The LORD gives Ahab a break because he humbles himself. Directly following a side note reminder that he was the worst guy in the history of Israel thus far.
It’s flabbergasting. What? Ahab!? Kill that guy! He made Israel worship idols and now killed a guy to take his land! The LORD has grace on him because of humility.
We can never over emphasize the importance of humility. God opposes the proud. Stands against them. But gives grace to the humble–no matter what they’ve done. We are nothing without grace and we are not far from it, if we can lay down our pride.
Ahab does eventually meet his slow, miserable demise. Slouched over, pridefully in his chariot, quietly bleeding out. He didn’t want to admit God was right about his defeat, he just took it.
God, however, saved Jehoshaphat because “he did what was right in the sight of the LORD”. Even though his efforts weren’t entirely thorough, God honored them. His mercy always triumphs over judgement.
Check yourself for pride today. Let God humble you, if you need it. There’s a lot of grace available.