Its good to hold you with us. If you are a first clip hearer allow me give you a really particular welcome. We know from our hearer response that our programme is a front-runner for many 1000s of people. That ‘s really encouraging to us. . . but the ground why is because we take the Bible earnestly. Dr. Stringer normally works through a transition of the Bible, I read the poetries and he does the explaining. Because the Bible is so rich in relevancy we ca n’t lose when we give it a precedence in our lives. God will ever honor His ain Word.
Thankss Doug for your debut. And yes, delight make acquire in touch with us, we would wish to pray for you and may perchance be able to assist you in populating an reliable Christian life.
This narrative is told about an Airlines gate agent in Denver, Colorado who was confronted with a rider who likely deserved to wing as lading: A crowded flight was cancelled.A A individual agent was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly an angry rider pushed his manner to the desk.A He slapped his ticket down on the counter and said, “ I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be First CLASS. ” The agent replied, “ I ‘m regretful sir.A I ‘ll be happy to seek to assist you, but I ‘ve got to assist these folks foremost, and I ‘m certain we ‘ll be able to work something out. ” The rider was unimpressed.A He asked aloud, so that the riders behind him could hear, “ Do you have any thought who I am? ” Without wavering, the gate agent smiled and grabbed her public reference microphone.A “ May I have your attending please? ” she began, her voice bawling throughout the terminal.A “ We have a rider here at the gate WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS.A If anyone can assist him happen his individuality, delight come to gate 17. ” The folks behind him in line began express joying hysterically.A Although the flight was cancelled and people were late, they were no longer angry at.
I grew up in a clip when people spent a batch of clip seeking to “ happen
themselves ” ( though I ne’er rather figured out precisely what they were
looking for ) .A A Do we have any thought who we are? A Those of us who are
Christians are royalty. That ‘s what the New Testament says. ‘A Royal People ‘ . And we are to ‘reign in life ‘ said Paul to Roman trusters.
We do n’t ever reign. Sometimes we are reigned over by people and fortunes. And that makes a series through the royal people of Old Testament yearss relevant.
Our Bible makes it clear that these narratives are non merely names and day of the months from the yesteryear. They are illustrations through whom we can larn. So, we are researching the royalty of 1 and 2 Kings. Today we take a expression at a King and Queen, Ahab and Jezebel. We ‘ll get down with the incident with Naboth the Jezreelite, and I want you to listen to his narrative from 1 Kings 21
Here ‘s Doug.
This is a choice of poetries.
“ There was an incident affecting a vinery belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. The vinery was in Jezreel, near to the castle of Ahab male monarch of Samaria.A Ahab said to Naboth, “ Let me hold your vinery to utilize for a vegetable garden, since it is near to my castle. In exchange I will give you a better vinery or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is deserving. ” But Naboth replied, “ The LORD forbid that I should give you the heritage of my male parents. ” So Ahab went place, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, “ I will non give you the heritage of my male parents. ” He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat. His married woman Jezebel came in and asked him, “ Why are you so sullen? Why wo n’t you eat? ”
He answered her, “ Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, ‘Sell me your vinery ; or if you prefer, I will give you another vinery in its topographic point. ‘ But he said, ‘I will non give you my vinery. ‘ ” Jezebel his married woman said, “ Is this how you act as male monarch over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I ‘ll acquire you the vinery of Naboth the Jezreelite. ”
She got trumped up charges traveling against Naboth and he was stoned to decease. Jezebel so told her hubby to take ownership of the vinery.
“ When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take ownership of Naboth ‘s vinery. ”
God has said, “ Vengeance is mine ; I will refund. “ A What He does n’t state is when.A Those of us who believe in the wrath of God-and I regret to state that it appears we may be a easy disappearing tribe-still have frequent battles with the timing of God ‘s justice.A We sometimes acquire impatient with Heaven ‘s Department of Justice, because wrongs frequently go un-remedied for a long time.A But Lashkar-e-Taiba ‘s be certain we understand that cuts both ways-while we are troubled that God does n’t judge the wicked in a timely mode, we should be thankful that He does n’t judge us that manner.
In fact, I would state we all have plentifulness of ground to be grateful that God is, as the Scriptures frequently say, “ Decelerate to anger. “ A Slow, but non tardy.A In fact, what appears to us as awkwardness is really patience.A
That ‘s what 2 Peter 3:9 Tells us: A “ The Lord is non slow in maintaining his promise, as some understand slowness.A He is patient with you, non desiring anyone to die, but everyone to come to repentance. “ A
Yet the really following poetry says, “ But the twenty-four hours of the Lord will come like a thief.A The celestial spheres will vanish with a boom ; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the Earth and everything in it will be laid bare. “ A God will revenge the blood of the righteous, and He will judge the wicked severely.A A A A A A A A A A
There is no event in Scripture which speaks more deeply of the inevitable class of God ‘s judgement than the narrative of Naboth that we have merely read.A The historical context is tardily in the reign of Ahab, King of Israel-about 850 old ages before Christ.A Ahab is married to Jezebel, a pitiless idol-worshiper who is clearly the power behind the throne.A The prophesier who is outstanding in this narrative is Elijah the Tishbite-the same prophesier who earlier defeated the 850 Prophetss of Baal and Asherah, but who so experienced a annihilating slide into fright and depression.A
Today ‘s narrative is a cardinal portion of the rejoinder trail for Elijah.
The first scene in our narrative has to make with a existent estate venture:
Ahab fails in his effort to get Naboth ‘s vinery.
Ahab had a summer castle in the town of Jezreel.A Samaria was the capitol of Israel, but Ahab preferred Jezreel because it was near the Mediterranean and had a nicer climate.A On a certain twenty-four hours Ahab was look up toing the alcoholic and beautiful evidences of his castle when his eyes lighted upon a neighboring vinery which belonged to Naboth.A And Ahab coveted this vinery for a vegetable garden.
It ‘s hard to read about Ahab ‘s covetousness without one ‘s head traveling back several centuries to the clip when another male monarch of Israel was walking on the roof of his castle in Jerusalem and his eyes lighted upon something that belonged to his neighbor, Uriah the Hittite, viz. Uriah ‘s married woman, Bathsheba.A He coveted, he stole, he murdered, and so he lied.A And the Word of the Lord came to him through the prophesier Nathan, stating, “ I anointed you king over Israel and I delivered you from the manus of Saul.A I gave your maestro ‘s house to you, and your maestro ‘s married womans into your arms.A I gave you the house of Israel and Judah.A And if all this had been excessively small, I would hold given you even more. ” David had so much, yet covetousness drove him to prehend that which was non his.
Ahab doubtless owned infinite estates of arable dirt, but covetousness drove him to seek one small piece of land more.A It reminds us of the celebrated baron who was asked, “ How much is adequate? “ A His reply: “ Merely a little more. “ A
We can state this much for Ahab, however.A He had no purpose of stealing Naboth ‘s vineyard.A He offered to pay a just monetary value or, if Naboth preferred, give him a better vinery in its place.A Looking at it from Naboth ‘s point of view, there was much to commend this deal.A He could demand a premium monetary value and likely acquire it.A Or he could have an even better vineyard.A And it was an chance to curry royal favor for himself and his household. Who would n’t take a trade like this? A From a strictly human point of view, there was everything to derive and about nil to lose.
But Naboth refused.A And he refused, non because of any ailment will toward the male monarch, nor to keep out for a better monetary value, but instead because of his fidelity to the Lord God and to his household.
You see, harmonizing to the Law of Moses, Palestine was God ‘s land and the Judaic people were His tenants.A When the Israelites foremost conquered the Promised Land, God divided the land among the 12 folks, and so farther subdivided it by kins and households so that every household in Israel had a secret plan of land they could name their own.A This was alone in the antediluvian Near East.A In most states the male monarchs and Lords owned the land and the common people worked it.A But in Israel everyone owned a piece of land.A Among the ordinances in the Law of Moses that were designed to forestall belongings from being concentrated in the custodies of a few rich and powerful people was one found in Leviticus 25:23: “ The land must non be sold for good, because the land is mine and you are but foreigners and my renters. “ A The land could be leased for a period, but it was non to be sold permanently.A If a household became impoverished and found it necessary to sell their land, its ownership automatically reverted to them in the twelvemonth of Jubilee, every 50th twelvemonth.
But Naboth was non impoverished, nor did he hold any ground to believe that wicked King Ahab would honor the Jubilee ordinance, and so because of his religion in God, because of his desire to be obedient to God ‘s bids, and in portion, excessively, because of the cherished memories of his household that were tied to that land, he turned down Ahab ‘s offer.A
In this I see a baronial illustration of a hubby and male parent who put the godly before the expedient, the ageless in front of the temporal.
Unfortunately, when 1 chooses to make the right thing, the consequences are non ever ideal from the human standpoint.A Sometimes calamity happens, but a godly individual chooses right anyhow and trusts that a autonomous God will besides make what is right.
What did Ahab make about Naboth ‘s refusal? A He pouted.A
Nor was this the first clip, for Ahab was a adult male controlled by his passions and emotions.A
There he is, the male monarch, whining like a whipped Canis familiaris sulking like a spoilt kid that has been denied one bangle in the thick of a 1000 toys.A There ‘s the commanding officer in head of an ground forces, made prisoner by Corporal Pity, made captive by Private Pout.A Look at this old giant wallow and spout because he ‘s denied minnow food.A Listen to this old bear growl because he ‘s denied a few beads of honey.A Listen to this old crow scream because he ‘s denied the crumbs from one loaf of bread.A Listen to this old king of beasts boom because he ‘s denied the cheese in a mousetrap.A Listen to this old bull holla for a spot of grass outside his ain huge grazing land.
Yes, and acquire the extra of that portrayal in 1000s of people in our universe today who have diamond and red ability who are deserving no more to Christ or to his church than a ?12 note ; people with pipe-organ abilities doing no more music for Christ than a paper and comb ; people with Formula auto engine power making bike work, with big-digger abilities making teaspoon work, with candent light power doing aflicker candle flame for the cause of Christ.
Well, Ahab has failed in his existent estate venture, but all hope is non lost so long as his married woman Jezebel is by his side.A In the 2nd scene we see that Jezebel succeeds where Ahab failed.
When she foremost appears here in chapter 21, it is with solicitous concern for her hubby Ahab.A But that concern shortly turns to sarcastic ridicule.
Jezebel really kindly inquires of her hubby as to why he is experiencing down and non eating.A But when she learns that it is because Naboth has refused to sell his vinery, she lashes out at him: A “ Are you king or are n’t you? A Do you have absolute authorization or do n’t you? A Are you traveling to let that worthless provincial to queer your desire? A Arise, eat and allow your bosom be joyful.A I will acquire you the vinery of Naboth the Jezreelite. ”
And this is no idle promise coming from the lips of Jezebel.A
Geting Naboth ‘s vinery would be a piece of bar for one as immorality and unprincipled as she, for one who has no respect for the God of Israel or for righteousness, for one whose greatest concern in life is the satisfaction of her ain lusts.A And so we come to Jezebel ‘s sinister secret plan against Naboth.
She writes letters on Ahab ‘s letter paper and uses his signet ring to seal them.A In those letters she orders the local governments in Jezreel to proclaim a fast, to put Naboth in the captive ‘s dock, and to engage two worthless work forces to perpetrate bearing false witness, impeaching him of high lese majesty against the male monarch and blasphemy against God.A Sadly the seniors of Jezreel do precisely as Jezebel tells them to.A They are so tyrannised by Jezebel and so afraid for their ain lives that they lack the enteric fortitude to stand up for the rights of this guiltless household.
One can non assist but sympathize with the anguished Black Marias of Naboth and his household as they face this sudden bend of events.A Surely Naboth protests his artlessness to this kangaroo court.A Surely his married woman and boies beg for clemency from the seniors of the city.A Surely his married woman screams out in anguish as her hubby is stoned to decease before her eyes and her boies are taken from her appreciation and murdered along with their male parent to do certain they are non able to action for return of the land at some clip in the hereafter.
And what is Ahab making while this flagitious title is being perpetrated and Naboth ‘s blood is oozing into the dirt? A
Equally shortly as Jezebel receives word of Naboth ‘s decease she goes to Ahab and says, A “ Arise, take ownership of the vinery of Naboth, which he refused to give you for money.A I have obtained it for nothing.A Naboth is non alive, but dead. “ A And Ahab does n’t oppugn the leery fortunes of Naboth ‘s decease, he does n’t call on the carpet Jezebel for her homicidal secret plan, he does n’t let his scruples to interfere with his covetousness.A After all, he did n’t kill Naboth.A In fact, he does n’t even cognize how Naboth died, nor does he desire to know.A All he cares approximately is that he has his vinery.
I think there is besides something we can larn from Ahab, merely it is something to avoid, non imitate.A
Ahab refused to take appropriate leading over either his place or his nation.A His passiveness in the face of Jezebel ‘s flagitious wickedness was itself iniquitous, for he used her wicked purposes as a convenient cloak to fulfill his ain lusts.A Rather than supplying true leading through fidelity and selflessness, Ahab was eager to function himself at the disbursal of others.A May God assist the work forces in our church to be faithful and reverent male parents, hubbies, and leaders.
But does n’t the moral indignation we feel at the actions of Jezebel and Ahab and the profound compassion we feel for Naboth ‘s household cause us to inquire, “ Where is God while all this is go oning? “ A
Is He blind that He can non see? A Is He deaf that He can non hear? A Is He dumb that He can non talk? A Is He paralysed that He can non travel? A Where is God? A
We might inquire the same inquiry today in respect to the evil being perpetrated by a Dictator. . . we see the scenes of hungering and aching female parents and kids. Few work forces. . . they ‘ve been killed. . . the adult female have been raped.
Will God allow Ahab and Jezebel, or these other ugly characters escape scot-free after their atrocious workss? A We shall happen the reply as we come to the 3rd scene in our narrative.
As He normally does, God chooses a particular instrument to present His promise of judgment.A That instrument is Elijah, God ‘s prophesier, late recovered from clinical depression and ready to be used once more by Godhead God.A
Poetries 17-29 tell the narrative.
God tells Elijah to travel and face Ahab.
Let us non overlook the fact that we have about no information about Elijah for the 6-10 old ages since his clang in the Sinai desert.A The yearss passed into months and the months into old ages, but eventually the Word of the Lord comes to Elijah once more, stating him to present judgement on the house of Ahab.A How does Elijah respond this clip? A Does his fright of Jezebel one time once more drive him into the desert? A No, there is no cowardliness now, no hesitation, no doubt.A His old heroic religion is revived and he instantly proceeds to the vinery of Naboth and delaies at that place for a authoritative confrontation.
My imaginativeness Tells me that Ahab enters the vinery and begins to walk down the rows, be aftering how he will deracinate the vines and replace them with herbs and vegetables.A As he approaches the terminal of the secret plan of land and turns to travel down the last row, a shadow falls in forepart of him and he shudders as he sees the signifier of Elijah the Tishbite.A He assumed the prophesier had died old ages before in the desert.A He hoped against hope that he would ne’er once more have to stand before him.A But here he is. . . there is no misidentifying this haired animal with the leather belt about his waist.A It is Elijah, God ‘s prophesier, in whose topographic point Ahab would instead hold seen a whole ground forces processing against him.
And Ahab cries out to the prophesier, “ So you have found me, my enemy! “ A Did he truly believe he could conceal from Godhead God? A
The Psalmist describes as saps those who think the Lord does non see or hear.
The author of Hebrews says, “ Nothing in all creative activity is hidden from God ‘s sight.A Everything is exposed and set bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give history. “ A
And it ‘s no job for God to uncover what His eyes see to His prophesier.
I think it is dry and tragic how people so frequently see their true friends as their enemies and their existent enemies as their friends.A
Adolescents frequently get angry at their parents and chafe under the regulations of the house, though the parents would give their very lives for their children.A Yet those same adolescents will believe about anything their equals say, even though those equals may hold no attention or concern for their ageless welfare.A
Church Members at times resist the exhortations of their curates and Elders, who are committed to their religious public assistance, and yet will believe anything a Television revivalist tells them, though that revivalist would n’t hold five proceedingss to give them ( unless, of class, they were able to give him a batch of money ) .
Elijah is n’t Ahab ‘s enemy.A Ahab is Ahab ‘s enemy.A And Jezebel is his enemy.A And the false Prophetss of Baal are his enemy.A And covetousness is his enemy.A Oh, that we might hold godly understanding to cognize who are existent enemies are-those who will take us off from God and off from righteousness and off from ageless life.
Elijah responds to Ahab, “ Yes, I have found you, because you have sold yourself to make evil in the eyes of the Lord. “ A Ahab non merely did evil ; he had sold out to evil.A He was a entire captive of his ain lecherousness and covetousness.A
Elijah delivers a message from God that catastrophe will come upon Ahab, Jezebel, and their descendants.A He tells them they will go dog food.A Dogs will cream up Ahab ‘s blood ; Canis familiariss will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel, and Canis familiariss will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the metropolis, while birds of the air will feed on those who die in the state.
The confrontation between Elijah and Ahab is over.A Elijah walks past the amazed male monarch, past his escorts, out into the streets of Jezreel and disappears.A Equally far as we know he ne’er sees Ahab again.A
Our chapter ends with an highly brief life of Ahab-one of the most tragic epitaphs of all time written for a human being.
Listen to versify 25 one time once more: “ There was ne’er a adult male like Ahab, who sold himself to make evil in the eyes of the LORD, urged on by Jezebel his married woman. “ A
I wonder if this statement is n’t placed right here to learn us a profound and critical lesson-namely that no 1, non even the most wicked individual on Earth, is beyond the range of God ‘s grace if he will merely atone of his sins.A For in the following poetry we read that Ahab seemingly does repent.
When Ahab hears Elijah ‘s words he tears his apparels, puts on sackcloth, and begins to fast.A I name this an evident penitence because it is non at all clear how echt or how lasting it is.A In many ways it appears more like compunction, sorrow at acquiring caught, and repent for the effects of his actions.A But it is this ambiguity sing Ahab ‘s motivations that makes God ‘s grace appear all the more incredible.A For the Lord responds favorably to even this intimation of penitence on the portion of Ahab.A It ‘s as though God is so dying to excuse evildoers that He will react to the faintest mark of religious involvement.
Do n’t misconstrue me.A I ‘m non proposing that if you will merely forge a transition you can gull God.A What I am seeking to pass on is that God is non an unwilling tyrant who withholds His redemption approvals from all but the most pious and most persistent.A You do n’t hold to crush down His door in order to acquire His attention.A If you will but tend your ear to Him, He will react and give you farther chance to show the world of your religion.
Unfortunately, Ahab does n’t show much world to his penitence and finally the reservoir of God ‘s forbearance runs dry.A And that brings us to the concluding scene in our narrative.
Chapter 22 clears with the notice that three old ages have passed since Naboth and his boies were murdered.A
Ahab is still King of Israel.A Jezebel is still queen.A And Naboth ‘s married woman, if alive, still suffers from that atrocious vacuity in her heart.A
Jezebel likely served Ahab veggies from Naboth ‘s vinery, reminding him of that foolish prophesier who old ages before had predicted God ‘s judgment.A “ Ha, Ahab, I guess the Canis familiariss lost the trail. “ A But Ahab likely ne’er heard a Canis familiaris bark that he did n’t leap.
“ It came to go through one twenty-four hours that Ahab solicited the aid of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, to travel into conflict with him against the King of Aram or Syria.A
The narrative of that conflict is found in chapter 22, and, Lord willing, we will talk from that transition and the singular prophesier, Micaiah, in our following programme.A
I merely pull your attending to the fact that Ahab disguised himself, harmonizing to poetry 30, because he knew that the Syrians were gunning for him in particular.A But he learned that while one can mask himself from work forces, one can non mask himself from God.A
Listen to versify 34-38: “ But person drew his bow at random ( I think God would set quotation marks around that word random, for there is nil genuinely random in God ‘s program ) and hit the male monarch of Israel between the subdivisions of his armor. . . .A The blood from his lesion ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that flushing he died. . . and was brought to Samaria, and they buried him there.A They washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria ( where the cocottes bathed ) , and the Canis familiariss licked up his blood, as the word of the LORD had declared. ”
And what about Jezebel?
Some twelve old ages passed following Ahab ‘s death.A Jezebel is still the Queen female parent, still flashing herself against God, still oppressing God ‘s people.A Even Elijah has passed off the scene.A Have the Canis familiariss eventually lost the trail? A
We have to turn over to 2 Kings, chapter 9 to happen out.A
Again we do non hold clip to portion the full story-just to observe that Jehu has been in secret anointed King of Israel and has been commanded by God to extinguish the house of Ahab.A
He went after Jezebel. She is thrown from the Palace window. “ Jehu went in and ate and drank.A “ Take attention of that curst adult female, ” he said, “ and bury her, for she was a male monarch ‘s girl. “ A But when they went out to bury her, they found nil except her skull, her pess and her hands.A They went back and told Jehu, who said, “ This is the word of the Lord that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the secret plan of land at Jezreel Canis familiariss will devour Jezebel ‘s flesh. ” These were tough times.
As a response to this tragic narrative I would wish to propose four rules.
“ Pay-day some-day ” is written into the fundamental law of God ‘s universe.A In other words, wickedness ever has its consequences.A The Scriptures teach us clearly that “ the 1 who sows to delight his iniquitous nature, from that nature will harvest devastation. “ A It besides warns, “ Do non be deceived.A God can non be mocked.A A individual reaps what he sows. “ A In a 1000 ways the Scripture tells us that “ Pay-day some-day ” is written into the fundamental law of God ‘s existence.
And Number 2.A
The Satan ever pays in forgery money.A The Devil does n’t allure us with things that are evidently evil so much as he tempts us with things which are good in their topographic point, proper at the right clip, honorable with the right person.A He does his degree best to acquire us to writhe God ‘s Word, to oppugn God ‘s goodness, and to rationalize our disobedience.A
The Satan ‘s pearls are paste pearls, his diamonds are fictile diamonds, and his nectar is pig nutrient. And if you eat his maize he ‘ll choke you on the cobs.A He will.A He will.A The Devil ever pays in forgery money.
And Number 3.A
It is a terrorizing thing to fall into the custodies of an angry God.A
That is the testimony of the Word of God as found in the tenth chapter of Hebrews.A It ‘s the fate of all those who sin willfully in the face of God ‘s revealed will.A
The Apostle John wrote, “ He who does non obey the Son of God shall non see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. “ A That is, or should be, a terrorizing prospect.A There will be no statements at that Great White Throne Judgment, no alibis will be accepted, no rationalisations allowed. But. . .
Number 4.A “ He who believes in Him is non judged. ” A He who believes in the Son of God has ageless life.A If you will but acknowledge your wickedness before God, acknowledge that Jesus Christ died on Calvary ‘s cross in your topographic point, and receive Him as your personal Saviour, you will ne’er confront ageless judgement but instead spend infinity with God in Eden.
Let us assist you. We will direct you literature which has helped many other people get right with God. . . it can make the same for you.