Ahab, Not the Pirate

(There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.) 

– I Kings 21:35-36

The morning is chilly

Hard to imagine it could even be this cool in late June

The dock was put out last night

Whispering welcome to me this morning

Like a favorite book or a scent that triggers a strong memory

The dock is my wardrobe to Narnia

The place where anxieties fade

There is no future

And the past has less of a hold

A place to just be

My breath silent underneath the breath of the wind

The leaves singing their quiet song

With birds adding solos and duets

Hidden high in their branches

A leaf falls suddenly from a tree

Releasing its hold on the branch

A tiny sail without a boat

Gliding back and forth in its descent

Landing on smooth pebbles

An experienced skydiver

This morning’s Bible reading about King Ahab

Hard not to imagine him as a pirate

And his wife Jezebel

So many people of late

Seeming to be pro-Jezebel

Even as they are pro-choice

The Supreme Court finally reversing Roe vs. Wade

Putting the power to regulate abortion

In the hands of the states

How evil Ahab was

Led by his wife Jezebel

Sullen and childish, manipulative

Prone to murders and boasting

And in my flesh

I want Ahab to get what’s coming to him

The worst of Israel’s kings

Yet when he repents in sackcloth and ashes

God forgives him

Putting off the judgment he had earned

God forgave

Even Ahab

And I find myself wishing he hadn’t

That Ahab had gotten his just desserts

After all, what of the man whose vineyard he stole

Who was stoned to death on a trumped-up charge?

Yet in my sudden desire for justice

I recognize the older brother

In the prodigal story

The one more concerned with justice

And less concerned that his younger brother

Had returned

Humbled and in need

Aren’t I the one so often

Humbled and in need?

How do I forget so quickly

The real state of things?

I am the immigrant who doesn’t want to let immigrants in

I am the sinner who doesn’t want the next sinner forgiven

I am the one who justifies my own sin

While shaking my head in disgust at yours

I am the very hypocrite I most despise

I would never have forgiven Ahab

But that just shows how far gone I am

God is not political

He is not gloating over the Supreme Court’s announcement

He knew it was coming

Placed the right people at the right time to make it so

He loves that baby in the womb

With as much fervor as he loves the woman who has had an abortion

Both the woman who lives with a deep well of regret

And the one who flaunts it

Incensed about her right to her own body

The one God himself knit together

While denying any rights at all to the body within her own

As if the right to kill what God has made is fundamental

The spirit of Molech still alive and well

Yet God

Loves even her

As he loves even me

He loves her with a tenacity I cannot fathom

How dare I turn such a life into a mere political argument

When she too is a life for whom Christ died?

The God who would forgive even Ahab

The God who would forgive even me

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