No one else so completely sold himself to what was evil in the Lord’s sight as Ahab did under the influence of his wife Jezebel. His worst outrage was worshiping idols (vv.25-26).
Evil doesn’t need numbers. History’s most horrific acts were committed by only a handful of perpetrators. These agents of evil didn’t persuade others to join in their sin; they only convinced them to go along. Most Germans didn’t hunt down and kill Jews, but they allowed their government to do it. Most Americans didn’t own slaves, but they permitted their neighbors to do so. Evil simply needs a silent majority who see what is happening and do nothing.
Passivity was one of Ahab’s many problems. He cowered before his wife, Jezebel, a foreign queen who pushed him to worship Baal (1 Kings 16:31). When Elijah slaughtered the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, Ahab ran home to Jezebel and told her about him. It was Jezebel, not Ahab, who promised Elijah that she would get her revenge (19:1-2). Ahab went along.
When Naboth refused to sell his vineyard, “Ahab went home angry and sullen” and told about him (21:4-6). Jezebel replied, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll get you Naboth’s vineyard!” (v.7). And she did. Ahab merely went along with the idea.
Ahab was passive, but he wasn’t innocent. God declared that he was the most wicked of the evil kings of Israel. He may not have pulled the trigger, but he allowed Naboth’s murder and Israel’s idolatry to occur, among other evil choices.
This should give us pause: What evil might we be silently tolerating? Do we sit on our hands when others are bullied or abused? Do we say nothing when professing Christians dismiss the foundational truths of our faith? We may feel bad for challenging them; but given that Ahab’s greatest sin was idolatry, how can we not speak up for God and His true Word?
Evil doesn’t need you to stand with it. It wins whenever you don’t take a stand.
Read 1 Kings 19:1-18 to discover how you can stand against evil.
Who needs you to stand up for him or her? How can you be an advocate for that person today?