Day 71 of 240 Days Bible Reading Group 3947 Chapter 20 to 22
Stand for the Truth
1 Kings 21: 3 And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.
Naboth's vineyard is sharing its boundary with king Ahab's palace.
Ahab asked him to either sell it or exchange it for a better vineyard.
The options were quite reasonable, besides it's a king's request. He didn't care.
Naboth must be aware of life threat through the dangerous and wicked woman Jezebel - Ahab's wife, despite that he didn't compromise for his inheritance he denied the choice. He said "I cannot give my father's inheritance unto you".
Finally he has to pay his life for the inheritance. He was conspired by the wicked Jezebel to be stoned to death.
Doesn't it sound stupidity!
At least at the last moment he should have accepted the request to escape the horrible death!
Yes! To the world it is foolishness:
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.(1Cor1:18)
Inheritance means truth/ salvation/ kingdom of God
Buy the truth, and sell it not (Pro23:23)
How conscious are we about our salvation!
Satan can give better worldly choices:
Why go to church every Sunday?
Relax and rest well, its good for your health.
Why wake up so early to pray?
Sleep well otherwise you'll become weak
How can you read the Bible today?
You are piled up with a tight schedule! You need to rush!
How many times did we sell the truth!
Dear child of God let's not neglect this great salvation for the fleeting and deceitful monetary things.
Let's live, stand and fight for the truth.
FRIEND OR FOE [1 KGS 20-22]
Ahab said to Elijah, "Have you found me, O my enemy?" 1K21:20
◼ Sad isn’t it, that Ahab considered Elijah to be his enemy and Jezebel to be his friend?
🔸Elijah desired that Ahab should walk in God’s ways & thus find life & peace. Elijah always had the courage to speak the truth, and correct Ahab though he knew it could cost him his life. [1 K 21:24]
🔸Jesus pointed out that love makes us willing to lay down our life for another. [Rf Jn 15:33]
🔸 A TRUE friend gives godly counsel even though giving such counsel may lead to rejection.
🔸 Jezebel sought to pander to Ahab’s whims. As a result, Ahab loved her. He could not see that her counsel was leading him on the path of destruction to hell.
◼ Amnon, Rehoboam, Absalom too listened to the wrong counsel, and look what happened to them.
◼ A FALSE friend has a worldly focus & encourages pride, arrogance, defiant use of muscle to get one’s own way.
🔸 Ahab allowed himself to be flattered into letting Ben-Hadad go. It was an act of mercy, but as Paul wrote: ➡ Be very wise at what is good, be innocent of evil. [Rom 16:19]
It is so important to seek God’s heart even for the seemingly unimportant things.
‼ Ahab told Ben-Hadad, "As you say, my lord, O king, I am yours, and all that I have." [1Ki 20:3-4]
🔸What if Ahab had made this statement to God instead of Ben-Hadad❓❓
As we come to the end of 2019 and look back… maybe there were compromises & wrong friendships we made… Maybe there are decisions we need to make in the coming year… maybe we have been depending thus far on our own wisdom…
This is the perfect time to submit to God in true repentance and absolute surrender saying... my Lord God, O King, I am yours, and all that I have...
Abba Father, cleanse my heart of all unbelief, stubbornness & pride.
You see the end from the beginning. You know where I am, and You know where I should be. You know when I deviate from the path that would take me to where You want me to be in my walk with You. Grant me wisdom & courage to make U-turns and return back to You with a whole-heart.
Where I need to let go of wrong relationships & compromises, help me to trust in Your love and open my hands & heart & let go.
And as I let go, Father God fill my heart with Your Holy Spirit & love and make me strong to keep moving forward with You without looking back in regret. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Our merciful and powerful God
Ahab was an evil king. His father, Omri, came to power in a violent coup and founded the city of Samaria, which soon became the name of the ten tribes of Israel taken away by God from the Davidic dynasty. His family was thus known for driving a definitive wedge between Judah and Israel as the latter, now Samaria, lost its name link to God's people (1 kings 16:21-24).
Ahab also has the dubious honour of implementing Baal worship in a systematic way by building a temple, an altar and a wooden statue dedicated to this purpose (1 Kgs 16:32-33). His wife, known for her evil manipulations, is mentioned in Revelation 2:20 as a symbol of false religions.
So why did God send prophets to help this evil king in his fight against the king of Syria? (1 kings 20)
In this chapter, we see the cruelty of the despotic King Ben-Hadad (vs 3 & 6). The first reason is clear; Yahweh is merciful and always fights for His people against despots and tyrants even when we do not deserve it. The battle was definitely won by God and not Baal because the battle took place exactly like a prophet said it would (vs 13).
The battle entered phase 2 to reveal the second reason in vs 23; the Syrians had the audacity to think that Yahweh was a petty god, a God of the Hills and decided to make war in the valleys! They insulted God and belittled Him.
The army of Ahab was like two little flocks of goats compared to the Syrian array which filled the countryside (vs 27). When God is fighting, He doesn't need man's help. He wins the manner on His own.
The result? The Syrians were trounced. All Ahab had to do was to kill Ben-Hadad, but in his political wisdom, he formed a treaty with him and let him free (vs 34). As a result, God told him that he would die at the Syrian's hands. God expects total obedience at all times; we cannot hide behind political goodwill or social etiquette when faced with His direct commands.
If God helped Ahab, how much more will He help His sheep, redeemed by Jesus? Let's not question in our vanity: why did God allow this to happen? what did I do to deserve this? OR limit Him to the hills. He sees everything, knows everything and knows when to act. The only thing He asks in return is total obedience.
🙇♂ God's Expectatìons - Implicit Obedience 🙇♀
Benhadad attacks Samari
Benhadad the Aramean king attacked Ahab king of Israel. He demanded all that belonged to king Ahab and and all his officials and completely destroyed Samaria.
Though Benhadad had not sought God's help the Lord graciously chose to reveal Himself another time through a deliverance. Though Israel did not have a large army, the victory was from the Lord. But Benhadad escaped.
💠 Ahab's Second Victory 💠
The Arameans said that Israel's God is the God of the hills. They were confident of a victory on the plains. Israel's army was like a small flock of goats while the Aramean's army covered the country side. God demonstrated that He is the Sovereign Ruler over all nature and gave the Israelites a great victory.
God was determined that Ahab should die, but Ahab made a treaty with him and set him free. Ahab sinned in his official capacity as king. The sentence fell not only on Ahab but also on the people on the northern kingdom.
🍇 Ahab's Greed 🍇
Close to his palace Naboth had a vineyard. Ahab coveted his vineyard but Naboth did not give him his vineyard. So his wicked wife Jezebel by wicked means saw that Naboth was killed and got the vineyard for Ahab. The Lord pronounced severe punishment for Ahab and his wife. Ahab humbled himself before God, so the Lord decided the disaster to fall on his son.
Death of Ahab
The prophet Micaiah advised Ahab not to fight against the king of Aram, he listened to the lying prophets. Thus he disobeyed God and in that war he was killed.
📋 A Lesson to Learn 📋
Time and again the kings of Israel disobeyed God and met with destruction. As Christian believers we should implicitly obey God's instructions and not deviate. Disobedience will only make us face the consequences. Let us beware!
Mrs Caroline Chellappa
🍇 Simple thoughts for
💫 deeper meditation
1 Kings: 21: 16 "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."
⚡ King Ahab coveted a poor man's property. What is coveting? Let me try to explain it as simple as possible. I like a pen- it is not a sin- it is your opinion. I want a pen like that- it is not a sin- it is your wish I want to buy a pen like that-It also is not sin-it is your
desire. I want your pen-here starts the problem I am taking your pen-taking what belongs to another without their consent is a
⚡ Ahab, the king of Samaria coveted for the vineyard of Naboth, who was not willing to give away that because it was his inherited property. Ahab's wife Jezebel plotted to kill him to grab his property. And as cited in the verses under reference, after the death of Naboth, Ahab rose up and went to the vineyard to take possession of it. We read the end of Ahab in Chapter 22 of 1Kings and that of Jezebel and the whole family of Ahab in 2 Kings chapter 9 onwards.
🎯 Looking at something which belongs to someone, admiring it, desiring, yearning, thirsting and aspiring to possess it and
essentially taking it is covetousness, which is a destructive sin. The 10th commandment says, "Do not covet" Apostle James
states," Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin, when it is finished, it brings forth death" (James: 1:15). It may lead to Jealousy, hatred, enmity, adultery and murder too.
⚡ I rememer a story which I had read some years ago. A ship wrecked with hundreds of passengers at an uninhabited Island. No way to escape. The people tilled the rich soil in the good climate and sowed seeds that yielded good crop. For water they began to dig wells. While digging, they discovered gold mines below, and dug for months to accumulate heaps of gold. They forgot sowinng.
Their minds were fully concentrated on digging for gold and gold. Gold increased, but food decreased. So they sowed the seeds late, and the seeds decomposed. They began to starve. People began to die in want of food, amidst their enormous
⚡ We too, like the shipwrecked sailors toil for world's " goldmines" attracted by it, and neglect the living seed, the word of
God. The Lord has taught us, "where our treasure is, there our heart will be also"
Dear friends, Have you ever coveted for anything?
Ahab's story reveals, it is a destructive sin.
Dr. Thomas David.🎯
1 Kings 22 : 18 The king of Israel (Ahab) said to Jehoshaphat, " Didn't I tell you that he ( Micaiah) never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?"
King Ahab expected Micaiah to prophesy that which he wanted to hear in the context of his war against the King of Aram.This attitude of Ahab is clearly explained as one with itching ears in 2 Tim. 4:3 - For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
This disease, if I may call so, was seen in Ahab who gathered around him a great number of prophets(Parrots) to hear what his itching ears wanted to hear.
Itching ears is an attitudinal disease which makes people detest correction or reproof from well meaning people and want to hear only soothing and favourable words about them. Such people surround themselves with sycophants who only sing their praises and say what they want to hear.
In the case of King David we see a different attitude when his mistake was pointed out by Prophet Nathan he listened to the truth about what he did and humbled himself before God.He was very different from Ahab.
Let us do a Self check?
Many of us who are are addicted to Prosperity gospel and who want only messsges of blessings overdose without sharing with others and those who thrive on flattery and those who want only yesmen around them all suffer from itching ears.Such attitude will only leave us finally with scratching our ears at the minimum.
How do we avoid itching ears?
In 1 Kings 3:9 King Solomon asks for a discerning hearts to distinguish between right and wrong which I feel is the cure for itching ears.
Let us ask our Lord today for discerning hearts to cure our itching ears and be open for correction from others and not bask in flattery
🌸🌸 JM 🌸 🌸 JM 🌸 🌸
1 Kings 21:28-29:- “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day.”
Ahab, King of Israel, was the worst king in the history of the nation of Israel.
He “did more evil in the eyes of the Lord” than any king who had served before him.
But in verse 29, God declared that He would not bring “disaster” on Ahab.
❓. ….. Why?
Because he “humbled himself.”
📍 God honored Ahab’s initiative.
‼We might think that “It’s not fair, he doesn’t deserve it.”..
🔥But it was the MERCY means….
That’s why we call it MERCY.
God grants him mercy.
👉There is no question that Ahab deserved God’s judgment for the evil he had done.
🔥 But even this evil king could repent and change.
This demonstrates the importance of humility to God.
As James wrote, God “opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
📍Humility and repentance are two of the most important characteristics for a fruitful spiritual life.
❓❓But what does it mean to be humble?
📍To be humble is to realize 👉how weak we are,
👉…………. how helpless we are to change the course of our lives in our own power.
👉It's an ongoing process..
Even if we’ve already confessed our weaknesses and asked Christ to receive us, doing it is not a one-time thing.
It should be a part of our daily prayer life.
Be honest with God.
In a Nutshell
🍇 A Simple Vineyard 🍇
A simple vineyard belonged to a simple man called Naboth. He was a harmless person who was murdered for refusing to part with his vineyard. An innocent man’s blood was shed for a vineyard.
🍇 There was no one to confront the wicked, powerful, influential king Ahab and queen Jezebel. It appeared to be the end until God’s judgment came through prophet Elijah. God asked Ahab: Have you murdered and also taken possession? (1 Kings 21:19).
Do we have any unlawful possessions? Do we have anything that has been taken treacherously from someone? Has anything that should rightfully go to another person been given to us by crooked means?
🍇 Our GOD is a JUST GOD. He is the GOD of the fatherless, motherless, meek, unfortunate and the lonely. It is easy to deny such powerless ones their rightful inheritance. They may not have anyone to speak on their behalf. But there is a GOD who watches over the injustice.
What had been grabbed from them will be soon grabbed away. After cheating we will be cheated. Because a person reaps what he sow. God hears the sighs, sees the helpless tears and the cry that comes to Him from a desperate, deprived one. He is a JUST GOD.
🍇 The Bible says that a good wife is from the Lord. Perhaps a bad wife comes from the devil then. Behind every successful man is a woman. Likewise, behind every wicked man is an evil woman.
Ahab and Jezebel were an abominable couple. Ahab did what his wife wanted him to do. In short, he danced to her tunes. The Bible says:
📖 But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up (1 Kings 21:25).
What a bad portrayal is this about Ahab the king! Ahab never thought on his own; he was a puppet in his wife’s hands. He failed to take responsibility for his actions. Just listened and carried out what his wife said. There are husbands who like Ahab carry out evil plots under the guidance of their wife.
🍇 Jezebel had weird ideas and used her husband’s position and power to carry them out. But it affected and destroyed innocent Naboth. There are some wives who force their husband to do things that are ultimately detrimental.
Both Ahab and Jezebel had no FEAR OF GOD. If they had feared God, they would have Hated and Hesitated to do evil. The Bible does not say what happened to Naboth’s family after he was murdered. But God would have compensated his family in some way.
🍇 Perhaps any of us reading this may be a victim of injustice. Don’t get discouraged. Our God is a JUST GOD who recompenses and compensates. He who took the case of Naboth in His hands will also fight for us. He cares for the fatherless, widows, meek and orphans. Trust Him and keep going.
God bless us to be channels of blessings.
Mrs Sheela Jebakumar ✍
Everyday Bible Devotion
📖 1Kings 21 NABOTH - A GOOD STEWARD OF INHERITANCE
1Corinthians 4:2 says ".. it is required of steward that they be found faithful ". Naboth takes seriously his responsibility to steward his father's inheritance. His refusal to sell the family vineyard to King Ahab is probably based on the prohibition against such sales in Leviticus 25:23-28. God had made it clear that "the land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine" ( v 23 ). Naboth's refusal to sell his land was not greed or stinginess ; rather, he was holding on to the inheritance passed down from his fathers, given to them by the Lord's command. Since Ahab sold himself to do evil ( v 25 ) , and under his wife's direction Naboth was stoned to death ( v 11-14 ).
🎈Naboth represents what Israel's kings should have been doing-- acting as wise and faithful trustees of the godly inheritance David has established in Israel. Instead, Israel's kings have become ineffectual and wicked, chasing after material resources and indulging in idolatry.
🎈 Christians today have an inheritance to which we must hold rightly by refusing to deny our Lord and by putting off all distractions as we press on for the inheritance of the world ( Rom 4:13) .
✅ There will be Ahabs in our lives who offer " a better vineyard " that appears to be " a better inheritance ". We needs Naboths , who under the threat of death and the theft of earthly blessings , would not trade our permanent inheritance. Instead we must stand firm to guard our inheritance as a faithful steward.
✅ Let us ponder :
Is any part of our inheritance under threat today?
Lord , give us the courage of Naboth to stand up for what is right
Glory to God 🙏
Mark Boje, ArP🌄
As we study these chapters in the book of kings, we find a similar trend being repeated with the kings of Israel. Each successive king was worse than the one that went before them, 1 Kings 16:7,18,19,30. However, it was only during Ahab's reign that God brought the prophet Elijah on the scene. This was perhaps because, Ahab not only followed in the sinful footsteps of Jeroboam, but also married Jezebel the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians. Then he worshiped and bowed to Baal. He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal he had built in Samaria and also made an Asherah pole; doing more to anger the LORD God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him!
Not much is know about Elijah's background, except that he was from Tishbe and referred to himself as one who stood before the Living God of Israel, 1Kings 17:1, 1 Kings 18:15. So it seems that only such a person would qualify to tackle the 450 prophets of Baal, and the 400 prophets of Asherah, 1 Kings 18:19. Besides this he was a man whose prayer could shut the heavens such that there was no rain till he said it would rain! As a result, he was able to tell Ahab to his face that it was because he and his father's dynasty had disobeyed God and followed the Baals that the land was plagued with drought, 1 Kings 18:18. He also told Ahab to assemble all of Israel, as well as, the 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah whom Jezebel supported, vs 19,20, which was actually a tall demand! However, Ahab actually did so, because he wanted a solution to the severe drought that plagued the land!
As Elijah built the Lord's altar according to God's instructions, 1 Kings 18:36, his prayer brought down fire from heaven thus proving to the people that Jehovah is indeed the true God, vs 39. This miracle led the people to be convinced that the prophets of Baal were false and they willingly siezed them at Elijah's command and Elijah led them down to the valley where he executed them, vs 40. It was only after that did Elijah tell Ahab to eat and drink in celebration of the forthcoming showers of rain! So, while Ahab goes to eat and drink, Elijah goes to pray that God would send the rain, vs 42. While we often focus on the miracle of God answering his prayer by sending fire from heaven to consume the offering, and God subsequently sending rain after Elijah prayed persistently, we must not fail to notice that these miracles would have never taken place had Elijah not built the altar as per God's direction, as well as, had he not killed all the prophets of Baal and Asherah!
John the Baptist too was a type of Elijah, Matthew 11:14, whom God sent to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. He too was a fiery man who could stand up to Herod, and the Scribes and Pharisees and rebuke them to their faces because of the sin and hypocrisy in their lives! It is about these last days that Malachi prophesied that God would send Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord arrives, who shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, so that the earth will not be stricken by a curse, Malachi 4:5,6. Since we are in the Church age, Elijah will not just be one person, but rather that part of Christ's body who primarily ministers unto the Lord, and only doing what He directs them too! And because we will move in the authority, leading and power of the Holy Spirit, walking in the fear of the Lord ourselves, we will not fail as Elijah did because he didn't have the Holy Spirit dwelling within him.
Thus, as we walk in humility and uprightness before the Lord, we will stand fearlessly before kings and commoner alike and shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare His way, to give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, Luke 1:76-77. And just as God backed Elijah with supernatural abilities to perform might miracles, He will back us too in ways that we can't even imagine! Let us rise up in faith to take on the challenges that lay before us without shame or fear, knowing that we have been born for such a time as this!