Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thursday, May 21st: 1 Kings 21-22, Matthew 11 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 21-22; Matthew 11

The story of Naboth's vineyard and the absolute cruelty of Ahab and Jezebel has always resonated with me.  The absolute injustice of it all is shocking to us.  Imagine Naboth's wife - losing her husband, and (according to 2 Kings 9:26) her sons to a charge that was completely false - so devastating!

But we serve a God of justice.   And because Ahab destroyed Naboth's inheritance, God would destroy Ahab's inheritance and destroy his family line.  We won't always see earthly justice, but we are guaranteed eternal justice.

Thankfully, we also serve a God of mercy.  After all, we have all acted unjustly.  No, not to the extent that Ahab did, but unjustly all the same.   It's a difference in degree, not in kind.  God was willing to extend mercy to Ahab - but his repentance was superficial and short lived.  The good news is, that if God was willing to extend mercy to Ahab, a man of horrendous evil, He is also willing to extend mercy to us.

In our NT passage we see Jesus reply to John's question with, as Ray van der Laan explains, a remez.  Generally, a remez is a way of quoting a bible passage in such a way as to emphasize the portion you omitted.  In Isaiah, it is prophesied numerous times that the Messiah would make the blind see, the lame walk, lepers cleansed, deaf healed, and the prisoners set free.  Except Jesus did not quote the portion about the release of the prisoners - telling John that, though Jesus was indeed the Messiah, John would not be released as he expected, but that he would die in prison.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 2 Kings 1-3; Matthew 12:1-23


Nathan Reimer said...

The dishonesty and cruelty we continually see from the kings of Isreal and Judah, and even the dishonesty of some of the prophets, is unbelievable. We see how God punishes them for this. This should be a reminder for us for how we should conduct ourselves when we are in a position of authority.

Conrad said...

I found it interesting how Ahab was king but it seemed as though his wife Jezebel was his weakness.

He also seemed to be somewhat short sighted in the consequences of acquiring Naboth's vineyard as he did. And his assessment of a prophet was dependent on whether the message was favorable for him.

I was reminded that the choices we make need to be not self gratifying, but keeping within God's plan. We need to seek first God's counsel and accept it. Whether its what we want to hear or not. Otherwise our joy or benefit will only be temporary.

Pamela said...

I thought along the same lines as Conrad that Jezebel seemed to be calling the shots and Ahab was more of a passive participant in her schemes. I wonder if he thought this would make him less accountable to what was happening?

As the craziness of end of the year/exciting adventures of our kids/2 grads/other busy-ness this verse is very timely:

8 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.