1. Elijah Turns Into the Flash
Many people who grew up in the church have heard the story of Elijah challenging King Ahab’s prophets of Baal to a “Godly Duel”. To summarize the story, Elijah challenges them to call fire down from heaven and burn up a sacrifice. The bad guys yell, sing, and dance but nothing comes. All the while, Elijah is sitting off to the side, talking trash. Eventually, Elijah takes his turn and drenches his sacrifice in water. God promptly consumes it all in fire, and the bad guys are slaughtered.
Elijah goes on to tell King Ahab to hightail it back home, then this wonderful side-story happens.
"The power of the LORD came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel." -1 Kings 18:46
No one knows why God gave Elijah the ability to do this (I mean, come on! The guy outran a chariot!). Scholars believe that this run was approximately 14 miles! Was there some deep spiritual reason that this happened? Perhaps. I like to think that this is God having a sense of humor, and rubbing Ahab’s nose in his defeat…
2. The Right and the Left
In 1 Kings 22, there is a story about Ahab wanting to go to war against Aram (modern day Syria). Before he goes to war, he is convinced to go ask the “prophets” what the outcome will be. Now, at this point we need to remember that his wife has had most of the Godly prophets killed, and so Ahab had surrounded himself with false prophets who told him what he wanted to hear, not what God says.
These prophets, about 400 of them, tell him that he will be victorious in battle. However, he reluctantly agrees to also hear out a true prophet, Micaiah. Ahab hated Micaiah because he actually tells the truth; the truth is rarely good for a man as wicked at Ahab. Micaiah goes on to tell Ahab of his imminent death in the battle.
This is all great, but one verse during Micaiah’s prophecy that really caught my attention was 1 Kings 22:19.
"Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left."
Let’s focus on the “standing around him on his right and on his left” part. Symbolically, the right hand represents the good, trustworthy people. To sit at the right hand of your host is a place of honor. On the other hand (see what I did there?), the left hand of God could be referring to the fallen angels.
Micaiah goes on to prophesy “the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’”. (v. 19) Then a spirit said “I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.” (v. 22)
From this, I believe that we can see God’s power over not just the things that are good (on His right side) but also those things that are evil (on His left side).
3. Ahoy!!!! Oy...
Later in the same chapter, we read about Jehoshaphat- king of Judah. Jehoshaphat was a good king who “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” (v. 43)
However, he was not perfect. 1 Kings 22:48 tells a story about a fleet of ships he tried to launch:
"Now Jehoshaphat built a fleet of trading ships to go to Ophir for gold, but they never set sail—they were wrecked at Ezion Geber."
The entire fleet was destroyed! Then the next verse jumps ahead to Ahaziah (Ahab’s son) asking him to combine their shipping resources; an offer that Jehoshaphat declines. That’s the end of the story. It seems random with only two verses dedicated to this tale. However, there’s more to this deeper down.
First, Jehoshaphat made a foolish decision in trying to trade with Ophir in the first place. He should have known better than to attempt to have a relationship (even just a business one) with wicked/ungodly individuals. The consequences of this mistake was an entire fleet of ships.
However, as humans, we all make mistakes. Jehoshaphat is an excellent example of how we should respond to those mistakes. In verse 49, when Ahaziah asks him to work together, he refuses. In doing this, he also refuses to partner with a wicked individual and repeat his error.
So what did you guys think? What were some things that were interesting to you? Comment below and let us know!