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1Kings 21:1-4 IT’S NOT FOR SALE
Intro: Henry Ingram of Hardeeville, S. C., has vowed never to let his plantation fall into Yankee hands again, reports The Associated Press. He has filed deed restrictions barring the sale of his land to anyone born north of the Mason-Dixon Line or to anyone whose name is “Sherman or whose surname can be spelled from the letters in Sherman. Mr. Ingram is not a racial bigot; he has stipulated that any "Southern person of African descent" can buy his property at a 10-per-cent discount. U.S. laws say nothing about geographical discrimination, according to real-estate lawyer Bill McElveen, and “someone would have to show [Yankees are] a class of people entitled to some kind of protection. In other words, he said, If you’re a Yankee, it’s not for sale!
Our passage introduces us to another man who refused to sell the farm. A man named Naboth, whose name means “fruit, lived in Jezreel. Naboth owned a vineyard that was situated beside the summer palace of the Ahab, the king of Israel, v. 1. Verse 2 tells us that Ahab wanted Naboth’s vineyard and offered to trade him a better vineyard, or to pay him cash for his land. It seems like a reasonable offer on the surface. The king apparently was a gardener and wanted this patch of ground close to his palace to raise himself a vegetable garden. But, Naboth refuses the king’s offer.
I want to look at Naboth’s refusal today. I want to talk about the reasons why Naboth said “No! to Ahab. I want to talk about what this passage has to say to us today. There are some folks in our world that would try to take away what we have been given by the Lord. When they come to us with their plans and ideas we need to be able to say It’s Not For Sale!
I. NABOTH REFUSED BECAUSE OF THE WORD OF GOD
· The king’s request seems reasonable enough. He said, “Give me your field and I will give you a better field in return, or I will pay you whatever you ask in cash. Naboth refused on the grounds that God said he could not sale the land.
· God said exactly that: Lev. 25:23-28; Num. 36:7. In fact, the Word of God was clear that the king could not buy the inheritance of the people, Eze. 46:18.
· Naboth realized that what he possessed was not his to sale anyway. What he possessed was the gift of God and he was merely a caretaker. Naboth was to keep the land in the family and pass it down from generation to generation.
· Ill. We need to take an inventory of all the great gifts that we have been given by the Lord. (Ill. The church, the Bible, the plan of salvation, our worship, our biblical standards, our godly heritage, etc.) We need to remember that these things are not ours to do with as we please. We are merely custodians of these things. We are caretakers who must pass them along to the next generation. We have what we have because someone took care of it and handed it down, 2 Tim. 2:2. We must do the same!
II. NABOTH REFUSED BECAUSE OF THE WILL OF THE FATHERS
· Naboth’s fathers had passed this inheritance down to him, one day he would join them in passing that inheritance down to the next generation. If he sold the farm, there would be nothing to hand down. (Il. That other property would be given back to the original owner in the Year of Jubilee, Lev. 25:13. Any land Naboth bought would go back to the original family at jubilee. If he sold what he had, Naboth would be left with nothing!) His inheritance had been passed down by the will of the fathers for centuries and he refused to sell what they had entrusted him to pass down to others. Thus, he said, “It’s not for sale!”
· If we sell our inheritance we will have nothing to hand down to our children. Let’s consider what we have been entrusted to guard and hand down.
1. Salvation People are preaching many plans of salvation and easy-believism rules the land. God knows but one plan of salvation, 1 Pet. 1:18-19; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Acts 16:21; Rom. 10:9, 13. We must guard salvation and we do so by proclaiming it, Rom. 1:16! When they try to change the Gospel, tell them “It’s not for sale!
2. Scripture Many are denying the Word of God in this hour. The Bible is still the Word of God, 2 Tim. 3:16. It is still powerful, Heb. 4:12. It is still truth, John 17:17. It is still inerrant, infallible and inspired. We guard it by reading it, proclaiming it and living it out day by day. When they try to take your Bible, change your Bible or offer you another book, tell them “It’s not for sale!
3. Separation Churches and the people who make them up are in the business of lowering the walls of separation between themselves and the world. The common adage in our day is this: To win them we must be like them.” The problem with that is two-fold. 1.) We can’t win them, that is His job! 2.) We are commanded to be separate from the world, 2 Cor. 6:17. The word “separate means to mark oneself off from others by boundaries. It is the picture of building walls of separation between the church and the world. We need those walls of separation in our deeds, our dress, our worship, and our standards. We guard our separation by staying separated! When they try to get you to be like them, just tell them Its not for sale!
4. Shouting We have been given a heritage of worship in our Baptist churches. There used to be a day when the saints of God would gather at the Lords house and they would go to meeting. They would sing, shout and praise the Lord for his grace and his goodness. Sadly, most of our churches are enveloped in silence these days. Far too few are giving God the praise and genuine worship He deserves and demands, Heb. 13:15; Psa. 47:1; Psa. 98:4. We guard our shouting by doing it! When they try to silence your praise just say, “It’s not for sale!
· There’s more I could say. You and I have been given a precious inheritance. Our fathers gave us a heritage of holiness, praise and spiritual power. Many of our fathers died to preserve what we have. We must guard that with our lives so that we will have something to pass down to our children.
III. NABOTH REFUSED BECAUSE OF THE WORTH OF THE KING
· Ill. “Thee Drips with sarcasm. Naboth is saying, You are not worthy to buy at any price that which I have received by inheritance. It’s not for sale! (Ill. 1 Kings 28-29)
· Those who would take what we have are not worthy to set a foot on our inheritance. We must not give them so much as an inch; for if we do so, we will be left with nothing to pass to the next generation, Ill. Eph. 4:27. What we have is worth more than pleasing the world, the flesh or the devil. What we have is worth more than fitting in and being accepted. We must guard what we have at all costs. Nothing matters but pleasing the Lord! When they try to take what you have just tell them “It’s not for sale! (Ill. Matt. 7:6 They cannot appreciate or understand what we have in Jesus!)
Conc: Ill. The rest of the story: v. 4 Ahab Pouted; v. 5-10 Jezebel Plotted; v. 11-14 Naboth Perished; v. 15-29 God Prevailed. Naboth paid a price, but he stood his ground for the Lord and his inheritance was passed down to the next generation. What the next generation has tomorrow will be determined by what we do today. Let’s come before the Lord, thank Him, for what we have and determine that some things are “not for sale!