Applications from 1 Kings
If you read the last post, Jezebel, please skip ahead to the application.
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).
In their defense, these leaders were simply working at the pleasure of their King.
Were they that naive? Really?
Were they that devoted to God that they would jump right at the opportunity to stone an accused man? Come on! Baal worship was rampant here. They could have walked out in the street and found 3 guilty people, and they are going to stone this accused. The only person killing off those guilty of anything was Elijah.
These leaders either feared Jezebel or were operating with blind obedience. Neither is a good way to live life. You cannot live a life motivated by fear. Many do as they are told at work for fear of being fired. This is a poor way to spend your working years. This is a disservice to your employer. Get out of debt, set a budget, and be financially able to not be motivated by fear in your work place.
Many act/react socially for fear of being disliked. You know the best solution for this? Stop sharing so much of your business. Some things just need to stay private. Become aware that not everyone is going to like you.
Many have a relationship of fear with God. We are to have a healthy fear of God, but when we only serve Him for fear of what He could do to us or those around us we don’t really have a relationship. You cannot live a life motivated by fear.
You cannot live a life of blind obedience. Yes, we are to obey those who have the rule over us. Yes, we are not to rebuke an Elder in the church. Yes, we are to work as asked by those who employ us. This doesn’t mean we aren’t to determine for ourselves if our employer is “right” and determine if we need a new job. This also doesn’t mean we should never question government and laws. Definitely this doesn’t mean we don’t study the Scriptures ourselves and just take what our church gives us as right. Don’t live a life of blind obedience, you may find yourself indirectly guilty of murder! Educate yourself. Be aware of the world you live in. Stand against evil before it takes over.
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.