Going… Going… SOLD!
Going… Going… SOLD!
1 Kings 21:25 says, “Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him.”
The Bible records a number of events in which King Ahab deliberately chose to do what was wrong. What is recorded in 1 Kings chapter 21, though, brought down a special judgment from God.
The situation? Ahab really wanted his neighbor’s vineyard because it was close by and would make a good vegetable garden. Ahab even tried to make a really “sweet” deal by offering the neighbor a better vineyard in its place — or money, if that was more suitable. Now what’s wrong with that?
Plenty. In those days, each family in Israel was given a plot of land, chosen by lot, determined by the LORD. God set down a number of laws for the inheritance of this gift from the LORD. Instructions were given that each plot of land was to stay in the family it was allotted to. It was not to be sold unless there were no children to inherit the land. Even then, only the closest relatives had a first chance to buy the land.
When Ahab’s neighbor would not sell his land, he was honoring his inheritance from the LORD.
1 Kings 21:3 tells us that when Ahab was refused the land, he “came into his house sullen and vexed.” Ahab GAVE full rein for his desire to eat on him. He DWELT on his desire and LET it possess all his thoughts. When doing so, anyone can convince themselves that they are right and justified in doing whatever is necessary to satisfy their desire.
Ahab’s covetousness made him totally disregard God’s word. 1 Kings 21 shows how Ahab’s wife Jezebel influenced him. She was not one to waste time sulking. She preferred making immediate plans for murder and a forced take-over.
We all have desires that are easy to justify. We all have influences to lead us into wrong-doing of some sort. None of us needs to follow those influences — no matter what the situation might be or how intense our desire. We might not be wanting our neighbor’s land and planning a murder, but there are lots of other things that strike our fancy and we convince ourselves that the end justifies our means of satisfying our purported “need”.
Every temptation needs to be viewed in light of the true facts. The facts are: God truly does love and care for us; God’s love is proven in Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection; and God has met our needs in the past.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says,
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide a way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.”
So, when we fall into temptations, it’s not because God is not providing a way out for us. We fall because we sell ourselves to do what is evil — just like Ahab. We don’t need to be “little Ahabs”, sullen and vexed over souped-up desires. Ahab’s judgment from God? He had a terrible death and every male descendant was cut off.
God’s love and care is constant. But our faithfulness, trust, and love for God have much growing to do. While on this earth we will always have to guard against becoming “little Ahabs”.
In temptations we must remember that God’s word is eternal. So, Matthew 10:29-31 will always hold true,
“Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not fear, you are of more value than many sparrows.”
We can entrust all our needs and desires to our Lord while joyfully resonating:
I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free.
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He cares for me!
What a difference love and trust make! We go from vexations to songs. Choose this day which way is best.