• Eli Schnell

Who Will Begin the Battle?

In 1 Kings 20, Ben-hadad, King of Aram, accompanied by thirty-two kings and their armies, besieged Samaria. Ben-hadad said his armies were so great in number that there would not even be so much as a handful of dust in Samaria for every soldier (1 Kings 20:10). Ahab did not want to fight against so great a foe, but God sent a prophet to Him in verse 13:

"Now behold, a prophet approached Ahab king of Israel and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver them into your hand today, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’ ” Ahab said, “By whom?” So he said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘By the young men of the rulers of the provinces.’ ” Then he said, “Who shall begin the battle?” And he answered, “You.”"

Ahab did not care to fight this battle. He was willing to give up all the gold, silver, and even wives and children in order to keep from war against these thirty-three kings (1 Kings 20:3-4, 7). But now the Lord has commanded that Israel will defeat this mighty army. What does Ahab want to know? “By whom?” and “Who shall begin the battle?”


Based on Ahab’s generally subservient attitude toward these thirty-three kings, it stands to reason that he is trying to get out of participating in the battle at all. Even though the Lord has assured victory, Ahab squirms under His gaze and looks for a way out of serving the Lord.


Those in the church must not adopt Ahab’s attitude toward service to God and each other. When work needs to be done, why not volunteer?

  • If the work is new to you, say, “I don’t know how to do this work, but I can learn if someone teaches me!” 

  • If it’s a group job, say, “Name the time and place and I’ll be there to help!” 

  • If you want to work but need help, say, “I can do part of the work, can you help with the rest?”

God has provided you with the ability to serve Him and His church. Satan wants you to be afraid of volunteering to serve. He wants you to shy away from your potential in Christ. But God has raised you from death to life (Eph. 2:4-6), and He has prepared good works for you to do (Eph. 2:10). Don’t squirm like Ahab, but instead stand and courageously

serve your Lord, proving your faith in Him at every opportunity.

“For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” -Ephesians 5:14-16
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