For the day of the LORD is approaching for all the nations! Just as you have done, so it will be done to you. You will get exactly what your deeds deserve. – Obadiah 1:15
1 Kings 21:1-13
1 Now there was a man named Naboth, from Jezreel, who owned a vineyard in Jezreel beside the palace of King Ahab of Samaria.
2 One day Ahab said to Naboth, “Since your vineyard is so convenient to my palace, I would like to buy it to use as a vegetable garden. I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or if you prefer, I will pay you for it.”
3 But Naboth replied, “The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance that was passed down by my ancestors.”
4 So Ahab went home angry and sullen because of Naboth’s answer. The king went to bed with his face to the wall and refused to eat!
5 “What’s the matter?” his wife Jezebel asked him. “What’s made you so upset that you’re not eating?”
6 “I asked Naboth to sell me his vineyard or trade it, but he refused!” Ahab told her.
7 “Are you the king of Israel or not?” Jezebel demanded. “Get up and eat something, and don’t worry about it. I’ll get you Naboth’s vineyard!”
8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, sealed them with his seal, and sent them to the elders and other leaders of the town where Naboth lived.
9 In her letters she commanded: “Call the citizens together for fasting and prayer, and give Naboth a place of honor.
10 And then seat two scoundrels across from him who will accuse him of cursing God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”
11 So the elders and other town leaders followed the instructions Jezebel had written in the letters.
12 They called for a fast and put Naboth at a prominent place before the people.
13 Then the two scoundrels came and sat down across from him. And they accused Naboth before all the people, saying, “He cursed God and the king.” So he was dragged outside the town and stoned to death.
“The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine” (Sun Tzu). Indeed it will be “Payday Someday” (Robert G. Lee).
1 Kings 21:1-27 tells the story of Naboth, Ahab, Jezebel, and Elijah. It tells the story of lust for land, abuse of power, infantile temper tantrums, malicious prosecution, corruption of justice, violence against the poor, the wicked acts of scoundrels, and ultimately vile premeditated murder.
In 21st century America, we are all too familiar with injustices that have gone on in our country from the early colonial days until the present hour. We struggle to come to grips with them all. How could such things exist in our beloved country, the land of the free and the home of the brave? When we search deep within the answer is found. Injustice and savagery lurk hidden deep within the human heart. Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you (Genesis 4:7).
Robert G. Lee first preached “Payday Someday” in 1926. It was so popular and such a classic that he preached the same sermon 1275 times. Lee characterized Ahab as “the vile human toad who squatted upon the throne of Israel.” While Jezebel is described as “the snake coiled upon the throne of Israel. “Naboth typifies a righteous child of the King who suffers for righteousness sake.” (Robert G. Lee) And finally there is Elijah the Father’s prophetic spokesman.
1 Kings 21:25 No one else so completely sold himself to what was evil in the LORD’s sight as Ahab did under the influence of his wife Jezebel.
It seems that such inequities last forever. However they do not. God the Father is just. Ahab was the worst of the worst, of the kings of Israel, the northern kingdom. To provide justice, the Father calls Elijah, the best of the best, prophets of his day. The Father sends Elijah to confront Ahab and spell out the judgment that will befall Ahab and Jezebel for their wickedness.
1 Kings 21:17-23
17 But the LORD said to Elijah,
18 “Go down to meet King Ahab of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He will be at Naboth’s vineyard in Jezreel, claiming it for himself.
19 Give him this message: ‘This is what the LORD says: Wasn’t it enough that you killed Naboth? Must you rob him, too? Because you have done this, dogs will lick your blood at the very place where they licked the blood of Naboth!’”
20 “So, my enemy, you have found me!” Ahab exclaimed to Elijah. “Yes,” Elijah answered, “I have come because you have sold yourself to what is evil in the LORD’s sight.”
21 So now the LORD says, ‘I will bring disaster on you and consume you . . .”
23 “And regarding Jezebel, the LORD says, ‘Dogs will eat Jezebel’s body at the plot of land in Jezreel.’”
The punishment for their sins was an ignominious death. And it happened exactly as Elijah prophesied.
Naboth lost his life for obeying God, while Jezebel got her way by disobeying Him. Yet this life is not all there is, and God promises to set all accounts right (Stanley). The Father God is well aware of the real villains, the shadowy figures, both human and demonic, behind the puppet rulers that act out the evil intentions of those behind-the-scenes. Indeed Payday is coming, Someday.
6 He will judge everyone according to what they have done.
7 He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.
8 But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.
9 There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil . . .
REFLECT & PRAY
“Sin will take you farther than you want to go, Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay, Sin will cost you more than you want to pay” (Robert G. Lee).
Father I am so thankful that I have passed from judgment and to life. But I am also sad that my efforts to serve You are so paltry.
It all sounds a bit ominous, and so it should. But there are even more dire warnings.
1 You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.
2 And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things.
3 Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things?
4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
6 He will judge everyone according to what they have done.
How do we bring this all together? All children of the King have passed from judgment to life. The issue of their eternal security has been settled once and for all at the moment that they accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior from their sins.
John 5:24 I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.
Yet the Scriptures are clear that everyone’s works will be judged. How can this be so?
There are two judgments. One exclusively for unbelievers, the other exclusively for children of the King.
The Great White Throne Judgment, is only for unbelievers. Anyone who appears before the Lord Jesus Christ at this judgment will suffer everlasting horrific consequences. But each one will be judged according to their works (Revelation 20:11-13).
But there is also a judgment for believers, it is often referred to as The Bema Seat Judgment. But this judgment is not about everlasting punishment, but rather everlasting rewards (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
The Greek word translated judgment seat is bema. Hence it is called the Bema Seat Judgment.
1 Corinthians 4:5 So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time – before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.
Payday is coming someday.