1 Kings 21* Ahab covets Naboth's vineyard. (1-4) Naboth murdered byJezebel. (5-16) Elijah denounces judgments against Ahab. (17-29)1-4 Naboth, perhaps, had been pleased that he had a vineyardsituated so near the palace, but the situation proved fatal tohim; many a man's possessions have been his snare, and hisneighbourhood to greatness, of bad consequence. Discontent is asin that is its own punishment, and makes men tormentthemselves. It is a sin that is its own parent; it arises notfrom the condition, but from the mind: as we find Paul contentedin a prison, so Ahab was discontented in a palace. He had allthe delights of Canaan, that pleasant land, at command; thewealth of a kingdom, the pleasures of a court, and the honoursand powers of a throne; yet all avails him nothing withoutNaboth's vineyard. Wrong desires expose men to continualvexations, and those that are disposed to fret, however welloff, may always find something or other to fret at. 5-16 When, instead of a help meet, a man has an agent forSatan, in the form of an artful, unprincipled, yet beloved wife,fatal effects may be expected. Never were more wicked ordersgiven by any prince, than those Jezebel sent to the rulers ofJezreel. Naboth must be murdered under colour of religion. Thereis no wickedness so vile, so horrid, but religion has sometimesbeen made a cover for it. Also, it must be done under colour ofjustice, and with the formalities of legal process. Let us, fromthis sad story, be amazed at the wickedness of the wicked, andthe power of Satan in the children of disobedience. Let uscommit the keeping of our lives and comforts to God, forinnocence will not always be our security; and let us rejoice inthe knowledge that all will be set to rights in the great day. 17-29 Blessed Paul complains that he was sold under sin, #Ro7:14|, as a poor captive against his will; but Ahab was willing,he sold himself to sin; of choice, and as his own act and deed,he loved the dominion of sin. Jezebel his wife stirred him up todo wickedly. Ahab is reproved, and his sin set before his eyes,by Elijah. That man's condition is very miserable, who has madethe word of God his enemy; and very desperate, who reckons theministers of that word his enemies, because they tell him thetruth. Ahab put on the garb and guise of a penitent, yet hisheart was unhumbled and unchanged. Ahab's repentance was onlywhat might be seen of men; it was outward only. Let thisencourage all that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe theholy gospel, that if a pretending partial penitent shall go tohis house reprieved, doubtless, a sincere believing penitentshall go to his house justified.
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