A hidden king and a pool of blood!

So, what’s in a name? Expecting couples scour the internet looking not just for a name for their new edition, but more precisely, the perfect name. Girl’s names, boy’s names, all have something in common. They not only identify the recipient, but also describe them. Given my last name (“Price”), we were encouraged to name our child “Half (Price),” or “Sale (Price),” by not-so-funny friends. But, given the history of mankind, there are a couple of names widely avoided by those “in the know.” Few people would name their little girl “Jezebel,” or their son “Ahab,” for example. This wicked pair were rightly regarded as the evilest pair ever to rule Israel.
It was the prophet Elijah who first exposed their wickedness, but others would soon follow suit. Their reputation, and their wickedness, was evident for all to see. It’s no wonder Elijah took such a visible stand against them. When Elijah pronounced God’s judgement on them, though they were at the height of their power, he forever sealed their fate.
King Ahab devised a scheme in which he could be hidden, at least to the enemy. He struck a deal with Jehoshaaphat, King of Judah, wherein he would disguise himself to the enemy. The enemy then, armed for battle, were not looking for a common soldier, but only the king himself. Ironically, when the armies of the king of Aram saw Jehoshaaphat dressed in his royal clothing, they turned to attack him, but when he “cried out” (surrendered), they spared his life because he wasn’t Ahab, the king of Israel.
Ahab’s scheme to remain hidden, however, didn’t fool the armies against him. A marksman took his bow and shot at random a Soldier that just so happened to be king Ahab himself. It was just a crack in his armor that did him in, but once the arrow hit its target there was no hope for survival. Here’s the gruesome part. King Ahab, clutching to life, directed his chariot to retreat where he spent the whole day bleeding to death. The Bible says that “he died at evening, and the blood from his wound ran down his body to the floor of the chariot. Ahab died in a pool of his own blood” (1 Kings 22:35, NASB).
It gets even worse. After his death, his blood-soaked chariot was brought to the pool of Samaria where the “dogs licked his blood” (1 Kings 22:38, NASB). To add insult to injury, this particular pool was the location where the prostitutes bathed. How’s that for a tragic end to a despicable life? What do we learn from the death of a wicked king? First, no one can escape the judgement of God for nothing is hidden from Him. Second, no one can escape the consequences of a wicked life. And third, the bloody aftermath of wickedness affects everyone, even the innocent.
What is God telling us in this odd, but all too real, tale? Is it simply that the wicked will be punished and suffer for their sins? Or, is there something to this whole pool of blood thing?
I’m reminded of another person on a different afternoon, in a place not too awfully far from the pool of Samaria. He was the crucified innocent lamb, but His blood was spilt not for a single sin of His own. His blood dripped, then poured, from His body until he breathed His last. But this King of Kings is not hidden, nor is He guilty. By His blood, we are cleansed. We gather at the “pool” of the cross and partake in His salvation. And, this is not hidden! It is a spectacle of grace and the fulfillment of a sacred promise.