Faith Comes from Fearing

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Original photo by Dagny Mol

Daily Reform, 1 Kings 21:17-29

From the Reformer

All kings, princes, rulers, and ministers, sin of necessity, and therefore have special need of the remission of sins. I am persuaded that Ahab was saved, inasmuch as God said to the prophets: “Seest thou not how Ahab boweth himself before sin?” For to whom God affords speech, that is, his word and promise, with him it stands well. Therefore, doubtless, he was saved, notwithstanding the Scriptures witness against him, even to his death. He believed the promise of the Messiah, and so at his death got hold of the forgiveness of sins. In like manner I am persuaded also of all those of whom the Scripture says: “And he slept with is fathers,” that they are all in heaven. For this word, slept, shows some good in the Scriptures. But of whom it is written: They were made away and slain by the enemies, or were devoured and torn in pieces by wild beasts, I am persuaded they are lost and damned.

—Martin Luther, Table Talk

Pulling It Together

Ahab was easily bent to the desires of another. See how a simple man was dejected by the inability to get a garden; how easily he followed Jezebel’s abominable schemes; and how he was brought to his knees by the prophet’s words.

Almost certainly, Elijah would have rather judged Ahab on the spot. God had to temper Elijah by explaining why he was about to withhold judgment. God is willing to forgive those whom we would damn. 

Sometimes faith comes from fearing—not only hearing. Through fear of the Lord and his judgment, God got into the heart of the most evil king and humbled his heart for a time.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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