Synopsis 1Kings 21:11-20 7/3/2019
Because Naboth refused to sell his vineyard, Jezebel directed the elders of Jezreel to frame him. So, the elders made an assembly and falsely accused him. And for his supposed crimes, he was stoned to death.
After she had received word of Naboth’s death, Jezebel encouraged Ahab to take possession of the vineyard. And so, he did.
But Elijah received a word from God concerning Jezebel’s grave sin. So, he met Ahab while he was in the vineyard. And they spoke together. Elijah exposed Ahab’s sin, letting him know that Jezebel’s conspiracy was no longer secret. And, he conveyed God’s great displeasure. Accordingly, he prophesied doom over Ahab’s house.
Elijah came into vineyard. There he found Ahab enjoying his newly acquired possession. And then Elijah declared Ahab’s sin.
Until that moment, the whole episode had been in the dark. The conspiracy to kill and dispossess Naboth was a dark agreement between men and women who thought their secret was safe. They believed they could hide their evil deeds and still enjoy the fruits of their misguided efforts.
And so, Ahab responded to Elijah, “Have you found me out?” Not surprisingly, he considered Elijah his enemy. He considered the light of truth to be an adversary.
Walking in the light of the sun is a special joy. Similarly, following in the way of Christ is a lighthearted burden – a delight. And so, I generally find that reading God’s Word is pure blessing. It is an invitation and opportunity to participate in the very mind of Christ.
One of the things that I have noticed about the Word is its power to make the circumstances of life clearer. Of course, part of that clarity is experienced in its capacity to convict and correct.
So, something remarkable happens when I sin. I find that in my own dark moments of selfishness, I avoid the Word. And, I don’t want clarity. In fact, I actually prefer things to be an indistinct muddle. And in those moments, I want nothing to challenge the excuses I have used to justify my Ahab-like behavior. I want only distance. I want to hide in the cool of the day. Afraid.
It’s only God’s mercy that ever saves me from this collapse into darkness. It’s only the unrequested prophet-voice that intrudes into my life that brings me the hope of mercy and the grace for repentance.
“For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed.” John 3:20