King Ahab let his pagan wife Jezebel do all the dirty work. She conspired to get Naboth’s vineyard for him, as he pouted on his bed, face turned to the wall. The Lord sent his servant the prophet Elijah to confront him, at the very moment he was taking possession of the vineyard.
Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!” “I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, 1 Kings 21.20 NIV.
Contrast what Elijah said about Ahab, selling himself to do evil, with what the Lord Jesus Christ did:
He gave himself for our sins, so he could deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, Gal 1.4 CEB.
These are the two choices, and the only two, that are set before us today. Of course, we don’t give our lives to redeem people from sin, as Jesus did, but our choice is to either give ourselves to God, that we might be redeemed by Christ and that we might serve the Lord that others also might be redeemed, or to sell ourselves to do evil.
Either way, they are choices made in relation to God. If we sell ourselves to do evil, it is done “in the eyes of the Lord.” We may justify our actions all we want. We may allow others to do the dirty work for us so that we can benefit from their evil. We may tell ourselves that we are special and deserving. But in the eyes of the Lord, it is still evil. What we do, he sees and judges.
If we give ourselves to the Lord, it is done according to his will. We may use religion to cloak our selfishness and still do evil. But the choice of true surrender does the will of God, rather than mouthing the name of the Lord, Mt 7.21. Such surrender is made because it spurns “this present evil age” and works to rescue others from it. When we give ourselves according to God’s will, God gives us his fullness in Jesus Christ and produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
Both Ahab and Jesus died. Ahab’s death was the bad end of a bad life. Jesus’ death was the crowning moment of a life dedicated to the Father’s will, and his resurrection sealed his Father’s approval upon his obedience and guaranteed that all who follow him and deliver their lives up for God will also be raised and glorified together with him.
That is today’s choice. Choose well.