There is evil in the world. I do not think there is anyone with a clear and sober mind who would deny that is true. The definition of evil may be different for some people. Some who call evil good; and call good evil (Isaiah 5:20). Our understanding of evil must be based upon how the Word of God explains evil.
It is quite clear from our understanding of Scripture that what Ahab has done is evil. He has hated, and despised God, His Word, and His prophet greatly. There are some who would call the victory of Mount Carmel over the prophets of Baal, “evil”, because they were all put to death. Those who would call that evil are probably haters of God and righteousness.
Ahab was an evil king; the king of the Northern kingdom called Israel; and he had a very wicked wife. This all become more and more apparent as we get into chapter 21 of First Kings. There are a couple of verses I want to post in this article 21:20 and21:25.
First let me give you some background. It seems that the wicked, vile and evil king saw something he wanted, and he sought to get it. It was a beautiful vineyard owned by a man named Naboth. Now, Naboth had reverence for the commandments of the LORD,
“And Naboth said to Ahab, ‘The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.” verse 3
Naboth was thinking of the law of the LORD concerning land ownership and the law of God (Leviticus 25:23). When Naboth refused the land to the king, Ahab went home flopped himself down on his bed, because someone stood his ground; and he pouted and moaned; and I would not be surprised to know that he also cried like a baby who did not get what he wanted at the candy store. Guess what. His wicked wife Jezebel, set him straight, and promised him that she would get that vineyard for him.
Jezebel set about with a scheme – a wicked and vile plan – by which she would break the ninth commandment. “Thou shalt not bear false witness…” She set Naboth up; set up liars against him, accused him of blaspheming God and the king. It is not like she cared for God; because she hated and despised him as did her precious hubby. The accusations stuck, and they took Naboth out of the city and stoned him to death (v.13). Then, she tells Ahab, “Naboth is stoned, is dead, now go and claim your vineyard.
The prophet of fire hears of this evil deed the king and queen has devised and performed; because “the Word of the LORD came to Elijah”; and God’s Word to Ahab is this,
“And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, ‘Thus saith the LORD, ‘Hast thou killed, and also taken possession?’ And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, ‘Thus saith the LORD, ‘In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.” 1 Kings 21:19 (KJV)
The Word of the LORD is spoken thus it shall be done. Notice how the wicked king responds, and Elijah’s response to that,
“And Ahab said to Elijah, ‘Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?’ And he answered, ‘I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.” verse 20
He sees Elijah as an enemy. It should be quite clear to all that if Elijah was his enemy; Ahab hated the Word of God, hated God, and he hated God’s prophet; thus Ahab considered God his enemy. The love of God for Ahab is quite apparent in these verses. He has sent Elijah time and time again to warn him, give him direction, and prove Himself to Ahab, but Ahab refuses the mercy, grace and love of God.
The two verses I mentioned at the beginning, was verse 20, and the last part of that verse,
“I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.” verse 20
and verse 25,
“But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.”
Elijah tells Ahab, “You have sold yourself to work evil in the sight of the LORD”. Just what does it mean to “sell yourself”. When one sells themself; they are no longer the one in control. Their owner is in control. The owner of Ahab, and his wife Jezebel was their lustful, vile, and evil desires for possessions, power and prestige. Ahab sold himself to do evil. He loved evil and hated righteousness.
When Ahab hears the word of God he humbles himself (vv. 27-29). My first thought would be to say that he only humbled himself because he knew he was caught; but God knows the man’s heart. Nevertheless the word of God is true. It will not be voided; it will come to pass just as the LORD has spoken (1 Kings 22:27-29 and 2 Kings 9:30-37). It has been said, “Some sow their wild oats, then pray for a crop failure”. Some may sin against God, His Word and His prophets again and again, but judgment is coming.
O hear the Word of God. Repent of your sins and be saved through the blood of God’s only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Confront the evil of your life today.
-Tim A. Blankenship