Asking for submission and taking what is not yours are two different things

1 Kings Bible Background

05.09.2018 Old Testament: 1Ki 20.1–6

To read the Bible in a year, read First Kings 19–20 on May 9, In the year of our Lord 2018

By Don Ruhl

The Syrian king, more powerful with his army than the Israelite king with his army, declared to Israel’s king that everything belong to him, but then he went too far,

Now Ben-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his forces together; thirty-two kings were with him, with horses and chariots. And he went up and besieged Samaria, and made war against it. Then he sent messengers into the city to Ahab king of Israel, and said to him, “Thus says Ben-hadad: ‘Your silver and your gold are mine; your loveliest wives and children are mine.’” And the king of Israel answered and said, “My lord, O king, just as you say, I and all that I have are yours.” Then the messengers came back and said, “Thus speaks Ben-hadad, saying, ‘Indeed I have sent to you, saying, “You shall deliver to me your silver and your gold, your wives and your children”; but I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, and they shall search your house and the houses of your servants. And it shall be, that whatever is pleasant in your eyes, they will put it in their hands and take it’” (1 Kings 20.1–6).

King Ahab was willing to submit his kingdom to the reign of King Ben-hadad, but when Ben-hadad saw Ahab’s willingness to give himself and his kingdom to Syria, Ben-hadad sought another level, declaring that he would send his servants right into Samaria and that whatever they saw and wanted, they would take.

Ahab fought against this request and he had the support of a prophet and of the Lord. Israel had sinned, and so the Lord allowed Syria to have dominion over Israel, but then Syria wanted what was not theirs, coveting the things of Israel and wanting to steal those things.

Submission, yet; stealing, no.


  • Who is the only one who has the right to take anything he wants from you?
  • Who gave you all that you have?


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