; Ac 6:7Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit,S Lk 1:15 looked straight at Elymas and said,10 “You are a child of the devilMt 13:38; Jn 8:44 and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?Hos 14:911 Now the hand of the Lord is against you.Ex 9:3; 1Sa 5:6, 7; Ps 32:4 You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”Ge 19:10, 11; 2Ki 6:18

Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.12 When the proconsulS ver 7 saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

In Pisidian Antioch

13 From Paphos,ver 6 Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia,S Ac 2:10 where JohnS Ac 12:12 left them to return to Jerusalem.14 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch.Ac 14:19, 21 On the Sabbathver 27, 42, 44; Ac 16:13; 18:4 they entered the synagogueS Ac 9:20 and sat down.15 After the reading from the LawAc 15:21 and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”

24 Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers.

25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission to Jerusalem, they returned,Or mission, they returned to Jerusalem. Other manuscripts read mission, they returned from Jerusalem; still others read mission, they returned from Jerusalem to Antioch. taking John Mark with them.

Barnabas and Saul Are Commissioned

13 Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called “the black man”Greek who was called Niger.), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod AntipasGreek Herod the tetrarch.), and Saul.One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.”So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.

Paul’s First Missionary Journey

So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus.There, in the town of Salamis, they went to the Jewish synagogues and preached the word of God. John Mark went with them as their assistant.

Afterward they traveled from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus.He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God.But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Barnabas and Saul said. He was trying to keep the governor from believing.

Saul, also known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye.10 Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord?11 Watch now, for the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be struck blind. You will not see the sunlight for some time.” Instantly mist and darkness came over the man’s eyes, and he began groping around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him.

12 When the governor saw what had happened, he became a believer, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.

Paul Preaches in Antioch of Pisidia

13 Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem.14 But Paul and Barnabas traveled inland to Antioch of Pisidia.Pamphylia and Pisidia were districts in what is now Turkey.

On the Sabbath they went to the synagogue for the services.15 After the usual readings from the books of MosesGreek from the law. and the prophets, those in charge of the service sent them this message: “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, come and give it.”

24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.

25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

13 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:

Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.

Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.

10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.

15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.

Psalm 137:1-9

Psalm 137

By the rivers of BabylonEze 1:1, 3; 3:15; 10:15 we sat and weptNe 1:4

when we remembered Zion.Isa 3:26; La 1:4

There on the poplarsS Lev 23:40

we hung our harps,Job 30:31; Isa 24:8; Eze 26:13; Am 6:5

for there our captorsPs 79:1-4; La 1:5 asked us for songs,

our tormentors demandedS Job 30:9; Ps 80:6 songs of joy;

they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”Eze 16:57; 22:4; 34:29

How can we sing the songs of the LordS Ne 12:46

while in a foreign land?

If I forget you,Isa 2:3; 56:7; 65:11; 66:20 Jerusalem,

may my right hand forget its skill.

May my tongue cling to the roofS Ps 22:15 of my mouth

if I do not rememberNe 2:3 you,

if I do not consider JerusalemS Dt 4:29; Jer 51:50; Eze 6:9

my highest joy.

Remember, Lord, what the EdomitesS Ge 25:30; S 2Ch 28:17; S Ps 83:6; La 4:21-22 did

on the day Jerusalem fell.2Ki 25:1-10; Ob 1:11

“Tear it down,” they cried,

“tear it down to its foundations!”Ps 74:8

Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,Isa 13:1, 19; 47:1-15; Jer 25:12, 26; 50:1; 50:2-51:58

happy is the one who repays you

according to what you have done to us.

Happy is the one who seizes your infants

and dashes themS 2Ki 8:12; S Isa 13:16; Lk 19:44 against the rocks.

Psalm 137

Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept

as we thought of Jerusalem.Hebrew Zion; also in 137:3.

We put away our harps,

hanging them on the branches of poplar trees.

For our captors demanded a song from us.

Our tormentors insisted on a joyful hymn:

“Sing us one of those songs of Jerusalem!”

But how can we sing the songs of the Lord

while in a pagan land?

If I forget you, O Jerusalem,

let my right hand forget how to play the harp.

May my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth

if I fail to remember you,

if I don’t make Jerusalem my greatest joy.

O Lord, remember what the Edomites did

on the day the armies of Babylon captured Jerusalem.

“Destroy it!” they yelled.

“Level it to the ground!”

O Babylon, you will be destroyed.

Happy is the one who pays you back

for what you have done to us.

Happy is the one who takes your babies

and smashes them against the rocks!

137 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.

For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.

If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.

O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.

Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Proverbs 17:16

16 Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom,

when they are not able to understand it?Pr 23:23

16 It is senseless to pay to educate a fool,

since he has no heart for learning.

16 Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?

Jun 18 Jun 20
Bible Gateway