“And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save thy life” (1 Kings 20:31).TEXT — 1 Kings 20:31-43
It is a sad paradox that some people’s good qualities become their undoing. It is not usually expected that people will suffer defeat and become victims for being good. Unfortunately, the undoing of some people is attributed not to their moral weakness or any bad quality they may have, but rather and that strangely, to what supposedly should have been their strength – their good qualities.
Benhadad, the king of Syria took advantage of this seemingly good quality in Ahab, king of Israel. Having been defeated and their army routed, the surviving servants of Benhadad advised him to capitalise on the reputed good and merciful nature of the kings of Israel, approach Ahab with a show of remorse and plead with him to spare his life. Ahab foolishly accepted their plea and made a covenant with him. For this reason, God sent a prophet to him with a message of His displeasure and judgment.
Many Christians have had their good nature taken advantage of to their detriment. Some have been swindled by supposedly fellow brethren who came for help. This is because they were too trusting to do necessary due diligence and checks. In the attempt to help strangers in need, some have accommodated criminals who turn around to hurt them severely. Some others who are too compassionate have failed to give out appropriate disciplinary actions to those who have erred or sinned.
While it is Christian character to be merciful and kind, we must be careful that our good does not become a weakness, which people can abuse. We must not disobey God’s word in order to show mercy or be good to others. The Bible warns us against letting our good to be evil spoken of.
Thought for the day
Kindness and prudence are not mutually exclusive.
- in one year
- RUTH 1 – 2