1 Kings 20:13-14 (NIV) 13 Meanwhile a prophet 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 know that I am the LORD.'” 14 “But who will do this?” asked Ahab. The prophet replied, “This is what the LORD says: ‘The young officers of the provincial commanders will do it.'” “And who will start the battle?” he asked. The prophet answered, “You will.”
On verses 13-22: Through an unidentified prophet God tells Ahab that Ahab will be victorious over Ben-Hadad and his armies and that the junior officers under the provincial commanders will lead Ahab’s army to victory. So Ahab mobilizes 232 junior officers to launch an attack against Ben-Hadad, followed by 7,000 more soldiers. Meanwhile Ben-Hadad and the kings allied with him are unsuspecting and getting drunk. When Ben-Hadad hears that Ahab’s forces are advancing against him, Ben-Hadad tells his army to destroy them no matter what (v18). The junior officers overcome their Aramean opponents, causing them to flee and to sustain heavy losses. The unnamed prophet warns Ahab not to celebrate too quickly but to prepare for another attack from Aram (v22).
What can we learn from this?
1. Why would God give Ahab, an evil king who sinned greatly against God, such a decisive victory over his enemies? I believe it was to show Ahab that God was still trying to win Ahab’s heart, despite all the times Ahab had rejected God. That’s what God does for you and me. His amazing grace keeps on pursuing us, all in the hope that one day God’s kindness would lead us to repentance. God keeps on chasing after us until there is nothing left to chase — either we finally surrender to Him or we die and remain apart from God forever.
2. This is the second time in 1 Kings where a king is attacked and defeated while that king is getting drunk. These verses are warning us against drunkenness and allowing alcohol or other substances to cloud our judgment.
3. The fact that God would choose the young junior officers of Ahab’s army to lead the attack shows how much God believes in young people and how He wants to use young people to advance His kingdom. If you are a young person, don’t underestimate what God can do through you for His glory and His kingdom’s sake.
Heavenly Father, thank You for being a God of such amazing grace – how You still pursue us even after we’ve rejected you and how You choose the weak things of this world to shame the strong. Thank You that You want to use my life to advance Your kingdom and to defeat Your enemies. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!