Monday, March 5, 2012

A King Who Sold Out

By Patrick Hogan
     Do you remember a man named Ahab? He was the seventh king of Israel following the division of the kingdom. Perhaps you remember his charming wife, Jezebel. 1 Kings 21:25-26, gives a startling commentary on Ahab's reign as king. "There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited. He did very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the Lord cast out before the people of Israel." This assessment of Ahab is more amazing when one considers the evil record left by his father, Omri. Until Ahab reigned Omri had the distinction of having done "more evil than all who were before him." (1 Kings 16:25) I Kings chapter 21also reveals that Elijah told Ahab, "you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the Lord," and then described the judgment God would bring upon Ahab and his family for the evil they had done.
     The description, "sold himself to do what was evil" is a chilling thought. Whatever it may entail, it at least means that Ahab sold out to evil. Rather than following the guidance of the Lord and thereby being a blessing to his family and his nation, Ahab chose to go his own way and to pursue evil. This choice ultimately led to his death, the deaths of the members of his family, and the infamous reputations that they left behind. Furthermore, their evil influence affected people for generations to come.
     While circumstances are quite different today than in Ahab's specific situation, it is still possible for one to sell himself do to evil. While certain actions may appear to be the wise or fulfilling choices to make, if those actions are contrary to God's will, they lead us down the road to selling out to evil. Matthew 16:26 asks the probing question, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Let's carefully consider the choices we make, realizing that our choices do make a difference.

- Patrick Hogan serves as a minister and elder of the Shady Acres church of Christ, in Sikeston, MO.  He may be contacted through the church's website at

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