Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 8, 1959

Modern Ahabs

Lloyd Moyer, El Cerrito, California

Ahab was king of Israel. He "did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him." (I Kings 16:30). He took to wife Jezebel, the Idonian princess and went with her in the service of Baal (1 Kings 16:31-33).

Many today marry and turn from their worship and service of God. Truly, the day you get married may be the day you determine your eternal destiny. There is evidence that Ahab wanted to do right (1 Kings 21:27-29), but he was influenced to do evil by his wife, Jezebel. As a result of his marrying this idolatrous woman and allowing her to lead him to worship idols, it is said of him that "Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him." (1 Kings 16:33).

In 1 Kings 21 there is the record of an incident in the life of Ahab that we may study with great profit:

Ahab wanted Naboth's vineyard. He offered Naboth another vineyard or the value in money. (This indicates that there was some good in Ahab — he could have just taken Naboth's vineyard.) "Naboth said to Ahab, The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee." (v. 3). Ahab went home and went to bed, turned his face to the wall, and would not eat. Yes, like some today, he "pouted." His wife, Jezebel, told him to cheer up because she would give the vineyard to him. She wrote letters in Ahab's name and used his seal ordering Naboth to be set before the people as a blasphemer. They got a couple of false witnesses to testify. Then the people carried Naboth forth and stoned him. Then Jezebel told Ahab that Naboth was dead and that he might take possession of the vineyard.

The Lord told Elijah, the Tishbite, to meet Ahab in Naboth's vineyard. Here is what Elijah said to Ahab: "Hast thou killed and also taken possession?" (v. 19). "And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, 0 mine enemy' And he answered, I have found thee: because thou host sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord." (v. 20).

Question: Why would the Lord say that Ahab "killed" and "sold himself to do evil," when actually it was Jezebel who did the deed? Answer: Ahab could have lifted his voice against Jezebel. He knew what was happening, but he simply kept quiet. He did not protest. It was a violation of God's law for Ahab to have Naboth's vineyard. Jezebel proceeded to violate God's law, and Ahab ignored it. Ahab did not personally slay Naboth; he did not write the letters. In fact, Ahab could have said, "I had not one thing to do with the matter." But God said, you have "killed" and "sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord."

Ahabs Of Today

There are many modern Ahabs — those who know that plans and arrangements are being executed in the church today that violate God's law, and yet they protest not. They will not lift their voice against it. They simply say nothing about it. They do exactly what Ahab did. Therefore, the same could be said of them, "Thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord."

There are members of the Lord's body in congregations where these errors are being practiced who simply go along and say nothing about it. Modern Ahabs; yea, verily!

Look about you and you will find elders who will tell you they are opposed to the "sponsoring church" type of cooperation and human societies supported out of church treasuries, but these same elders will ask their preachers not to preach on the "issues." They tell you they are not participating in any of these things. Neither did Ahab participate in the slaying of Naboth, but he was condemned just the same. He was just silent about the matter. God help us all to realize that we "sell ourselves to work evil in the sight of the Lord" when we keep silent concerning those things which violate God's law.

It was this insipid attitude on the part of so many about one hundred years ago that enabled the digressives to sweep away most of the churches. When the present apostasy is completed, those elders, preachers, and teachers who sat idly by and did not lift their voice in protest will not be guiltless. Brother, have you "sold thyself" to work evil in the sight of the Lord" by failing to protest against that which violates God's order? Are you a modern Ahab?