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1 Kings 21:1-21a – A Pathway to Destruction
by Gary Sims
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The Scriptures
1 Kings 21:1-21a – A Pathway to Destruction

Key Verses:
  • 1: “Sometime later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite…” – King Ahab coveted the vineyard belonging to Naboth that lay adjacent to the king’s winter palace.

  • 3: “But Naboth replied, ‘The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.’” – The king had offered to purchase the vineyard but Naboth refused as land was considered to be an inheritance from God, a piece of the Promise Land, which belonged to all future generations of a family.

  • 4: “So Ahab went home, sullen and angry…He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat.” – The king did not get his way so he went home to pout.

  • 7: “Jezebel his wife said, ‘Is this how you act as a king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.’” – Jezebel was accustomed to the treacherous ways of the Phoenician and Canaanite kings who allowed nothing to get in the way of their desires.

  • 11: “So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city did as Jezebel directed in the letters she had written to them.” – Jezebel devised a plot to destroy Naboth through the cunning use of Mosaic Law.

  • 16: “When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard.” – Though whimpering powerlessly in his bed, once Jezebel’s plan reached fruition, Ahab pounced on the opportunity to fulfill his greed.

  • 20: “Ahab said to Elijah, ‘So you have found me, my enemy!’ ‘I have found you,’ he answered, ‘because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord’” – Ahab reveals that Jezebel’s influence has completely alienated him from God and his prophets.

  • 21: “I am going to bring disaster on you. I will consume your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel – slave or free.” – Elijah delivers God’s message – a message filled with displeasure of Ahab’s actions and the punishment that lay in store because of them.
Points to Contemplate:
  • Do you love God above all things? Ahab’s greed was the only thing important in his life even to the point that he didn’t care how childish or unkingly his actions appeared. All he wanted was this land. Have you ever been consumed by a desire that overran every other priority in your life? What was the outcome? Did it lead to disastrous ends? Does this story remind you, once again, the importance of denying your selfish desires and placing God first in your life? What one aspect of your life do you need to set aside today?

  • Do you plan, plot, or scheme? Have you ever been a Jezebel? Be honest. It is a very common human trait to manipulate events towards our own benefit. Reflect on times where you managed to influence the outcome of a situation. What was your agenda? What steps did you take? Were they seemingly legitimate actions that you reasoned were proper and lawful? What was the outcome? Were people hurt?

  • Have you ever taken advantage of a situation for your own benefit? King Ahab actually had nothing to do with Jezebel’s plan, yet Elijah accused him of murder. Have you ever found a lost wallet and reasoned it wasn’t really stealing? Have you slipped in line ahead of others and determined it wasn’t really cheating? Have you ever stretched the truth and decided it wasn’t really lying? How can Ahab’s story help you in these situations? Do you that think the next time you have a choice to make Ahab’s example will lead you into a better decision – a God-like decision?
Promises of the Gospel:

King Ahab and Jezebel are among the most evil people depicted in the Bible. Everything they did was to further and fulfill their own needs. Their abuse of power and responsibility destroyed lives. God was not happy and he took action to punish them for their deeds. As we look at our own lives, Ahab’s story becomes an important illustration of priorities. Are we committed to God or are we focused on the glory of our own achievements? The decisions we make in life should always point to the Glory of God. If, instead, they strictly satisfy our selfish desires, then we are on a pathway to ruin and destruction.

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