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1 Kings 21:1-4
DEAL OR NO DEAL?
Intro: Ill. The game show Deal Or No Deal. Often the contestants on the show will turn down a good offer and leave with less than they could have had. At other times, they make a good deal and leave with far more than they ever expected. But, either way, it’s always a gamble. Should they take what they have and go on their way, or should they hold out for more? Should they say “Deal or No deal? Win or lose, at the end of the day, Deal Or No Deal is just a game show. Any money they win will soon be spent, and any humiliation they might endure over losing everything will soon be forgotten.
In our daily lives, we face Deal Or No Deal choices that could affect us for the rest of our lives, and for all of eternity. The choices you make every day in friends, music, clothing, reading material, Internet browsing, text messaging, etc. may seem trivial on the surface. Those things could change the course of your life. Your decisions about sex, drugs, alcohol and things of that nature will change your lives in ways you can’t begin to imagine today. Your spiritual decisions are the most important of all. Will you receive Jesus? Will you live a godly life? Will you place His will above all things in your life? Will you pray, read your Bible and be a witness for Christ? All of questions and more are extremely vital.
In our text, we are introduced to a man named “Naboth. He is faced with a Deal Or No Deal situation in these verses. I am interested in what Naboth does, because his life has some valuable lessons to teach us when we come to a “Deal Or No Deal intersection in life.
I want you to see Naboth And His Obligations; Naboth And His Opportunities and Naboth And His Obedience. Notice these lessons with me as I preach on Deal Or No Deal.
I. v. 1 NABOTH AND HIS OBLIGATION
A. Naboth’s Possession We are told that Naboth had a vineyard. This vineyard had been passed down to him by his fathers. It had been in his family since Israel had been given possession of the Promised Land. This land had been in his family for generations. It was more than his inheritance; it was his heritage.
It was also prime real estate. Somewhere along the way, the King of Israel had built his palace next door. This was the most elite neighborhood in town. Nobody in Samaria had a better possession that Naboth.
(Note: Just so you know, you and I also have a vineyard. You and I have been given a wonderful inheritance by those who have gone before us. It is no accident that you are here today. This church, and the church you attend, is prime real estate, given to you as an inheritance from the generations that have gone before.
When we stop to think about what we have, the Word of God; old-fashioned preaching; Spirit-filled worship; holy living; etc.; it is easy to see that we have been given a precious possession. We have a great heritage!)
B. Naboth’s Profession Naboth worked his vineyard. He raised grapes to provide a living for himself and for his family. He must have done a good job of maintaining his vineyard, because he caught the eyes of the king. As Ahab passed by in his chariot, he must have admired the well-tended land and the luxuriant vines loaded with grapes. It was evident that Naboth spent his days taking care of what he had been given.
(Note: We need to take advantage of what we have been given. Don’t take services like this for granted. Thank God for your Bible, your church, your preacher, your salvation, etc. Learn to worship God and praise Him for all He has given you. Like Naboth, we have an obligation to take what we have been given and make it the best it can be for the glory of God. If our vineyard is well tended and fruitful, the Lord might just use it to catch the eye of a lost world.)
C. Naboth’s Protection As Naboth tilled and worked the land, he knew that, in reality, he was merely a caretaker. Oh, the land was his, but not for long. It was his to work, but more importantly, it was his to protect. He had the responsibility of making sure that land would be handed son to his children and to their children and from generation to generation. Naboth was just one man, but he was a link in the chain of Gods will and Gods blessing. If he failed in his generation, the next generation would have nothing to inherit and they would have nothing to pass on. Naboth had been charged with protecting what he had been given.
(Note: Again there is a word of application for us. My generation has been given a wonderful spiritual heritage. We have been charged with protecting things like the Word of God; Spirit-filled preaching; old-fashioned praise and worship; God-honoring music; holiness and separation alive so that we can pass them down to your generation. It’s not too early for you to step up. Take a look over the vineyard today, and get in there! Work it, protect it and preserve it, so the next generation will have something godly to inherit. Ill. That is the way God set this thing us, 2 Tim. 2:2. We have what we have because the last generation did not fail.)
II. v. 2a NABOTH AND HIS OPPORTUNITY
(Ill. One day, Naboth is out working in his vineyard and he has a visitor. King Ahab comes over from the palace with an offer for Naboth. He wants to buy Naboth’s vineyard. Let’s walk through the king’s offer and learn that opportunities are not always what they appear to be.)
A. A Royal Opportunity This offer came from the king himself. Who could refuse such and offer? The king held a lot of power and a lot of influence. People typically did as the king requested.
B. A Reasonable Opportunity Ahab wanted the vineyard because it was close to his house. He wanted to plant himself an herb garden there. It was close by; he could work the ground himself. It would give the king pleasure, exercise and enjoyment. It was a very reasonable thing to ask.
C. A Responsible Opportunity This offer would have given Naboth the opportunity to better himself. He would have been given a better piece of land, or he could have named the price and the king would have given him cash money for the property.
(Note: Most folks would have leaped on an offer like this. It would have pleased the king. It would have brought profit to Naboth. It just made sense on the surface. But, Naboth saw beneath the surface and saw what was really going on here.)
D. A Repugnant Opportunity Ahab wanted to buy the land and plow under the grapevines. He wanted to destroy everything Naboths fathers had worked so hard to give him. Ahab wanted to erase Naboths heritage.
(Note: You are going to receive a lot of offers in your life. From the guy who says, “If you loved me you would; to the so-called friends who say, Oh come one, everybody’s doing it. I want to help you today. I want you to see that everything that looks like and opportunity really isnt! Let me share a few important principles with you about this matter.
· Don’t sell out regardless of who does the asking. Someone who asks you to do anything that violates your conscience or the Word of God is not your friend. Choose the people who hang with very carefully, 1 Cor. 15:33.
· Don’t sell out just to please the crowd. Remember until you do it, not everybody is! Sometimes it’s better to stand alone that it is to stand with the crowd. It was the crowd that cried “crucify Him the day Jesus died. There were just a few who stayed by Him that day. The crowd is headed to Hell, Matt. 7:13-14. Refuse to go along with them!
· No matter how reasonable the opportunity looks on the surface, take some time to look down the road and weigh out the consequences of your decision. Every decision you make has consequences, Gal. 6:7-8. Some are short-term. Some are life-long. Some are eternal. (Ill. Ask Eve today is she might make a different choice, Gen. 3. Ask David today if he might have made a different choice, 2 Sam. 11. Ask Judas today if he might have made a different choice, Matt. 26:49.)
· Never forget that the world, the flesh and the devil are all trying to destroy your heritage. If they have their way in your life, they will take everything you have been given and leave you nothing to live for and nothing to pass on to your children. I want to have something to pass on!)
III. v. 2b NABOTH
(Ill. Naboth hears the offer and he refuses. His refusal reveals a lot about his character. Let’s learn from his example.)
A. The Word Of God Naboth said The Lord forbid it me. He told Ahab that he could not sell the vineyard because God had forbidden it. And, God had, Lev. 25:23-28; Num. 36:7. In fact, the Word of God clearly stated that the king was forbidden from buying the inheritance of the people, Eze. 46:18. He said, “No Deal!
(Note: Your first allegiance is to God. Find out what He says about a matter and walk in His will. You will never go wrong, and you will never regret, letting the Word of God be your guide in life, Psa. 119:105; 19:8; 2 Pet. 1:19.)
B. The Will Of The Fathers The land had been in Naboths family for generations. If he sold it, there would be nothing for his children. He said No Deal!
(Note: Some of the people in my generation are selling out. They are taking the offer of the world, the flesh and the devil. They are changing their methods. They are watering down their message. They are leaving the old paths for a new way they think will attract the world to them.
But, there are still a few that are refusing to sell the farm! They are still preaching against sin. They are still calling sinners to repent and trust Jesus. They are standing their ground for the Lord in an increasingly hostile world. They are doing this so that they might have something to pass on to you.
Let me challenge you to be thankful for the heritage you have been given. Be thankful for those who faithfully tend the vineyard so that you might have a future in the Lord. You should take the time to thank you Pastor for preaching the Word of God. You should thank your youth workers for loving you and for trying to help you. You should bow before God today and commit yourself to live before Him in obedience and holiness for the glory of God. You should commit yourself to taking up the task of laboring in the father’s vineyard! It’s easy to sit back and take, but there comes a time when you need to step up and give! That time is now!)
C. The Worth Of The King Naboth looks at Ahab and says I will never sell what I have to you! No Deal! Look at verse 3. The word “thee drips with sarcasm. Naboth is telling Ahab, You are not worthy to buy at any price what I have been given.
Naboth felt this way because Ahab was a wicked man. Naboth refused to sell his farm, but Ahab had sold out a long time ago. 1 Kings 21:20 and 25 tell us about his condition.
Naboth valued what he had and he knew the king would not. He knew that Ahab was not worthy to possess the thing Ahab had been given by God.
(Note: Regardless of who wants what you have, they are not worthy to take it. Don’t sell the farm! Tell them “No Deal!
Someone once said, “Every man has his price.” That statement implies that everyone comes to the place where they will sell all they have if the price is right. What’s your price?
· How much is your purity worth? What’s your price? Some have sold it cheap. They have given their purity to a pretty girl, or to some boy who said, “I love you.” By the way, your purity doesn’t even belong to you! Your purity belongs to your future mate and no one else! Don’t sell the farm! Say, “No deal!
· How much is your innocence worth? What’s your price? Some have sold it dirt cheap. They have given their innocence away to the Internet, to movies, to pornography, etc. Don’t sell the farm! Say, “No deal!
· How much is your mind worth? What’s your price? Some have sold it for nearly nothing, they have filled it with the language and the images of the world. Don’t sell the farm! Say, “No deal!
· How much is your testimony worth? What’s your price? Some have sold it at bargain basement prices. They have sold it to keep a friend. They have sold it to impress others. They have sold it to fit in. Don’t sell the farm! Say, “No deal!
· How much is your life worth? What’s your price? Some have sold theirs for nothing. They made stupid decisions when they were young that haunt them to the grave. Don’t sell you life for cheap thrills and wind up with an STD. Don’t sell your life for a few minutes of pleasure and be saddled with a bad marriage. Don’t give away your life and poison your years so that you can’t be used of God. Don’t sell the farm! Say, “No deal!
· How much is your soul worth? What’s your price? Some have sold theirs for perishable things. Some have traded eternity for sex, drugs, alcohol, pleasure, friendships, or what they think is love. Those things will all perish! The only thing you have of any eternal value is your soul. Nothing in this world is worth losing that, Mark 8:36-37. Don’t sell the farm! Say, “No deal!
Conc: I wish I could tell you that Naboth’s story had a happy ending. Because he said “no deal and refused to sell the farm, he paid a high price. Ahabs wife Jezebel had him arrested on false charges and Naboth was stoned to death, v. 13. I really do wish the story ended on a happier note.
Of course, the Bible always tells us the truth, doesn’t it? If you refuse to take the deals offered by those who would take what you have, you can expect to suffer because of it, 2 Tim. 3:12. You might find yourself ostracized by the crowd. You might be made fun of. You might be laughed at. You will miss out on a few of the experiences others around you are having. But, you will be the winner in the end.
You see, when all of this happened, God sent the prophet Elijah to confront Ahab, v. 17-24. Elijah told Ahab that he would die and the dogs would lick his blood in that very vineyard, v. 19. Elijah also told Ahab that Jezebel would die and be eaten by dogs, v. 23. Guess what? That is exactly what happened.
So, who was the winner here? Naboth was the winner! How? In a number of ways; let me give you a couple.
· First, he maintained his integrity. He lived and died knowing that he had done the right thing. That knowledge is priceless. It makes for a clean conscience and good night of sleep.
· Second, Naboth may have died, but he went to be with the Lord. What good is any kind of life that leaves you lost when it ends?
Where does this message find you today?
· Have you sold the farm? Have you taken the deal and lost some things? Bring that fact the Lord. If you are lost, He will save you today. If you have walked away from Him, He will forgive you and restore you.
· Have you been thinking about taking the deal? Let me encourage you to come before the Lord and ask for the help you need to say “No deal!
· Do you have friends that are selling out cheap? You need to come and pray for them today.
· Do you need to step up and get to work in the vineyard? Maybe the Lord has been calling you to serve Him. If He has, come today.
Will you obey Him today, whatever it is that He wants you to do? What’s it going to be: Deal Or No Deal?