NOT FOR SALE
I Kings 21: 3, 4, 6 “And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.”
“And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.”
The vineyard could be found often on a hillside a peak, or sometimes it would be terraced. A hedge surrounded the vineyard or a stony wall to keep out destructive animals and a tower was erected for the watchman. A press was constructed and a large vat was hewn out of stone. Laborers were sometimes hired to work in the vineyard for it was necessary to prune it to dig about it, to pull weeds, and so on.
Picture this? At Jezreel lived Naboth who was a good upstanding citizen whose ancestors had occupied the same land for many generations before him. The land contained a vineyard, which happened to be just outside the palace walls of King Ahab. The king wanted to plant an herb garden and his search for a plot of ground he noticed Naboth’s vineyard. Naboth’s vineyard was a very desirable piece of ground for what the king wanted.
The longing for Naboth’s vineyard just would not go away. The yearning became more overwhelming by the moment. King Ahab then approached Naboth with what might seem to some a reasonable offer for the land Naboth owned. However, this land was inherited and Naboth was the protector as well as possessor.
This ancestral possession with the Lord as his witness caused Naboth to shun King Ahab’s offer. Naboth said it’s not for sale! In actuality the law forbade the selling of the land. This land could not be sold for the law stated the selling of the land which was divided to certain families could not be consummated because the land was God’s land entrusted to Naboth.
Naboth was exactly correct in refusing the king’s office on the basis of two things. Legally he could not sell and spiritually he could not sell. King Ahab not willing to use force attempted to negotiate a fair value either in money or better land for Naboth’s vineyard. Naboth would have been a fool to turn down such an offer some might say but Naboth must obey God rather than man thus he says “Not for sale!”
The king was upset, distraught, discouraged, and dismayed about Naboth’s refusal to make a deal with him or worse than that Naboth would not even consider the proposition. The king like so many has now let his emotions and his feelings come before the will of God. Naboth simply replied, “The LORD forbid me.” Why wouldn’t Naboth strike a deal with the king?
· He knew who wanted it
· He knew the king and queen followed Baal
· He knew who the land really belonged to – God
· He knew he was given the inheritance at a great price.
He thought about how hard his daddy had worked to keep and maintain and protect this vineyard. He thought of grandpa and his great grandpa’s hard labor. The truth is none of us have a right to sell something that does not belong to us. It would be like you going out into the church parking lot and auctioning off the cars parked on that church lot. Why not? Because they do not belong to you!
King Ahab was mad because he knew Naboth was right! So he goes home and pouts! He goes home and acts like a three year old that cannot get his way. King Ahab here s a picture of the devil and the world. Naboth here pictures God’s people who are in God’s family. The vineyard pictures what God has entrusted with his children.
Satan is going around attempting to make deals with God’s people about what God has entrusted them with because if he can get the possession he can get the person! Do not forget this if Satan can get what you have he automatically has you!
The devil has no interest in destroying your church or the believers in that local church for all he wants is ownership. If the devil can get the possession he can get the person! If the devil can get what you have then he will have you!
There is no doubt that at the present time we are living under the rule of a wicked king in this old world but there are certain rights and privileges that the devil cannot violate. Satan wants to make a deal but our cry ought to be “Not for sale!”
All of us should put a “Not for sale!” sign out front of our lives. When you put a “FOR SALE” sign up you are saying, “I’m quitting! I no longer want what I had given to me by God!” All over this nation people are placing “FOR SALE” signs up in front of their lives! The Christian schools, standards, convictions, the word of God, ministries, bus ministry, Sunday school class, purity, marriage, Baptist church, soul winning, life, walk with God, children, church, and the will of God are for sale! There are some things God’s people ought to remember before making a deal with the wicked king of this world!
· Remember this is an illegal transaction
· Remember when you sell God’s possessions you go with the possessions
· Remember those who labored for what you have before you arrived
· Remember those who labor with you
· Remember those who will follow you
· Remember there will be a new owner
· Remember it is not yours to sell
· Remember you will stand before the Judge of the universe and give account
The only reason anyone sells what they have is because they are lazy and they let it run down! When you let your prayer life fall apart, your Sunday school class fall apart, bus ministry fall apart, standards fall apart, convictions fall apart, word of God become corrupted, bus routes fall apart, purity falls apart, soul winning fall apart, walk with God falls apart, and the will of God falls apart then you sell!
The “For Sale” sign says a lot. It says you are lazy! No wonder your vineyard has a “For Sale” sign on it. You never work your prayer life, bus route, Sunday school class, your church, Christian school, marriage, children, soul winning, or walk with God and so you put a “For Sale” sign up.
A man who will remodel his house, plow his fields, landscape the yard, paint, and fix up the outside of the house will not sell! The man who stands with sweat dripping off of his brow from laboring is approached by someone wanting to trade what you have for something he has will find the answer to be “Not For Sale!”
LOOK WHAT HAPPENED IN AMERICA WHEN WE SOLD THE SCRIPTURES
· 1860 – The first perversion of the Scriptures was published in America
· 1861 – The Civil War began
· 1914 – the World Bible Society adopted the NASB as Scripture
· 1915 – The start of WWI
· 1927 – William Heronias an American Bible scholar said the RSV were the exact words of Christ
· 1929 – The Stock Market crashed
· 1940 – the TEV is accepted by the Social Ministerial Society
· 1941 – Pearl Harbor was attacked and we entered into WWII
· 1960 – The American Council of Churches accepted and promoted the NRSV as the words of God
· 1962 – Prayer was banned from the public schools
· 1971 – The NIV was widely used and accepted by major denominations
· 1972 – The death penalty was voted as unconstitutional
· 1988 – The King James Bible defenders came to the fore front in America
· 1989 – Communism in Europe falls