The Right and Wrong Use of Power
Today’s reading: 1 Kings 19:1-21:29
My selection: I Kings 21:20-24
Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” He answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the Lord. 21 Behold, I will bring disaster upon you. I will utterly burn you up, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. 22 And I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin. 23 And of Jezebel the Lord also said, ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel within the walls of Jezreel.’ 24 Anyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat.”
My reflections: In a flagrant abuse of power, Ahab let his desire for Naboth’s land and the evil advice of Queen Jezebel lead to perjury and the murder of an innocent man. But the king and queen would not get away with it. Elijah brought the sentence to Ahab so he could ponder just what the real price of his sin would be. His family would be exterminated. There would be no dynasty of Ahab. Jezebel was singled out for special punishment. She would die. Not only would there be no royal funeral, she would be eaten by dogs in Jezreel, the site of the stolen vineyard.
Governors and rulers have a special responsibility before God. They rule by His consent and must be accountable to Him for their use of authority and power. On a lesser level, all of us (parents, employers, citizens) hold some level of power and authority for which we are accountable to God.
My challenge: Scripture admonishes Christians:
1. To pray for those who govern ( I Timothy 2:1-4)
2. To use whatever power we have to do good and be just (I Tim 5:17; Eph. 6:1-9)
Are you using your power wisely or abusing it to satisfy selfish desires and discontentment? Are you praying for those who lead our nation?
Be wise in the use of power which is given by God for good. Pray for our leaders that they may rule in justice.
Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Kings 22:1-2 Kings 2:18