(NIV1984) 1 Kings 21:25-27 – “(There was never a man 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.)
“When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went about meekly.”
I love this passage. Love it so much. The entire chapter leads up to the upcoming verses – and this is the climax of it.
There is no doubt that the man Ahab did evil things – notice it doesn’t call him evil, only that he sold himself to do evil and his actions – his behavior – was super vile. Jezebel urged him on, which made it worse, but Ahab had no excuse. He went after idols and did horrible things. There is no denying that; in fact, this passage specifically takes an aside to tell us and remind us of this fact.
All of this to say – “When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly” (NIV1984, 1 Kings 21:27).
He reacted in the proper way. He believed God, and he mourned – whether that was for his actions or the punishment is something else. Ahab – who did the most vile things – humbled himself before the LORD. I don’t know if he was sorry or repented or put his trust in the LORD – but he humbled himself when he heard these things. For once, this horrible man did something right…and he wasn’t acting.
Everyone, eventually, will come to this point. This impacted Ahab so much it changed him – at least for a little bit. And that’s saying something. If Ahab could change, anyone can.