Todays readings.. 1 Kings 21, Jeremiah 48, 1 Corinthians 7
“HAVE YOU FOUND ME, OH MY ENEMY”
The above saying was spoken by Israel’s bad king Ahab to Elijah when the prophet challenged him as he took possession of Naboth’s vineyard – after his evil wife Jezebel had organised the death of the vineyard’s owner, Naboth. Yet Elijah had only “found” Ahab because God had directed him; he was acting for God.
We must always be aware of that of which Ahab was unaware. We read earlier this month of Jeremiah’s prayer to the LORD, “O great and mighty God … the LORD of hosts, great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man (human beings), rewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his (or her) deeds” [Ch.32 v.18,19]. Let us each ask ourselves, what kind of “fruit” are my ways in the process of producing?
Ahab was a man of weak character, manipulated by an evil wife; both of them came to what we would call a ‘sticky end’! Their attitude, especially Jezebel’s, created problems for those associated with them. “The elders and the leaders who lived with Naboth in his city” [1 Kings 21 v.8] obeyed the wicked Jezebel when she required them to set a trap for Naboth and get “two worthless men” to bring false charges against him leading to his death [v.10]. Let us stand up against wickedness – all the more so, if it directly confronts us.
There is a further lesson in this for us – to avoid any situation which has the potential to oblige or force us to do something contrary to our conscience – for it is vital that our conscience is always activated to follow divine principles. Ahab had a no real conscience and it would be tragic if we ever found ourselves descending to a situation where we felt inclined to speak to a truly God fearing person, as Ahab did, “Have you found me, Oh my enemy?” [v.20]
To quote Jeremiah again, “Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth …” [Ch.23 v,23,24] The world around us is more unconscious of this than ever – that there is a Creator, let alone, that he fills heaven and earth! As a result, the challenges to our faith have never been greater – therefore our attention to – and absorption of God’s word, should be greater than ever, for todays’ world, in various ways, some unperceived, is our enemy!