1 Kings 20-22…The gaze of heaven.
One of the sad facts of human existence is that there are always scoundrels hanging around who are willing to do anything for a few coins. One of the greatest examples of this is the betrayal of Judas in turning Jesus over to the chief priests for thirty pieces of silver.
We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that Jezebel’s co-conspirators in the murder of Naboth were able to scare up two liars to help their cause in this section of 1 Kings.
For many reasons, this was a sad, low point in Israel’s history. Here were the rulers of God’s people, plotting the death of an innocent Israelite over a piece of land-for a vegetable garden, no less! This kind of widespread sin is all too reminiscent of the days of the judges, a period when Israel hit rock-bottom both morally and spiritually (see Judg. 19:22).
Even with the wickedness of Ahab and Jezebel, the elders and nobles of Naboth’s city should have had the character to refuse the royals’ murderous plot. Their readiness to act gives us a glimpse into the nation’s low moral character.
These verses show Ahab and Jezebel at their worst. Ahab whimpered like the weak-willed, spoiled person he was, and Jezebel was her usual vindictive self. With the officials of Naboth’s city also deeply involved in this travesty, apparently no one around was strong or brave enough to raise a voice of protest against the killing. It looked like a pretty neatly tied-up package.
But the God of Israel noted what took place. He heard what must have been Naboth’s cries of innocence, and then his cries of pain as he was being stoned. The royal plotters didn’t know it yet, but their conspiracy had not escaped the gaze of heaven. Regardless of what things look like here in this life, the objective reality is that God knows all and sees all, and is not wringing His hands over what is going on. In fact, he is the sovereign Lord over everything, and knows what will happen to you this very day. Will you respond in thanksgiving today, or complain that you didn’t get your way?