1 Kings 21

* Ahab covets Naboth's vineyard. (1-4) Naboth murdered by

Jezebel. (5-16) Elijah denounces judgments against Ahab. (17-29)

1-4 Naboth, perhaps, had been pleased that he had a vineyard

situated so near the palace, but the situation proved fatal to

him; many a man's possessions have been his snare, and his

neighbourhood to greatness, of bad consequence. Discontent is a

sin that is its own punishment, and makes men torment

themselves. It is a sin that is its own parent; it arises not

from the condition, but from the mind: as we find Paul contented

in a prison, so Ahab was discontented in a palace. He had all

the delights of Canaan, that pleasant land, at command; the

wealth of a kingdom, the pleasures of a court, and the honours

and powers of a throne; yet all avails him nothing without

Naboth's vineyard. Wrong desires expose men to continual

vexations, and those that are disposed to fret, however well

off, may always find something or other to fret at.
5-16 When, instead of a help meet, a man has an agent for

Satan, in the form of an artful, unprincipled, yet beloved wife,

fatal effects may be expected. Never were more wicked orders

given by any prince, than those Jezebel sent to the rulers of

Jezreel. Naboth must be murdered under colour of religion. There

is no wickedness so vile, so horrid, but religion has sometimes

been made a cover for it. Also, it must be done under colour of

justice, and with the formalities of legal process. Let us, from

this sad story, be amazed at the wickedness of the wicked, and

the power of Satan in the children of disobedience. Let us

commit the keeping of our lives and comforts to God, for

innocence will not always be our security; and let us rejoice in

the knowledge that all will be set to rights in the great day.
17-29 Blessed Paul complains that he was sold under sin, #Ro

7:14|, 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 to

do wickedly. Ahab is reproved, and his sin set before his eyes,

by Elijah. That man's condition is very miserable, who has made

the word of God his enemy; and very desperate, who reckons the

ministers of that word his enemies, because they tell him the

truth. Ahab put on the garb and guise of a penitent, yet his

heart was unhumbled and unchanged. Ahab's repentance was only

what might be seen of men; it was outward only. Let this

encourage all that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe the

holy gospel, that if a pretending partial penitent shall go to

his house reprieved, doubtless, a sincere believing penitent

shall go to his house justified.

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