Why does God use a wicked king like Ahab to defeat foreign enemies? Today’s reading gives one answer. God speaks through a prophet these words: “Because the Arameans think the Lord is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the Lord” (1 Kings 20:28). God uses Ahab so that both Ahab and the nations will know the identity of the true God. It really is that simple.

God’s true power being known is of greatest significance and more important than swift justice. Ahab will pay for his crimes in due time; for now, God wishes that more of the wicked nations know the truth of YHWH’s greatness. Even though Ahab does not turn to worship God in complete devotion, that does not mean God has not shown Himself to Ahab and others. God desires everyone to know that God is uniquely Lord and will use even the wicked for a time to ensure this happens, even if the wicked refuse to recognize Him. Praise God that He is willing to show Himself to the wicked as well that we might come to repentance.