There are times when we are in a war with a country or simply with an individual. Something has happened that has caused a rift between us and that individual or nation. This leads to much fighting and unnecessary anguish over many years. As for our nation, there will be rebuilding after the fact, especially with building up any friendships with that other nation once again. The same can be said for people who have built up walls and said bad things against friends or family. And because of this it is hard to gain trust once again with the person that has been hurt for so long. However, what is important is that we both forgive each other as Christ forgives us. It may seem difficult on the surface, but if the Lord is dwelling inside of us, then all things are possible. Even people who were once our enemy can gain trust with us, even to being friends again. I mention all this since, in 1 Kings 20, it talks about an ongoing war between Israel and Syria. Where Syria was trying to take over the land of Israel, however, God was greater than them. So each time Syria went up against them, a prophet came to Ahab the king and told him that to have no fear for God would win these wars for them. It is written, 1“thus saith the Lord, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.” (1 Kings 20:13) And it happened just as God said. Even the second time that Syria went up against Israel, 1“the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day.” (1 Kings 20:29) And now we have a big decision for Benhadad, the king of Syria, to make. His people were pretty much wiped out at this point and his only choice was to turn himself in. And if he didn’t do this, then they would be looking for him for sure, in order to capture and kill him.
It is said that 1“Benhadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber. And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save thy life. So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy servant Benhadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And he said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother.” (1 Kings 20:30-32) so if you know anything about sackcloth, it was used as a sign of repentance before the Lord and the people who they offended. And this was a sign of his and his servant’s brokenness, and also his willingness to make right what he did wrong. But did Ahab take kindly to this and allow him to live? It is written that 1“the men did diligently observe whether any thing would come from him, and did hastily catch it: and they said, Thy brother Benhadad. Then he said, Go ye, bring him. Then Benhadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot. And Ben-hadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.” (1 Kings 20:33,34) Wow! So just like that, mercy was given to this man and he was set free. I pray that you will do the same when it comes to people that have offended and hurt you. If people are sorry, forgive them as God forgives you. And even if they don’t say sorry, go to them and tell them that they are forgiven. This will then cause all your burdens to be lifted. Wonderful things happen when mercy is showcased to people.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, thank You for Your mercy. I don’t know what I would be doing right now if I was still in my state of brokenness and without any mercy shown. Surely, I would be left in a very difficult place, where depression would have set in by now. For I would have hoped You would forgive a wretched person like me. However, this did not happen and You did extend your mercy and forgiveness anyways. No matter what I had previously done, all those sins were washed away in Your blood. Thank You, Lord. I am in such a better place now. There is so much joy in my life than ever before. I love to walk in Your ways, for it does bring happiness into my life. I am not left in guilt or shame, but only peace. However, the opposite can be said when I decide to not forgive as You have forgiven me. In these moments, I am not the person I should be for You, but the opposite. Instead of showcasing kindness and compassion, I’ve shown anger and disdain towards certain individuals. And for this I am sorry. I can’t believe that I could be so arrogant and haughty over such a small thing when You are so willing to forgive my sins. For this reason, I knew that I was not acting like You would at all. I was self-centered, not selfless. So in my brokenness, once again, I came to you in my remorse. How could I stoop down to such a level of not showing kindness and mercy to those that deserve it? It was then that I realized what I had done and ran to call and see the person I have or they have offended. No matter the differences, I told the people that I love them. That there were no more hard feelings towards them at all. This I know came from You, God. With the Holy Spirit present in me, I was able to break down the walls that were built up and restore the friendships that were lost over time. Thank You God for giving me direction on this matter. I love You. You are my deliverer. Surely, Your mercy endures forever. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.