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 Naboth. Yet Elijah had only “found” Ahab because God had directed him, he was acting for God.
Let us make sure we are always aware, as Ahab wasn’t, of the all seeing eye of God. 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 men rewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his (or her) deeds” [Ch.32 v.18,19].
Ahab was a man of weak character, manipulated by an evil wife; both came to what we would call a ‘sticky end’! Their attitude, especially Jezebel’s, created problems for those who had allowed themselves to be 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].
There is a 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 conscience and it would be tragic if we ever found ourselves descending into developing a character like his. What kind of mentality caused him to say to Elijah, “Have you found me, Oh my enemy?” [v.20]
Listen again to Jeremiah’s words from God. “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 – and, in today’s world, the challenge to our faith is greater than ever – for faith has to show itself by actions.