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Thursday, July 27, 2017

We get another chance to decide.

Ahab and Jezebel killed a man just because they wanted his land.  As soon as he was dead, Ahab bought the land.

But the LORD said to Elijah, "Go down to meet King Ahab of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He will be at Naboth's vineyard in Jezreel, claiming it for himself. Give him this message: 'This is what the LORD says: Wasn't it enough that you killed Naboth? Must you rob him, too? Because you have done this, dogs will lick your blood at the very place where they licked the blood of Naboth!'" (1 Kings 21:17-19 NLT)

Ahab had crossed the “second line.”  The first line is called sin.  It is the place where we rebel against God in any way.  The wages of this sin is death – the second death.  The “second line” is where God says, essentially, “Enough!  You’re done in this life, too.  You’re causing too much damage.  You’re taking too many people down with you.  You’re done.”

(No one else so completely sold himself to what was evil in the LORD's sight as Ahab did under the influence of his wife Jezebel. His worst outrage was worshiping idols just as the Amorites had done--the people whom the LORD had driven out from the land ahead of the Israelites.) But when Ahab heard this message, he tore his clothing, dressed in burlap, and fasted. He even slept in burlap and went about in deep mourning. (1 Kings 21:25-27 NLT)

Sometimes it takes extreme measures, like the real threat of losing our lives, to give us a wake-up call.  This is what happened to Ahab.  He finally realized what his rebellion against God had cost him, his family, and others under his rule.  So, he repented.  He turned around.  He showed remorse before the LORD.

Then another message from the LORD came to Elijah: "Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has done this, I will not do what I promised during his lifetime..." (1 Kings 21:28-29 NLT)

We need God’s patience.  Some translations call it “longsuffering.”  It is a reminder that as long as God gives us life, God is willing to work with us.  Even in rebellion, God sees the potential for repentance.  Even with bad choices, God gives us another chance to decide.  Ahab was given more time because he repented.

How about you?  You’re reading this, so God has given you this day.  Do you have any choices you’ve made that you regret?  Do you need to repent (turn around) and return to God in any areas?  Will you take advantage of the fact that we get another chance to decide.