1 Ki 20 40 Thyself Hast Decided It CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
During the reign of the kings, it was common for people to appear before the king for judgment [2 Sam 15:6; 1 Ki 3:16-28]. In 1 Ki 20:35-43, a prophet disguised himself and waited for King Ahab to pass by, so he could present his “case” to the king for judgment. He pretended to be a man in trouble for inadvertently letting a prisoner of war go. As the story goes, a soldier had taken a prisoner and entrusted him to this “man” with the oath that if the prisoner of war got away, this man would pay a talent of silver or else his life would go for the life of the prisoner.
The disguised prophet told King Ahab that he had gotten busy and accidentally let the prisoner escape. The king’s answer was immediate, “So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.” In other words, “You already know the judgment; you’ll either pay the talent of silver or be captive in the place of the prisoner.” At that answer, the prophet removed his disguise and prophesied to King Ahab, “Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people.” The man whom Ahab had let go was Benhadad, the king of Syria, and the people were the Syrians.
There is a profound truth in the king’s judgment. He said, “Thyself hast decided it.” In your own life, much of what befalls you “thyself hast decided it.” Consider:
Your eternal condemnation – Jn 3:18, 36 – you were born a child of Adam. And in Adam, all die [1 Cor 15:22]. You know that to be an absolute, undeniable truth. Nobody born of Adam lives forever. God, of course, knows that. And so, in his mercy, he made provision for every man by letting his Son die in our place. When you receive Jesus Christ, therefore, you receive eternal life. “In Christ shall all be made alive,” [1 Cor 15:22].
Until you receive Jesus Christ, you are condemned and under the wrath of God. People have said, “I just don’t see how a just and holy God can send anybody to hell.” You can argue the fairness of this condemnation until you are blue in the face. It makes no difference. Unless you receive Jesus Christ, you are condemned. The moment you receive him, you are “not condemned.” Therefore, if you wind up in hell after this life is over, the Lord will be fully justified in saying to you, “Thyself hast decided it.”
Your spiritual weakness – 1 Pet 2:2; 2 Pet 3:18; Eph 4:15-16 – when you get saved, you know nothing more than that Jesus died and rose from the dead, and that by believing on him you have eternal life. To grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you must spend time in the words of God and in church under the preaching and teaching of the words of God. You cannot grow apart from reading, hearing and obeying the words of God.
When you look back over the past several years and find that you haven’t grown, you have no one else to blame but yourself. You might excuse your lack of growth because you were too busy with your work or your children. You might cite your lack of understanding or something else. But the truth is, when you decided not to read your Bible, not to attend the preaching and teaching services of the church, you decided not to grow. Your spiritual weakness “thyself hast decided it.”
Most of your financial problems – Eph 4:28; Prov 22:7; Mal 3:8; Prov 15:27 – when you find yourself in financial trouble, you can usually trace the cause back to one of several things. You borrowed too much money. You spent more than you made. You disobeyed God and didn’t tithe. You made an unwise investment. You might try to excuse your financial problems by complaining that you don’t make enough money. Rarely is that the case.
When you borrow that money, make that purchase, live off God’s tithe, invest in a certain company or product for the big return, right then, “thyself hast decided it.” You have already made the decision that is going to cost you.
Some of your health problems – 1 Cor 9:27 – some of your health problems are self-inflicted. They are the result of decisions you made a long time ago and continue to make today. Many back problems, knee problems, joint problems, allergy problems, organ problems and so forth are the result of poor nutritional and physical decisions. They cone from eating poorly and exercising and stretching inadequately. Paul kept his body in subjection.
When you eat a certain thing, drink a certain thing, smoke anything (or dip), stress over things, and so forth, and you have health problems that result, “thyself hast decided it.” When you neglect adequate cardio, strength and flexibility exercise, and have health problems that result, “thyself hast decided it.”
Conclusion: and on the list goes. You can trace some of your marital problems, family problems, and work related problems to the same cause. You are making decisions in your life that have bad consequences and yet you are unwilling to change. When your marriage suffers, or you family suffers or your job suffers and you come looking for an answer, just remember that the most truthful answer might be, “thyself hast decided it.”
If you don’t want that answer, then make better decisions. You already know the outcome of the ones you are making. When you choose to disobey God’s word, you already know that outcome. You will be condemned if you don’t believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. You will be spiritually weak if you don’t feed on the words of God. As a child, you are going to have chaos if you don’t obey your parents. And so forth. Yet, you can expect a much better outcome when you choose to obey the Lord.