Counting the cost of our actions and words should always be a part of our daily lives before the Lord.
Remember the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me?” Is that really true? I do not believe so! Words can hurt as much as sticks and stones. There are consequences for both our words and actions, as well as ramifications. Those ramifications or consequences can produce good or evil, success or failure, love or hate, war or peace, joy or unhappiness.
I love that God’s Word is so relative and applicable to our everyday lives. In 1 Kings 21 we find biblical truths about our words and actions and the ramification of them before God.
In the Old Testament, God sent prophets to each king of Israel to confront and advise them. One of these prophets was Elijah. God sought and chose Elijah, but, more importantly, Elijah sought after God.
Elijah was sent to speak truth and righteousness into King Ahab’s life. Ahab, however, did not like Elijah! Elijah confronted the King with his sin, idolatry, idol worship, and the evil that was taking place in Israel. Ahab had no intention of taking responsibility for his actions and the evil that was taking place in his home or Israel. He actually turned a blind eye to it. He became trapped by his own choices. He listened only to those who agreed with him or brought “good news” or told him what he wanted to hear, not what he needed to hear. This, however, became the death of him and his whole family.
What exactly happened? Please take a moment to read 1 Kings 21.
This life lesson starts out with a God-fearing man named Naboth. He had a vegetable garden near the summer palace of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. King Ahab decided he wanted that garden for his own. The King approached Naboth with an offer to buy the garden. He even offered Naboth a new plot of land somewhere else. Sounds like a fair deal, or so it seemed.
Naboth refused the offer. The land was Naboth’s inheritance, and according to Jewish law, that inheritance belonged to the Lord. It was on loan from the Lord to be enjoyed by his people as long as they obeyed God’s laws. Property was to be kept in the family (Lev. 25:23-28). Naboth was more concerned about obeying God and doing what was right in God’s eyes than making money and pleasing the King.
This did not sit right with the King and Queen. They were powerful and rich, and they wanted that garden! They became covetous! What is covetousness? It is about having a great desire to possess something that belongs to someone else. We can covet power, wealth, beauty, knowledge, or possessions. Covetousness plays itself out because of hidden desires in the heart.
Covetousness is the last commandment, and as Dr. Wiersbe states, “perhaps the most difficult to obey. A covetous heart often leads us to disobey all the other commandments of God.” The first nine commandments focus on outward conduct, but the tenth commandment deals with the hidden desires of the heart. These hidden desires can cause us to act out what is in our heart! Wow!
For King Ahab, it caused him to follow after his ungodly wife and those who encouraged him to do whatever he wanted to. He became a participant in idolatry, murder, stealing, lies, and bearing false witness against another! Ahab became a puppet. He followed what felt good and what the majority opinion was.
Sin has a way of exploding, if left unchecked. And explode it did. The ramifications of Ahab and Jezebel’s sin cost them their very lives and that of their family! It was not a pleasant death either! 1 Kings 21:25 reads, “There was never a man like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged by Jezebel, his wife.” His legacy became known to the world as, “the worst, most-evil King ever in Israel.”
Rejecting God and disobeying His truths can only lead to disaster, ramifications, and consequences! King Ahab did repent, and his life was spared for the time being, but terrible deaths came upon his whole family because of his sin (1 kings 22).
Weighing our words before we speak, praying and seeking the Lord each and every day, all through the day, will keep our words and actions in check. God will never lead us to do what He has said is wrong in His Word – even in principle. Only God can give us courage to say and do what is right. It is a commitment we make to God each and every day!
Who can discern my errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from sins;
May they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
Innocent of great transgression.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be pleasing in your sight,
Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
“Precious Lord, guard my mouth, my actions, and my heart, that I might speak and live your truth each day! Thank you, Lord, for the mighty work your Holy Spirit does in my life. Thank you for being my rock and Redeemer.”