But this chapter is deadly serious. It describes the fulfillment of God’s prophesied judgment on King Joram, the house of Ahab, and Jezebel.
Although many scoff at the idea of God’s judgment today, it is as certain today as it was 3000 years ago. Experiencing God’s judgment is a choice — if all goodness and blessings are from the Lord, then rejecting Him is to decline His generosity and grace. To decline any good thing that exists, because they all come from Him.
The amazing thing about His grace is that He continues to bless us in so many ways, despite our faithlessness, for so long!
We see His steadfast grace toward David, despite his moral failures. We see it in His delaying the entrance of the Israelites into the Promised Land because the pagan nations there had not yet reached the end of His mercy. We see it in his delay of judgment on Ahab’s house until after Ahab has died — what grace it was to not allow him to see the downfall he brought on his family!
We see it in our own lives when we fail time after time to do what we know is right. Such abundant grace can lull us into thinking that God doesn’t see, that He won’t judge, that He is all love and tolerance as the world would like to believe, and no judgment.
But this chapter tells us otherwise.
The cross tells us otherwise. God’s judgment on us for our sin was poured out on His Son, so that grace might be offered to us. But like His blessings and goodness, the grace offered to us at the cross must be received.
Imagine someone ships you a gift from Amazon, but you don’t believe it’s real, don’t think you need it, or think you aren’t good enough for such a gift, so you leave it sitting on your porch. Years go by, and you never open it. Never put it to use in your life. Never give thanks for it. You never actually received it, despite it sitting on your porch waiting. Just waiting for you to make it yours.
Well, life goes on, and you do just fine without the gift, right?
But what if you are dying of thirst, so far gone that you barely recognize the need any longer. Tongue so swollen you can’t swallow. And that gift is a lifetime supply of fresh spring water!
What if you’re already dead, and that gift is an Automated External Defibrillator to jumpstart your heart and give you a new life! A life where there is now “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1.
Judgment is coming for all who have chosen the same path Ahab and Jezebel chose. It might not be in your lifetime. Perhaps God will spare you seeing the judgment as He did Ahab. He’s already done all that is needed to spare you being the object of His judgment, but you have to accept the gift.