Have you ever backed down to a wicked man, or simply given way to carnal people because you were sure they would not accept your spiritual advice? Some of you would never do that. Good for you. I have, and fear of bold men is one of the worst temptations I face.
1 Chronicles 27 is just one more passage that lets us know how bad it is to give in to the wicked.
We are not surprised to read that there was no one like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the Lord’s sight. 1 Chronicles 27:25 adds, “whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.”
Verse 27 tells us, though, that when a prophet spoke to him, he repented in sackcloth and fasted. God even regarded his repentance (v. 29). This probably explains why God helped Ahab defeat the Arameans twice. Apparently, Ahab feared the Lord, but he feared Jezebel more.
His soft heart and his cowardice are revealed in the story of Naboth’s vineyard as well. Naboth was able to stand up to the king, and the king simply mourned and wept over it. Ahab probably knew, too, how important it was to God that each Israelite keep the land of his ancestors. But when Jezebel, who was not a coward, had Naboth killed, Ahab jumped up to take possession of the vineyard.
Cowardice leads to wickedness. It is as much, or more, to be overthrown as any other sin in our life. As with any other sin, the answer is to get closer to God and begin ferociously obeying, strengthening yourself after every failure with repentance, tears, and a renewed commitment in the Holy Spirit. All cowards have their place in the lake of fire, the second death (Rev. 21:8), but God has given us a Spirit of power, love, and a healthy mind so we can overcome fear (2 Pet. 1:7).
For those of you that are like me, prone to cowardice, this is probably a dreadful post, but we have to face our weakness. We cannot continue in it. I can give you this encouragement from the Lord, found in Isaiah 51:12-16:
I, even I, am he who comforts you.
Who are you, that you are afraid of man who shall die,
and of the son of man who will be made as grass?
Have you forgotten Yahweh your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens,
and laid the foundations of the earth?
Do you live in fear continually all day because of the fury of the oppressor,
when he prepares to destroy?
Where is the fury of the oppressor?
The captive exile will speedily be freed.
He will not die and go down into the pit.
His bread won’t fail.
For I am Yahweh your God, who stirs up the sea
so that its waves roar.
Yahweh of Armies is his name.
I have put my words in your mouth
and have covered you in the shadow of my hand,
that I may plant the heavens,
and lay the foundations of the earth,
and tell Zion, ‘You are my people.’”