Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 20:26–21:29, Mark 12:1–34, Prov 5:1–10
Today’s Theme: Love God
Today’s reading is full of lessons regarding things we should do and be and things we should not do and not be.
We see Jesus as the great apologist and expositor of scripture. The ultimate of these do’s and don’ts is that we should love God with everything which is the answer of Jesus to the question of the greatest commandment.
God we love you with everything, forever you are worthy.
1 Kings 20:26–21:29
Know that God is God
And a man of God came near and said to the king of Israel, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because the Syrians have said, “The Lord is a god of the hills but he is not a god of the valleys,” therefore I will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’ ”(1 Kings 20:28, ESV)
God would give the king the victory so that he and the enemy would both know that God is God. This was for the glory of God.
And Ben-hadad said to him, “The cities that my father took from your father I will restore, and you may establish bazaars for yourself in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria.” And Ahab said, “I will let you go on these terms.” So he made a covenant with him and let him go.(1 Kings 20:34, ESV)
Do not compromise or make deals with sin.
Then he said to him, “Because you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as you have gone from me, a lion shall strike you down.” And as soon as he had departed from him, a lion met him and struck him down.(1 Kings 20:36, ESV)
Just obey God or suffer the consequences.
Be a man of integrity
But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”(1 Kings 21:3, ESV)
Naboth was a man of integrity, it was not just about the money for him, legacy for the future of his family line was far more important.
Don’t be a grown spoilt brat
And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and would eat no food.(1 Kings 21:4, ESV)
This man Ahab is a spoilt brat… a grown spoilt brat.
The spirit of Jezebel
So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and she sent the letters to the elders and the leaders who lived with Naboth in his city.(1 Kings 21:8, ESV)
This is why the name Jezebel has become synonymous with usurping authority and women lording it over men with manipulation… false authority.
Don’t be driven by greed
And as soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.(1 Kings 21:16, ESV)
Blinded and driven by selfish, covetous greed.
Don’t sell yourself
Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” He answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the Lord.(1 Kings 21:20, ESV)
Do not sell your soul, don’t sell out to do what is evil. Like Jesus said what will you give in exchange for your soul.
Don’t be manipulative
(There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited.(1 Kings 21:25, ESV)
The Jezebel spirit is manipulative.
Respond in repentance
“Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster upon his house.”(1 Kings 21:29, ESV)
True repentance and humility is the only appropriate response to Gods judgement. God is merciful indeed.
Jesus the beloved and only Son
He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’(Mark 12:6, ESV)
All those before represent the prophets, but this represents Jesus the beloved and only Son of God.
What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.(Mark 12:9, ESV)
This is what Jesus said God would do to the bad tenants Israel, the vineyard is now given to and made up of the (grafted in) church (Jew and Gentile) and we must always be ready to give God fruit to eat, to bring him pleasure.
Jesus the Apologist
Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.(Mark 12:17, ESV)
Pay your taxes… simple. Jesus was the master apologist.
Don’t be politically correct
Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?(Mark 12:24, ESV)
Jesus was not politically correct or said we can have various in house views, he straight up just said… you are wrong. Simple, Bold, Truth.
Jesus the expositor
And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”(Mark 12:26–27, ESV)
Jesus is the master expositor and apologist of the scriptures.
Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.(Mark 12:29, ESV)
Jesus entertained this intellectual jousting, it can be enjoyable and it leads to truth as the Spirit leads, so be prepared to answer challenges like Jesus.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’(Mark 12:30, ESV)
The greatest commandment is to love God with everything.
And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.(Mark 12:34, ESV)
There is hope for those intellectually convinced concerning the truth, like Jesus says they are not far from the kingdom. Pray for the full conversion of those you know who are already in agreement in their minds with the gospel.
Honey coated death
but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.(Proverbs 5:4, ESV)
This is the end and true nature of forbidden “pleasures” and sexual allurement outside of marriage, it may seem appealing (lips dripping honey) but it is really bitterness, and cold, lonely death.
Run for your life
Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house,(Proverbs 5:8, ESV)
Don’t play on the line… run for your life.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Mark 12