Jezebel’s Plot

After Lee’s surrender, Lincoln spoke to a large crowd from the balcony of the White House. He told them about the considerate policy he had in mind for the South. At the end of his speech, Senator Harlan asked, “What shall we do with the rebels?” The vindictiv … More

Merciful

Directed by Jezebel the men of Naboth’s city carried out her plans by accusing Naboth of blasphemy and having him stoned to death outside the city (vv. 11-14). Then Jezebel announced to Ahab that he could take possession of Naboth’s vineyard because he was now dead. Immediately the king got up from his bed and went to take possession of the land he had coveted (vv. 15-16). But we know that Ahab understands all along that it’s a dirty deed that gets him the land. This whole crime unfolds  when Ahab sees a vineyard, that he wants. He’s got plenty of land and vineyards but he wants this one. Covetousness, greed, envy, and pride creep in. God chose Elijah to bear a message of judgment to Ahab, who was then in Naboth’s vineyard (vv. 17-18). God told Elijah just what to say (v. 19).

Elijah told Ahab that his days were numbered because of this crime that he had committed. He told him how all of his sons would die (vv. 20-26). He also told him that in the place where Naboth died the dogs would lick his blood and the dogs would lick Jezebel’s blood in the ditch at Jezreel (vv. 19, 23). At that time wild dogs lived off the garbage dumps of the cities like Jezreel. When Ahab heard these dreadful words he ripped his clothes and put on sackcloth to show he was sorrowful (v. 27). To me, his phony repentance stinks, but God accepts it. When God saw Ahab’s change of mind and behavior he promised to postpone the destruction of Ahab’s house until the days of his son (vv. 28-29). The slightest movement toward repentance moves God’s heart to compassion.  However, Jezebel did not repent and she suffered all that God promised she would get (2 Kings 9:30-37) 

Application

Ahab was more wicked than any other king of Israel (v. 25). However, when he humbled himself and repented God postponed his punishment. The same God who was merciful to Ahab wants to be merciful to me if I will turn to God and ask for forgiveness (l John 1:9).

I Kings 21:11-29 (English Standard Version)

And the men of his city, the elders and the leaders who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them. As it was written in the letters that she had sent to them, they proclaimed a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people. And the two worthless men came in and sat opposite him. And the worthless men brought a charge against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, "Naboth cursed God and the king." So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones. Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, "Naboth has been stoned; he is dead." As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, "Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money, for Naboth is not alive, but dead." And as soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it. Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, "Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession. And you shall say to him, 'Thus says the LORD, "Have you killed and also taken possession?"' And you shall say to him, 'Thus says the LORD: "In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood."'" Ahab said to Elijah, "Have you found me, O my enemy?" He answered, "I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the LORD. Behold, I will bring disaster upon you. I will utterly burn you up, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. And I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin. And of Jezebel the LORD also said, 'The dogs shall eat Jezebel within the walls of Jezreel.' Anyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat." (There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the LORD like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited. He acted very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the people of Israel.) And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, "Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son's days I will bring the disaster upon his house."

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