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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

1 Kings 16

Verses 1-34

Some Lessons From an Unfamiliar Text

1 Kings 16:25 ; 1 Kings 16:30

I. Very bad men may have worse sons. We are told that Omri was a worse-living man than any other man that had lived up till that time, but he had a son, and it is said of his son that he was worse, worse even than his wicked father.

II. Bad men may make things worse by unholy friendships. Ahab was worse than Omri, but Ahab was worse in his manhood than he was in his youth, because he married a woman who stirred him up to do wickedly. Bad men may make things worse by unholy alliances; ay! and good men may make it much more difficult for themselves to be good by choosing their friends among the evil.

III. Look on the other side. The story of Ahab goes to show that wickedness, however powerful, cannot prevent the existence and development of goodness. He was a very shrewd and clever man, and he knew when he was well served, and he had a man as his steward Obadiah by name, and Obadiah lived with Ahab and managed his affairs for him. And when you come to study the character of Obadiah you see very plainly that bad as Ahab was, his conduct, evil though it was, did not prevent the goodness of Obadiah developing even in the presence of Ahab. This virtuous character lived in the time of Ahab and lived in the neighbourhood of Ahab. Bad as your surroundings be, God can make you beautiful. You may live in a Christless home. You may live where oaths are the staple part of the conversation, or you may be mixed up with those who use the name of the Divine Being to make their conversation more terribly wicked, but God can keep you pure and true in spite of it all, and He can make fair flowers grow upon the edge of a volcano.

IV. God takes great pains to save very wicked people. See what pains he took with Ahab, how Elijah, under God, was brought into conflict with Ahab to save him. Nobody can read the story of Carmel without reading that God does take great pains to save wicked men.

V. Wickedness cannot hide itself from death. Ahab was a powerful man, he was a man of great strategy and skill. In his desire to elude death he disguised himself and put on somebody else's armour. But there was a place where two iron plates did not join together. There was room for death to enter there. Wicked men cannot elude death.

T. Champness, British Weekly Pulpit, vol. III. p. 305.

References. XVI. 30. J. Baines, Sermons, p. 154. XVII. 1. J. M. Neale, Sermons Preached in Sackville College Chapel, vol. iii. p. 9. H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, Sunday Lessons for Daily Life, p. 125. W. M. Taylor, Elijah the Prophet. p. 1.

The Miracle of the Drought

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/1-kings-16.html. 1910.