Lectionary: Proper 6C / Ordinary 11C / Pentecost +4

1 Kings 21:1-21a

“Remember the Power”

by CM

It can be so easy to forget the simple fact that God is in charge. And by “in charge” I don’t simply mean the director of the course of events as they naturally unfold. I mean that God is the One with whom you check your opinions and actions and the One who is indeed the Sovereign Ruler.

People get so caught up in their own desires, their own will, and their own opinions about the way they think things ought to be that they don’t think twice about running afoul of God’s edicts on the matter. That goes not only for the world, but it’s in the church, too. We interpret away, reason away, excuse away a direct prohibition against how we are to treat one another. For personal vices, it’s sin, but against your fellow humanity, God calls it evil.

Elijah confronts Ahab and Jezebel over their actions concerning Ahab’s inordinate desire to have Naboth’s vineyard. That desire  became so high that they murdered Naboth. Elijah told them they’d be eaten by wild dogs because of their actions.

Examine your desires. Where is your “Naboth’s Vineyard”? Is it your politics (because this was a political situation, an eminent domain situation, and a legal situation)? Your intolerance? Where are you willing to blatantly cross the line and say, “since I want it” or “since I believe it, nothing else matters, including the fact that God says ‘no'”? Or where do we say “no” where God says “yes”?

Take an honest inventory and hear the voice of God in regards to your stances. Check your motives. Naboth was falsely accused of a capital crime but what if he had done it? Would that have excused Ahab’s and Jezebel’s motives simply because they could be conveniently disguised in a neutral legal argument? Or was it still evil?

You may be on the verge of encroaching onto matters that are beyond your jurisdiction. That was Ahab’s and Jezebel’s mistake: failing to realize that in sprite of Ahab being the king, he didn’t rule Naboth’s vineyard. Where Ahab and Jezebel failed to recognize their bounds, let us not go beyond ours. Lest we cross that line into things that are evil, which already seems so common today. Remember who is in charge.




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