Who’s in charge of the vineyard? Who’s in charge of what we grow? Who’s tending to it?
“Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit?” (1 Corinthians 9: 7)
There was a man, Naboth, who had a vineyard close to the palace of King Ahab and his wicked wife, Jezebel. Ahab asks Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard to use for our vegetable garden since it’s close to my palace. In exchange, I will give you a better vineyard, or if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth.” (1 Kings 21: 2)
Naboth refused because this land was the Lord’s from his family’s inheritance.
- Our inheritance in the Lord cannot be bought or exchanged.
- Jesus is our inheritance.
- He bought and paid the price.
- Guard and hold on to this inheritance.
King Ahab sulked and pouted over Naboth’s answer, so Jezebel, his wife, intervenes in her devious way. She writes a letter, in King Ahab’s name, proclaiming a fast. She has Naboth seated in a prominent place among the people. But two scoundrels opposite him on either side were told to lie and testify that he has cursed both God and the king.
- Lying and manipulating will never get you a place at the kings’ table.
- Be careful who you dine with.
- Be wise about desiring a prominent place.
Naboth is unjustly accused and stoned to death. As soon as he dies, she tells her husband, Ahab, to “Take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you.” (1 Kings 21: 15)
- We have been given the vineyard to take possession of it.
- There is no reason to covet anybody else’s harvest.
Ugh oh! Here comes the prophet, Elijah, on assignment! The Lord tells him to go to King Ahab and say this, “Have you not murdered a man and seized his property? (1 Kings 21: 19)
- The vineyard is our property to take dominion over.
As soon as King Ahab sees Elijah, he greets him saying, “So you have found me, my enemy!” (1 Kings 21: 20) Elijah responds that he has found him because he has sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord.
- Don’t ever sell yourself to the devil or to any of his ways.
Elijah then tells him of his upcoming destruction and that of his wife’s. After Ahab heard these words, he fasted and humbled himself. “He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.” (1 Kings 21: 27) He was in mourning.
Elijah gets another word from the Lord. He says, “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on the house of the days of his son.” (1 Kings 21: 29)
- Our sin affects our family line and the next generation.
- The Lord changes his judgment when a man repents and humbles himself. (Shared from 1 Kings 21, Modified)
Amos is lamenting and calling for repentance. This is what the Lord says, “Seek me and live.” (Amos 5: 4) He says it several times in different ways.
“Seek the Lord and live.” (Amos 5: 6)
“Though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine.” (Amos 5: 11)
“Seek good, not evil. That you may live. Then the Lord Almighty will be with you.” (Amos 5: 14)
“Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.” (Amos 5: 15)
“Perhaps, the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant…” (Amos 5: 15b)
The footnote said this about this last verse. Using the word perhaps is signifying there is danger in presuming on God’s grace. Even a widespread change of attitude would need the test of time to prove its genuineness.
- The test of time will reveal true repentance and genuineness. (Shared from Amos 5, Modified)
Paul is concluding his teaching on marriage. He says, “Those who marry will face many troubles in this life. For those who have wives, should live as they had none.” (1 Corinthians 7: 28-29) All the men say, “Can I get an Amen?” I am being facetious, of course!
He is instructing them not to be unduly concerned with these types of affairs. Unless there is an affair! Just kidding again! Not making light of marital affairs, just having some fun. He didn’t say that!
He says, “Time is short.” (1 Corinthians 7: 29) He wants their focus to be undivided in serving the Lord. The truth is when you’re married your interests are divided. His desire for us is to “Live in the right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 7: 35) As a believer, we are married to the Lord.
God always wanted his people to live in unity, “Sow fields and plant vineyards that yield a fruitful harvest; to see the numbers increase.” (Psalm 107: 37)
As His beloved, His believing ones, the Lord calls His bride saying, “Let us go to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded.” (Song Of Solomon 7: 12)
- He’s checking on our work and the status of what’s been planted.
- We are co-laborers with Him.
- He delights in seeing the fruit in our lives.
God has given mankind the ability to sow and plant, to live in undivided devotion, and reap an inheritance. The only way to do this is to abide in the vine. Jesus is the vine, the one we are to cling to, abide with. He has told us, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Abide in Me and I in you.”
Let nothing distract you from this call. Let nothing keep you from planting and building. He is tending the vines, and tending to the harvest, as we bring in the sheaves. Part of our call is being called to our spouse and our families.
He told us, “I am the vine, and my father is the gardener.” (John 15: 1) Let Him be in charge! Remain in Jesus. Remain in His love.
(Shared from 1 Corinthians 7: 25-40, Modified)
UNBROKEN LOVE SERIES
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