(NIV1984) 1 Kings 21:20b – “‘I have found you,’ he answered, ‘because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD.'”
Yeah, that can’t be good. Prior to this, I don’t think Elijah has said as much about Ahab’s flaws as he has about the people of Israel. But now he’s getting to part of the root of the problem – Ahab’s leadership.
Elijah here gives his reason for finding Ahab as this – that Ahab has sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD. And perhaps to neighboring countries, his actions don’t seem evil – but to the LORD, they are. And that’s all that matters here.
And it’s not just that Ahab occasionally does evil – but that he’s sold himself to do it. This implies that maybe Ahab previously had the ability to do something more than evil – something good – but he’s given up on that. He’s gone bad. Given the choice – as in this story – he fumes for a while and then lets evil get its way so that he can get what he wants.
And that’s not just something Ahab does.