Wednesday, Oct 18th

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1 Kings 21

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Wicked rulers know no bounds. They do what is bad and if not stopped they progress to even worse things. We see this today throughout the world where despots and arrogant totalitarians (including Obama, the foremost example today of a single person, or the UN and EU as examples of corporate wickedness) ignore what is right and good, in favour of what is bad, ugly and sinful. Every so often whole groups of people deliberately choose wickedness – ISIS and other Islamists, homosexuals and fake environmentalists are the main cuplrits today.

What they think and do affects millions throughout the world, causing death and destruction. When God is not considered, evil abounds. And the ordinary people allow it to happen. In the days of Ahab and other wicked kings, the people followed their example, and so despised and disobeyed the God Who gave them everything. Many modern Christians are the same, though they love to think of themselves as being holy! They fool about with doctrine, changing it to suit their personalised ideas, and loathe those who speak the truth. In the beginning of the Revelation, we read of how God views them!

Some groups of churches did not come out of His warnings unscathed: “I have somewhat against thee…” To these similar modern churches I say “Repent!” God does not allow laxity to rule His churches for long. Do not become one of those condemned by God. Today, it seems most of the Church is lax and does not care for truth. God WILL rebuke. The purpose behind all God’s anger against believers is not punishment, but discipline, though He does punish as a stark reminder. Repent, friends, or He will deal with you as He did Ahab.

Verses 1-3

  1. And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.

  2. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.

  3. And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.

Note how David desired after another man’s wife and later hated the day he did so. Also, see how Adam’s wife led him to commit the sin that led to his own demise and the promise of hell for all of his descendants to this day and to the end of days. Ahab was, it seems, weak-willed in some things and so his wife Jezebel led him to commit what was evil.

Next door to Ahab’s palace was the home and fields of Naboth the Jezreelite. He owned a fine vineyard that could be seen from Ahab’s windows. The king at first approached Naboth civilly, asking him to give him the vineyard so he could turn it over to growing herbs. In return Ahab said he would give Naboth an even better plot of land with superior vines. Or, if he preferred, he would pay the going rate for the field. Naboth refused.

He said that God forbade him selling what was inherited from his forefathers. This might sound strange to us today, but behind it is solid godly thinking. Though all Israelite land was ‘owned’ by Israelites, they did so knowing that the land belonged to God, from whom it was ‘leased’. At every Jubilee (every fifty years) any land taken or purchased reverted back to the original family. And, God gave all Hebrews their own land when they entered Canaan. In other words, Naboth was reminding the king of this truth and of Israelite land law, whereby God expected all land to be passed on to one’s own family. (There were exceptions, but these were all put right at Jubilee, which prevented unscrupulous owners from accruing too much land, upsetting the status quo and leaving some in poverty).

Verses 4-7

  1. And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.

  2. But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?

  3. And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.

  4. And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

Wicked though he was, Ahab accepted the refusal and its reasons, but he became depressed about it, staying in bed mulling over his perceived loss, and refusing food. Like almost all depressions, it was caused by a person’s refusal to accept responsibility and reality. In this case, Ahab allowed misery and anger to mingle in his heart allowing it to be repressed. Repression is always a recipe for mental instability.

Jezebel gave him a murderous pep-talk! She demanded to know why he was taking to his bed, so Ahab retold the tale of his proposal to Naboth. In modern terms we might say to someone “Are you a man or a mouse?” She taunted him by asking if he as king was able to rule the land, when only one man refused something to him! Was he king, or was he not? Jezebel commanded Ahab to get up and eat; be merry, for she would get him the vineyard! So, he obeyed her and waited for the good news.

Verses 8-10

  1. So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.

  2. And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:

  3. And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.

In modern times homosexuals got their own way by ignoring the ordinary people, and promising higher authorities all kinds of status and monetary incentives (bribery!) if they obeyed their mantra. In this way just a few people were needed to change laws in favour of homosexuality. Jezebel, in similar fashion, wrote to the leaders of Israel in the city, in the name of the king, asking them to proclaim a fast and to place Naboth at the top table as special guest. This would highlight what was to come.

She then asked them to bring in two “sons of Belial” (wicked unbelievers) to lie about Naboth. This happens regularly today. When I was sacked from my job there were two accusations – racism and homophobia. Neither were true, but I was told that those who organised such letters against me would make sure they lied (even to lawyers) until I was thrown out. So, nothing has changed since Ahab’s day! This kind of lie and deception occurs everywhere where men wish to get rid of Christians.

In this case Naboth would be accused of blasphemy against both God and king. This was a ridiculous charge in view of Ahab’s and the peoples’ own blasphemies over many years! Then, when these two witnessed against Naboth the authorities were to apply God’s own punishment – stoning to death outside the city walls.

Verses 11-14

  1. And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them.

  2. They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.

  3. And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.

  4. Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.

All those contacted by Jezebel obeyed the edict. (Is this not how today’s leaders obey wickedness and evil laws? Their own fear of being themselves attacked is certainly part of their response, but it does not excuse their wickedness. Today, many Muslims fear terrorists and do what they are told. But, their fear does not excuse them). The fast was held and Naboth sat at the top table. Then the two liars came in and accused him of blasphemy. In ancient terms blasphemy against either God or the king was treason. Without due legal process the people simply took Naboth outside the city, where they stoned him to death. The wicked leaders sent a message to Jezebel to say the deed had been done. I can assure you that there is no shortage of such evil men who wish, or will do, Christians harm.

Verses 15&16

  1. And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.

  2. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

On hearing the news, Jezebel went to her husband, telling him to take the vineyard he wanted, because Naboth was now dead. And Ahab did so, going down to the vineyard to declare his new ownership. Enemies of God and us have no qualms about taking what is His or ours. They have only wickedness in their hearts.

Verses 17-19

  1. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,

  2. Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it.

  3. And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.

After this event, God spoke to Elijah the prophet. He was to go to Ahab in Samaria, who would be found in Naboth’s vineyard, which he was now saying was his own. Elijah was to deliver a message from God, but it would be dangerous to himself. Even so, if God commands us to do something He will also take care of our well-being. Ahab was to be told that where dogs now licked the blood of Naboth, so they would also lick the blood of Ahab, because he obtained the land by murder.

Verses 20-22

  1. And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.

  2. Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel,

  3. And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin.

Elijah obeyed God and Ahab called Elijah his “enemy”. To the wicked all believers are their ‘enemy’. Today we are the ‘enemies’ of homosexuals, Islamists, Greens and all socialists, because we dare to oppose their evils. But, get the facts right – WE are not THEIR enemies – THEY are OUR enemies for they oppose Almighty God.

Elijah told the king that he came because of Ahab’s actions against God and Naboth. For that reason he (God) would “bring evil upon” him and all his wealth, family, and those who obeyed him. By ‘evil’ is meant here great harm, not sin. By “shut up” is meant those who remained obedient to Ahab’s wickedness.

For his sins, God would remove everything dear to Ahab, including his family, friends and wealth. God would ensure Ahab’s line was finished, though Ahab had enjoyed God’s favour in matters of war. To put it simply, Ahab was given privileges he did not deserve, and yet refused to acknowledge God as His Lord. For this and his murder, he deserved no mercy. As with the houses of previous kings, God would destroy the house of Ahab, because he caused God to be angry and the people to sin. Believers should beware of this kind of response from God in their own lives: they need not murder or do much outwardly, but inner sins and rejection of true doctrine will draw God’s anger.

Verses 23-26

  1. And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.

  2. Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.

  3. But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.

  4. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

Having told Ahab his fate, Elijah then moved on to Jezebel. She, too, would suffer death for her evils (here given in typical Hebraic language “eaten by dogs” by the very wall that bounded Naboth’s vineyard. The dogs would eat all who were of Ahab’s family and circle (eaten by dogs being a symbol of the inglorious death of a hated person), and those who died outside the city would be eaten by birds.

Scripture here tells us that Ahab was the pinnacle of evil, because he wholeheartedly went after wickedness and sin “in the sight of the LORD”… that is, with great arrogance and self-belief. Jezebel, also wicked, merely tapped-into this well of evil.

Ahab “worked wickedness”, knowing it was against God. “he did very abominably” by following idols. ‘very’ shows us that his abomination was doubled. By doing what was an abomination (following idols) – something that God hated and detested, Ahab himself was an abomination, and was detested by God. Note that in our day the same is said by God of homosexuals, whose very existence is an abomination to be cast into hell. Without repentance, this is the fate of ALL homosexuals, whether or not they are extreme or nasty. It is wise, then, not to befriend homosexuals (or other God-haters) as social equals, for to do so flies in the face of God’s wrath.

The word reminds us that when the Hebrews entered the promised land, they were commanded to strike down all the evil inhabitants because of their idolatry and wickedness. This was why the Amorites were killed, yet Israel rejected God’s holiness and instead followed the ways of evil. Any wonder that God struck the king and queen, and them, down? Again, I say “Beware”, for many today claim to be God’s and yet live sinfully. The sword, when it comes, will also be used against them, and not just against overtly-wicked unbelievers.

Verses 27-29

  1. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.

  2. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,

  3. Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house.

When he heard this message of coming doom, like so many whose maniacal minds are hurt by truth, Ahab ripped the clothes off his back. He put on sackcloth and ashes, and fasted, and his soul became gentle in repentance.

Because of this repentance, God promised his life would be spared, but the penalty would fall on his children instead, when all the penalties would apply. It should be noted that verses like this are misused by charismatics who make much of the ‘sins of the fathers’, claiming that when a person suffers the suffering is delayed action by God because of their forefathers’ sins. If this was an universal spiritual law, God would have said so. Instead, such warnings are issued against specific persons. There are hints in Leviticus of penalties suffered by later generations, but only in a very specific sense. So, modern Christians may not abuse scripture by applying what is specific to named persons, to Christians in general.

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Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

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