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ELIJAH SERIES: GENERATIONAL DEATH SENTENCE

May 21, 2022

When we last read about Elijah in 1 Kings 19, he anointed Elisha to be his prophetic successor, and Elisha took leave of his family to become Elijah’s attendant. In 1 Kings 21, Elijah reappears in the storyline of Israel. Years have passed since his last encounter with King Ahab, and now he returns to give King Ahab a judgmental word from the Lord.

Naboth, an Israelite of Jezreel, owned a fertile vineyard adjacent to King Ahab’s property. This vineyard had been handed down in Naboth’s family from one generation to the next as commanded by God (Leviticus 25:14-15, 23-28; Numbers 36:7). However, the king coveted this vineyard and approached Naboth, and offered to purchase it. Naboth rejected the offer and stated he could not give away his ancestral heritage. King Ahab became peeved and went to his palace, where Jezebel found him sulking in bed and refusing to eat.

After questioning the king and ridiculing him for not being forceful with Naboth, Jezebel took matters into her own hands. She orchestrated a diabolical plot that resulted in Naboth being stoned to death for blasphemy against God and the king. Additionally. with the death of Naboth, King Ahab seized Naboth’s vineyard.

God sent Elijah to meet King Ahab in Naboth’s vineyard, and upon seeing and hearing him, the king voiced his dissatisfaction. Elisha gave the king this word from God, “Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel,And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin. The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.”

After hearing the word, King Ahab became fearful and repented, which caused God to say, “Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.” God extended mercy to the king and allowed him to die several years later without seeing the death of his family members (2 Kings 9: 24-26, 30-37; 10:17).

This is a summary of 1 Kings 21; however, reading the chapter is recommended for a more detailed account. Now here are my thoughts on this chapter.

  • Throughout the Bible, God used prophets as His mouthpiece to speak to nations, leaders, and people. If you read the preceding blogs in this series, you will notice that over the years, the majority of Elijah’s recorded prophetic ministry was to King Ahab concerning the sin of idolatry. In this chapter, God used Elijah to address King Ahab’s covetousness, murder of Naboth, and delayed judgment due to the king humbling himself. God judges our actions, but he is also kind and merciful when we repent.
  • We should not imitate King Ahab’s failure. Obey the commandment found in Exodus 20:17, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”
  • The earth belongs to God, and He blessed Israel with a portion of it. Naboth understood this, and he cherished his ancestral gift. Also, he took God’s laws seriously; that is why he would not sell his vineyard. Don’t sell your family heritage.
  • Both Naboth and Elijah stood up to the governmental leader and spoke the truth. It cost Naboth his life for doing so, but God avenged him. No one can escape the wrath of God.
  • Sulking like a child when you don’t get your way is a sign of immaturity
  • Yes, you are guilty when you allow others to harm the innocent.
  • Obey the commandment found in Exodus 20:16, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”
  • When you speak the truth to those that don’t want to hear, they will consider you an enemy.
  • There is a price to pay for illegal confiscation.
  • Your sinful acts can result in a generational death sentence.
  • God extends mercy to those that will humble themselves, for he does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11). 

I pray you have received some inspiration and motivation from this blog to obey God’s laws and to hold on to your ancestral gift.

From → ELIJAH SERIES

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