Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Path of Greed, Part 2

Scripture: 1 Kings 21:11-16
So the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters which she had sent them.  They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people.  Then the two worthless men came in and sat before him; and the worthless men testified against him, even against Naboth, before 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 word to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.”  When 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.”  When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

Insights:  Today is the second of two parts dealing with greed.  In today’s verses we see greed led to a murder in order to acquire what did not belong to Ahab.  In today’s story, the plot led to a lie.  The lie led to an actual murder.  You may be saying, “Scott, I am not going to murder anyone,” but the Scripture tell us that when we have hatred in our heart toward a person, it is as if we were killing them.  This thought process is the same as if we have lustful thoughts toward another, it is as if we were committing adultery in our hearts with that person.  God knows our inner thoughts.  So, even though we may not actually carry out the murder in the physical sense like Jezebel did, we are in our hearts and often times this murder is driven by our selfish greed.  The last thing we see about this path of greed is it led to a theft.  Ahab went and stole the field he desired after he found out Naboth was dead.  In many ways, this last step is the culmination of the preceding three.  In other words, the theft would not have occurred if there had not been a plot, a lie, and a murder.  It was, however, the real desire from the beginning and greed for that which did not belong to him created this very evil path we have observed these past two days.  May God protect us from our sinful, selfish desires of greed.  May we put them under subjection of the Lord’s authority.

1.  Have you committed murder in your heart because of your hatred?
2.  Have you stolen to acquire what did not belong to you?

Prayer: Father, protect me from myself as I am prone to murder others in my heart and to steal from them for my own self-gratification and satisfaction.  Amen.

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