August 5, 2023
“Then his (Ahab’s) wife Jezebel said to him, 'Now exercise your royal power over Israel. Get up, eat some food, and be happy. For I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.'”
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“Then his (Ahab’s) wife Jezebel said to him, ‘Now exercise your royal power over Israel. Get up, eat some food, and be happy. For I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.’ So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal. She sent the letters to the elders and nobles who lived with Naboth in his city. In the letters, she wrote: Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people. Then seat two wicked men opposite him, saying, ‘You have cursed God and king!’ Then take him out and stone him to death.” 1 Kings 21:7-10 (HCSB)
God’s people must expect to suffer injustice in this world. I am not advocating that we be “doormats” and let people run all over us, but we will be wise to anticipate injustice and defend ourselves against its onset.
Today’s passage is a true picture of what the people of God can expect. It is as if the writer is saying, “Now, THIS is the sort of treatment believers can expect from the rulers of this World.”
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12 (HCSB)
It is difficult for believers in Jesus (living in Western culture) to grasp suffering because we are constantly pummeled by other propaganda. For instance, one televangelist has written: “He promises to heal ALL – everyone, any, and whatsoever, everything – all our diseases! That means not even a headache, sinus problem, not even a toothache – nothing! No sickness should come your way.”
If God yearns to pamper us with perfect health, why does a loaded court condemn His servant and stone him to death outside Jezreel? I am not advocating pessimism, but let’s look at life realistically. The Bible’s portrayal of believers’ lot in this world is so refreshing precisely because of its sober realism. It is realism that is missing from much “Christian” telecasting and “pulpiteering” because the suffering of the cross (and the exhortation to take it up and carry it as He commands us to follow Him) has been deleted from their so-called gospel messages.
Yes, there will be injustice on earth, but we serve the Judge of all judges. So, while we may suffer earthly injustice, God’s justice will prevail!