Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 20

The small army that God used to save Israel

1 Kings 20:15

Sometimes in desperate situations, people behave in a way that we would not expect. For example, someone who normally serves God, might be too afraid to obey him. Or someone who normally opposes God, might decide to obey God.

That was what happened here. Ahab was an evil king, who hated the true God. However, when his life was in great danger, he chose to obey God. Ahab gathered the young men that the prophet (holy man) had described. There were just 232 of them. They were not Ahab’s strongest or his best soldiers. However, God had said that they would win the battle that day. So, Ahab told them that they should go in front of the rest of his army.

Then Ahab gathered the rest of the army. The vast army of Ahab’s enemies had surrounded the city called Samaria. So, Ahab could only gather the men who were already in the city. There were only 7000 of them. The other men in Israel who supported Ahab, would be unable to join the fight that day.

In 1 Kings 19:18, God declared to Elijah that 7000 people in Israel were loyal to him. These soldiers were a different group of people, but their number was also 7000. Their task was similar too. The 7000 people in the previous passage would save Israel’s relationship with God. These 7000 soldiers would save Israel from the vast army of its enemies. Although both groups seemed too small to carry out their tasks, God would do great things by means of them.

Next part: Ben-Hadad orders his soldiers not to kill the young men (1 Kings 20:16-18)


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