Text: “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… And he did very abominably in following idols… 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.” – 1 Kings 21:25-27.
Comment: This particular story of Ahab, King of Samaria, showed a clear instance of a man whose conscience was at work. He had broken the commandments of the LORD in grabbing Naboth’s vineyard unjustly and had reintroduced the worship of strange gods into the land of Israel. Therefore, God sent Elijah the Tishbite to him saying, “Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity…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.”
When the king heard those fearful words from Elijah, the servant of God, he became sober and regretted his actions. Scripture states, “that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.” His contrition and fear of the Almighty God brought succour to him. “And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days…” – 1 Kings 21:28,29.
Men have to learn to humble themselves before God. Repentance is a necessary condition preceding forgiveness. King David’s wise prayer is food for thought: “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” “Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.” – Psalm 51:1, 9.