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Who is the troubler of Israel? In the story/contest between ideologies, two men presented themselves as “men of standing” in the community. One was chosen by the people as king over Israel (the ten northern tribes of Israel) and the other was God’s prophet (Elijah). While we know the story about what happened and why, it is my intent to reflect a little more on the why in this article.

King Ahab saw the Lord’s prophet and declared boldly that the “troubler of Israel” now stood before him. Elijah rejected this accusation and called the king the “true troubler of Israel” (1 Kings 18:17-18). The king was the actual troubler of Israel because, as the Scripture said regarding him, he not only followed the sinful activities of those who had gone before him, but he also married a woman of a foreign nation named Jezebel, a name that rings of evil even to this day (1 Kings 16:29-34).

A troubler of Israel was one who considered the Lord’s way and rejected it for the ways of man. This is what Ahab did; he followed his heritage and stayed the course of evil, going back to the time of Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:25-33). With this acceptance of false religion the king and his subjects did whatever it was they wanted to do. This resulted in royal corruption, religious corruption and moral deviancy. When there is a departure from the Lord it can hardly be any other way!

King Ahab is a great lesson for those in leadership today. The leadership of which I speak is not political, but religious. I refer to the elders of the congregation. When there is departure from the Lord’s way, even just a little bit, then the door to corruption has been opened just enough for the influence of corruption to enter in. The Lord told the elders of Ephesus to take heed to the flock of which the Holy Spirit made them overseers. That means they are to pay particular attention to the following: 1) their own souls and personal standing with the Lord (2 Cor. 13:5), 2) the souls of those whom they lead (Acts 20:28), 3) the nature of that which is used to feed the saints (Titus 1:9).

Please pray for the elders, not only that the Lord will be with them, but also that each man will take inventory of where he is in relation to the Lord and seek to do a better work today, then tomorrow than what he did today and the day previous. The Lord’s adversary (1 Peter 5:8) is seeking to devour all the disciples that belong to the Lord, and in many case he is having much success. RT

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