1 kings 20 Ahab was happy to give away his, money, wife and children to the enemy.
3&4 'Your silver and gold are mine, and the best of your wives and children are mine.' " The king of Israel answered, "Just as you say, my lord the king. I and all I have are yours."
But when the same items are demanded with a search of the palace then Ahab objects.
5 The messengers came again and said, "This is what Ben-Hadad says: 'I sent to demand your silver and gold, your wives and your children. 6 But about this time tomorrow I am going to send my officials to search your palace and the houses of your officials. They will seize everything you value and carry it away.' "
Its a funny thing, when something is asked of us we can easily comply, but when its demanded then our emotions get stirred up. Or maybe Ben-Hadad did not trust Ahab to surrender everything he valued! Ahab shows himself to be quite witty in his retorts to Ben-Hadad, and astute in his assessment of just retribution in his discussion with the prophet. Little did he know that the judgment he pronounced as proper, was on himself. He let Ben-Hadad live when God wanted him to die.
Why did Ahab make a treaty with him? He didn't have a reputation of being a merciful or righteous king. His response to the prophet - Sullen and angry, he went to his palace.
Maybe that's the clue, he simply wanted his own way not YHWHs. I recognise that if I simply made a less than best judgement call I can more easily receive a rebuke or correction but if I was fixed on wanting a certain outcome and it doesn't happen, then I can get annoyed and irritated very easily.
It's worth noting that both Cain, Saul and Ahab have much in common. Each wanted to do their "own thing" in worship, making offerings and keeping animals and people alive that should have been killed.
Cain got upset when his offering was not accepted by the Lord. It lead him to kill his brother Able Genesis 4:6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast.
Saul went into many emotional "funks" in his reign, seeking to kill David was another favourite pastime. This little cameo of his behaviour give us some insight into the self justification he trained himself to do.
1 Sam 15:17 Samuel said, "Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel. 18 And he sent you on a mission, saying, 'Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.' 19 Why did you not obey the LORD ? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the LORD ?" 20 "But I did obey the LORD," Saul said. "I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal."22 But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king."
Ahab: 1 Kings 20:43 Sullen and angry, the king of Israel went to his palace in Samaria
1 Kings 21:4 So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, "I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers." He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat.
1 Kings 21:5 His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, "Why are you so sullen? Why won't you eat?"
1 kings 21:24-26 (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.)
All three were rebels for their "own cause" and was a receipe for isolation, displacement from power and untimely death.
What comes to the surface when we have demands put upon us? It drives the intents of our hearts to the surface and there our deepest desires are open for all to see. Let us walk in the Light as we live in the Light. 1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin".