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  1. Study In1 Kings Presentation 10

  2. Chapter 21v1-29 Naboth’s Vineyard Presentation 010

  3. Some antique dealers are less sensitive than others. Consider the dealer who wants you to sell a family heirloom that he has spotted in your home. He'll offer a good price and will often find it incomprehensible that you do not close with his ‘great offer’. He does not seem to understand that because the item belonged to your great-grandfather it is of tremendous sentimental value to you. In other words he simply cannot bring himself to understand your set of values. Now King Ahab had a bit more clout than an antique dealer as our narrative makes clear. Introduction Presentation 010

  4. Ahab had made Naboth a generous offer for a strip of land near the palace but the churlish fellow had refused his king’s generous offer. So Ahab do like a child denied some cherished toy ran to his room for a good sulk and refused to come out to eat. Was Naboth a bit discourteous to have refused his king. No! the law of Moses forbad it. Israel were taught to regard Canaan as God's land. They were his tenants. Sale of the family plot was only permitted in cases of extreme necessity knowing that it would be returned to them on the year of jubilee. Ahab had little time for these religious niceties. Once established in the property he would never give it back. Little wonder Naboth refused to part with the family inheritance. Introduction Presentation 010

  5. Ahab's behaviour appalled his wife Jezebel. After all he was king. How could anyone dare stand in his way. And so this "accomplished woman" pats Ahab on the head, gives him a tissue to wipe his eyes and promises to sort out the whole mess. A letter is forged in the kings hand, and sent to the elders of Naboth's city. Trumped up charges were brought against him. He and his family were executed and the title deeds of the vineyard were handed over to the delighted Ahab as her little present. How pleased he was to have a wife like her! There are many lessons which can be drawn from this chapter but we confine ourselves to Elijah's involvement. Introduction Presentation 010

  6. Since being side-lined by God at Mount Horeb something like 5-6 years are thought to have passed in Elijah’s life. Long years of silence. Years spent waiting for God to speak. Long weary days perhaps, filled with regret and heart searching. During this time God had used other younger men to act as his messengers and spokesmen but not Elijah. It must have seemed to him that his public ministry had just started when it was brought to an abrupt conclusion. It is not easy to be side-lined by God. Sidelined By God Presentation 010

  7. I attended a meeting as a student where a prominent Christian, an author of countless Christian books, stood up and said that he no longer enjoyed God's power in his preaching. He believed he no longer influenced the lives of his hearers. He felt as if God had passed him by. One doesn't need to be a prominent Christian to feel that way. Many Christians feel their lives are not counting for God in the way that once they did, they are not winning others to Christ in the way that once they did. Why? Several answers can be given. First, we can say that is attributable to the sovereignty of God who has the perfect right to use whom he wills when he wills. Sidelined By God Presentation 010

  8. Secondly, the reason may be because of some inconsistency or sin in our lives which needs to be confessed and forsaken. Many Christians have discovered renewed fruitfulness when they have decided to forsake some cherished sin. Thirdly, when a Christian is left unused, the experience may produce a deeper work of grace in his heart. For example as he learns that God is more important than his work. Those who feel themselves abandoned by God should hold themselves in readiness for future service, for God is a God who recommissions failures. The greatest temptation, which we can buy into, is to believe that past failure disqualifies us forever from future useful service. But think of Abraham, Samson, Jonah, Peter. Sidelined By God Presentation 010

  9. God called Elijah out of retirement and entrusted him with a mission which required great faith and courage. He was to confront King Ahab with his sin. What a frightening prospect is must have been to be sent into a situation from which he had previously fled in blind panic. He was expected to stand before the king and say, "Your reign is ended!" It is clear that the Lord had reserved this hard task for the most experienced and mature of his servants. God doesn’t call us to a work which our faith is not equipped to handle! Elijah's Mission Presentation 010

  10. Some of us are diffident when it comes to charging men with injustice. When we see others suffer, God wants us to do more than moan and mutter. He may want us to do more than sympathise and comfort, good as that is. He may want us to take up their case and complain. Our complaint becomes our witness to God's justice. Our indignation begins to be but a faint echo of his. Elijah's Mission Presentation 010

  11. Ahab was walking in his new garden savouring it in the way in which a child plays with a new toy. He doubtless comforted himself as weak people do with the idea that he was not a murderer. He had done nothing. How was he to know what Jezebel wanted his royal seal for? Now that Naboth and his family were dead he might as well possess the vineyard as anyone else and so he began to put his conscience to bed. It was then he was startled by a voice he had not heard for years and it said. "Have you killed and also taken possession?" Did he want to argue, “Oh no it wasn't my fault it was Jezebel!” But with God's authority Elijah made it clear that the responsibility lay squarely on his shoulders. A Conscience Stirred Presentation 010

  12. People who are not prepared to do disgraceful things themselves often call up some underling and say, “This is what needs doing, I don't want to know how you are going to go about it, Of course I can trust you not to do anything wrong [nudge nudge] and if you get caught this conversation never took place”. The Irangate scandal has had many historical equivalents since time began. Those at the top love to say, "I had no detailed knowledge of what was going on”. This sort of thing happens regularly. It is not unknown for employers to ask employees to lie to clients and they are quite put if they are refused. People in authority do not like getting their hands dirty. But Elijah's point is that Ahab was as guilty as Jezebel. Employers take note! A Conscience Stirred Presentation 010

  13. How did Ahab respond? cf v20 "Have you found me O my enemy?" Little did Ahab realise that Elijah was his best friend and Jezebel his wife was his worst enemy. But sin tends to cloud our judgement. When Christians challenge their friends, colleagues and neighbours with their sin they are hated and denounced as enemies. Those engaged in wrongdoing are annoyed with the one who detects them whether they be a minister of Christ or a policeman. To such folk the Bible becomes an unwelcome book because it denounces sin, preaching which uncovers their heart becomes unacceptable and finally God himself is considered their great enemy. Elijah :The Enemy? Presentation 010

  14. Ahab saw Elijah as his enemy because he had "sold himself to do evil" Ahab was the man he was not by accident or as a result of the pressures of life, nor could his behaviour be described as a sudden falling into temptation. Rather, he made a deliberate calculated decision to walk in rebellion against God. He deliberately allowed himself to be blinded. People who make that turn in life find it hard to say, "I was wrong". Elijah :The Enemy? Presentation 010

  15. Before all of the judgements Elijah promised came to pass something happened to Ahab. cfv27… he rent his clothes dressed in sackcloth and fasted. It took a fair amount of resolution to behave in that way, to become a public penitent not least before Jezebel. How did God respond cf. v29 "Because he has humbled himself I will not bring this disaster in his day". Is this weakness on the part of God? Not a bit of it! God scans the hearts of men for the first sign of repentance just as the father of the prodigal scanned the horizon for the return of his son. God does not say, "You are too wicked for me to pay attention to your repentance". cf. Ezek.18.3 "Do you think I enjoy seeing an evil man die, No I would rather see him repent and live". The Effect Of Elijah's Warning Presentation 010

  16. But after 3 years Ahab was back to his old ways cf. 22.8 he says of Elijah, "I hate him". His repentance didn't last. He threw off his Mr Clean image. Did he think that the threats of God were hollow? Or, that he could keep God's threats at a distance [22.29ff ]by uniting forces with Jehosophat, king of Judah to fight against the Syrians. Ahab craftily persuaded Jehosophat to wear his royal robes in battle, while he disguised himself as a common soldier. The Syrian king had instructed his charioteers to concentrate all their attention on killing, Ahab, king of Israel. They almost killed Jehosophat by mistake. Then we read, "Someone drew his bow at random and hit the King of Israel between the joints of his armour". But it was surely no random shot. Ahab couldn’t hide from the judgements of God. The Effect Of Elijah's Warning Presentation 010

  17. Ahab was withdrawn from the battle and his dead body driven back to Samaria. His blood, when washed out of his chariot at the fountain of Samaria, was lapped up by the dogs. Just as Elijah had predicted when in the garden of Naboth. Twelve years later, after she was thrown out of the palace window, nothing was left of Jezebel for burial only her skull feet and hands escaped the dogs. Again God’s word through Elijah the prophet was fulfilled. God is true not only to his promises but to his threats. The Effect Of Elijah's Warning Presentation 010

  18. Clearly Elijah was given a sore mission to execute. It is never easy to threaten judgement. But in this instance it was the monarchy whose death he predicted – it was no easy thing to tell the king that he was about to die. However, Elijah was unflinching in fulfilling his commission and by so doing among other things demonstrated that he no longer lived in fear of men but by faith in God. It is surely our reputation before God which is all important! May God’s smile of approval be the finishing line on which we set our sights. Conclusion Presentation 010