"And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, 'I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.' And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and would eat no food...
And Jezebel his wife said to him, 'Do you now govern Israel? Arise and eat bread and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.'" 1 Kings 21:4, 7
The saga of King Ahab and God’s attempts to reach his heart continues. Things came to a head when Ahab asked his neighbor to sell him a vineyard and the neighbor refused, because that land was allotted to Naboth’s family from the Lord. They weren’t allowed to sell it, by God’s command.
Ahab, reverting to his “spoiled child” nature, went into a funk, refused to eat and sulked. His wicked wife Jezebel, who had no regard for the Word of God, arranged for Naboth to be falsely accused of blasphemy and killed. Ahab happily went to take possession.
That was the last straw so far as God was concerned. Ahab and his dynasty had to go, which meant death to him and all his descendants. But because He was still trying to reach Ahab’s heart, the Lord sent Elijah to tell Ahab what was about to happen.
Here’s how the story ends: "And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 'Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son's days I will bring the disaster upon his house.'"
1 Kings 21:27-29
And so it was. God had finally gotten through to Ahab. The sentence would be carried out still: his dynasty, so deeply committed to evil, was rotten to the core and would still have to be destroyed. But Ahab himself, even with all his weakness of character, had come to true repentance.
We might think, “too little, too late.” But the Lord Jesus told us, “There is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents.”
God never quits seeking the hearts of His own. His mercy is everlasting and His ability to forgive us for Jesus’ sake is never exhausted.
Don’t give up praying for that loved one whose heart seems so hard. God hasn’t given up on them and you may see them in heaven yet!
Lord Jesus, thank you for your heart of tender mercy. As your grace has reached me, let it reach the loved ones for whom I still pray. Let your Word have its effect in our hearts and turn us at last to you. Amen! Pastor Dan Giles