1 Kings: Read verses 21:11-29 slowly and repeatedly.
The main content of the text: Naboth suffers an unjust death due to Jezebel’s evil plot. Ahab takes over Naboth’s vineyard as he had wanted, but God’s judgment is pronounced on Ahab and Jezebel.
Verses 17-26 God sends Elijah again to Ahab who kills Naboth and takes the vineyard. He holds Ahab responsible for murder, plunder, and for condoning and aiding Jezebel’s evil deeds. He says that he will be killed in the same manner as Naboth, killed on the street, according to the law of injury called ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ Just as the dynasties of Jeroboam and Baasha were annihilated and ended, the Omri dynasty to which Ahab belongs will now be completely exterminated from this land. He says that dogs will lick up Ahab’s blood, tear at Jezebel’s body, and meet the most miserable end among all the kings of Israel. We must pay attention to the fact that the ‘greed of Ahab, who knew God,’ which caused the murder, was viewed as a greater sin than the ‘murder of Jezebel, who did not know God.’ God will never condone our taking advantage of evil structures and systems to satisfy mammonistic desires without damaging our Christian identity.
Verses 27-29 God sees Ahab humbled before the terrible judgment that will come upon him and his family, and delays his punishment. God, who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and whose love is endless, takes pity on Ahab, who constantly sins and is disobedient, and postpones his judgment until a later time. If even Ahab was forgiven, whoever can be forgiven by God. it is never too late to ask for forgiveness.
What lesson does God give me?
Verses 11-16 Naboth and his sons are killed due to Jezebel’s plot. Ahab who was obsessed with the vineyard, Jezebel who used evil tricks, the elders and nobles who participated in the conspiracy, the illegal people who were bribed, and the people who stoned Naboth to death without judgment are all accomplices in this incident. Although they probably knew the news of God’s victory at Mount Carmel, they became parasites on those in power so as not to lose the vested interests they immediately had in their hands. This is an incident that clearly exposes the total corruption of Ahab’s era, who did not know how to fear God. I cannot proudly say that I am not a direct perpetrator of social injustice. Because of the benefits that can be gained by remaining silent and the disadvantages that can be incurred by speaking out, I am also an accomplice in aiding or condoning evil.
Community Prayer – Lord, help us not to sell ourselves to unrighteousness in a world that demands non-criticism and compliance.
Prayer for the Nations – Over the past 20 years, the Church of Scotland has seen its membership drop by half. Let us pray that the church in Scotland, where the aging of the congregation is serious and 40% of pastors are retiring within 10 years, will change as it prepares for the future.