Elijah: A Man of Judgment (1 Kings 21:11-29)Rev. William L. Barron, June 13, 2021
Preached at a Sunday Morning service
Ahab was not interested in maintaining the proper land grants involving the vineyard. Naboth wanted to observe the law. Jezebel conspired to obtain the coveted vineyard for Ahab and had Naboth murdered on false testimony. To Jezebel, all that mattered was power. Elijah delivered the prophecy of the Lord of judgment to fall upon Ahab and Jezebel. Ahab humbled himself, forestalling the Lord's judgment during Ahab's days. In our days as well as in Ahab's, coveting is not considered to be a very serious sin. Elijah gave testimony that God sees all sin, and that justice will follow. The world denies the wrathful judgment of God against sin. In this passage, we see Jesus Christ. He suffered against false witness. Are we willing to stand for Jesus Christ, even though we face suffering. Jezebel suffers death, but what about Ahab's humiliation? Is it real repentance? Soon, Ahab continues with his wicked behavior. What do we learn? Wicked, evil people will persecute the church. Are we willing to do what God commands, as did Elijah? God sees everything; nothing is hid from God. Even the greatest of sinners can change. When we truly repent, God cleanses us. God is merciful, yet judgment will come. Are we ready to repent of sins as the days go by?
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1 Kings 21:11–29 (Listen)
11 And the men of his city, the elders and the leaders who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them. As it was written in the letters that she had sent to them, 12 they proclaimed a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people. 13 And the two worthless men came in and sat opposite him. And the worthless men brought a charge against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones. 14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned; he is dead.”
15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money, for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” 16 And as soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
17 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18 “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession. 19 And you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Have you killed and also taken possession?”’ And you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD: “In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood.”’”
20 Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” He answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the LORD. 21 Behold, I will bring disaster upon you. I will utterly burn you up, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. 22 And I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin. 23 And of Jezebel the LORD also said, ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel within the walls of Jezreel.’ 24 Anyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat.”
25 (There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the LORD like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited. 26 He acted very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the people of Israel.)
27 And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly. 28 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster upon his house.”