Applications from 1 Kings
Last time we looked at Naboth and Ahab, this time we will continue this story with a look at Jezebel. In Naboth we saw an example of living by conviction. In Ahab we observe just the opposite, he is a complainer, pouter, liar, manipulative, and greedy.
What does Jezebel do? Jezebel scorns Ahab for being “heavy & displeased”. She tells him to get up and get happy…she will take care of things. So she devises a plot to have Naboth killed so that Ahab can have the vineyard he covets so much.
To grasp the depravity of Jezebel’s actions, we can also look at those around her… Never would we directly say that anyone in her life is the reason she is so wicked. She is just utterly depraved and these people aren’t going to change her. Similarly, you and I are in a world full of wicked people. We cannot change them. While God can, we need to realize that many will never change.
So what are we to do?
What is the only way for evil to triumph? (Good people do nothing…)
Let’s take our application from these verses about Jezebel by looking at those around her and what they did (didn’t do).
Jezebel’s first words to Ahab were somewhat helpful. You are king! Get up and be happy. If things would have only stopped there, but from there things go down hill.
She writes letters in Ahab’s name. Ahab should not have allowed this. Well, he shouldn’t have allowed the plot at all…but surely he shouldn’t have allowed her to do it in his name. He shouldn’t have allowed it to happen through the office of the King of Israel. Even if Ahab will not stop Jezebel for the sake of himself and his home, he could at least deal with her for the sake of his office, God, or the nation of Israel. We’ll look at the leaders of the city in a moment, but in their defense these letters do come to them with the seal of the king. God help us to not sit idly by while bad people misuse God-given places of authority. Ahab was more concerned with what he wanted and could not have. Really, who is more depraved here? Jezebel, a raised Baal worshipper, or Ahab, King of Israel allowing this to happen?
She devises a plot to have a man wrongfully stoned. No matter your feelings on the ethics of this story, having someone killed is murder. How could Ahab sit by while someone is murdered just so he can have a material possession? (Nothing is worth that) Not only is this murder, but it is also a misuse of OT law. She uses God’s words & law as the means to her end. Can you grasp how awful the thing Ahab is allowing truly is? It’s not just a “let’s kill this guy to get what you want”, this is a “let’s use your God-given office as the power needed to cause others to act upon the Word of God to have them murder Naboth” to get what you want.
No matter how bad you get in this life, eventually there has to be a line drawn where you stand and say, “this is enough.”
Pastor Chanc Strickland
Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN
This blog post was adapted from a sermon preached at Harpeth Baptist Church in the summer of 2012.