Satan’s strategy (9)

 

 

“So she wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal, and sent letters to the elders and to the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city.  Now she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people; and seat two worthless men before him, and let them testify against him, saying, 'You cursed God and the king ' Then take him out and stone him to death.” (1 Kings 21:8-10)

 

 

In today's world, if you accidentally upload an article, photo, or video on the Internet, you will face great difficulties.  Someone who hates us can use our writings, pictures or videos, etc., with a malicious intent to harass and inflict pain on us.  In particular, if someone posts a very bad lie about us, slanders them, or spreads strange rumors, we can face fatal difficulties that can lead to social burial.  The reason is because the article posted on the Internet can reach many people at a very high speed.  And even if the article later turns out to be false, the fatal wounds we have already suffered are not so easy to heal.  So negative writing is very dangerous.

 

            In 1 Kings 21:8-10, Jezebel, wife of King Ahab of northern Israel, wrote letters in the name of her husband Ahab and stamped King Ahab's seal, and sent letters to the elders and to the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city.  The content of the letters was, in a word, to kill Naboth.  Why did Jezebel want to kill Naboth?  The reason was because King Ahab wanted to own Naboth's vineyard (vv. 1-2).  The reason was because King Ahab wanted to make a vegetable garden with the Naboth's vineyard (v. 2).  So King Ahab was willing to give Naboth a better vineyard than Naboth’s vineyard a generous price or to give him the price of it in money (v. 2).  But Naboth rejected King Ahab's offer because God forbade him to give the inheritance of his fathers to King Ahab (v. 3).  So King Ahab came home, sullen and angry, lying on his bed, turning away his face away and ate no food (v. 4).  But his wife Jezebel came to him and asked him, “Why are you so sullen?  Why won’t you eat?” (v. 5)  Then King Ahab said to Jezebel, ‘I said to Naboth to sell his vineyard or give him another vineyard in its place, but he refused’ (v. 6).  So Jezebel promised that she would get him the vineyard of Naboth (v. 7).  Then she wrote the letters in Ahab's name, stamped the king's seal, and sent them to the elders and nobles living in Naboth's city (v. 8).  As I meditate on the contents of those letters, I would like to think about Satan's strategy in three ways:

 

            First, Satan's strategy is to seat us at the head of the people.

 

            Look at 1 Kings 21:9 – “Now she wrote in the letters, saying, "Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people.”  The first instructions Jezebel wrote to the elders and the nobles who lived with Naboth (v. 11) in writing were to proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people (v. 9).  Why did Jezebel give such instruction?  After all, she would have wanted to kill Naboth in the end.  But why did she even instruct them to declare the fast and to seat him at the head of the people?  Did Naboth really sit on that high place?  If he had sat down, would he have liked to sit on that high place?  I don't think so.  The reason I think so is because Naboth was a man who did not do what God forbids (v. 3).  Considering Naboth's word that God forbade the giving of his father's inheritance to King Ahab (v. 3), I think he did not like to be treated by others like the scribes and Pharisees, who loved the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues (Mt. 23:6).  But Satan's strategy keeps us being treated by others.  Satan keeps trying to get us to sit at the top seat.  He keeps making our minds prouder and over-thinking, leading to over-thinking actions.  In the end, Satan stimulates and maximizes our pride by making us to have the most important seat and exalting us in front of people (Lk. 20:46).  His purpose is to make us to sin against God.

 

            We must not fall for this satanic scheme.  We shouldn't like to sit at the most important seat and to be exalted in front of people.  Rather, we need to be burdened to be exalted in front of people.  And we need to humble ourselves, even deliberately in front of people.  The reason is because when we get used to sitting in the high place, our minds run the risk of becoming proud too.  Therefore, our attention should be on those who sit on the lower place than on those who sit on the higher place.  And our hearts should be with those who sit on the lower place.  At the same time, we must have the humble heart of Jesus and learn His heart (Phil. 2:5-8).  We should become those who are exalted by God rather than being exalted by people.

 

            Second, Satan's strategy is to frame us.

 

            Look at 1 Kings 21:10a – “and seat two worthless men before him, and let them testify against him, saying, 'You cursed God and the king. …. “  The second instruction Jezebel wrote to the elders and the nobles who lived with Naboth was to set up two worthless men before Naboth, and to give false witness against Naboth.  The false witness was that Naboth had cursed God and King Ahab (v. 10).  What a cunning ploy this was.  Although Naboth never cursed God or the king, the elders and the nobles of the city where Naboth lived and set up the false witnesses and made Naboth a curser against God and the king (v. 13).  How could Naboth curse God who didn’t do what God forbade?  Also, how could Naboth, who obeyed God, cursed Ahab, whom God had anointed, no matter how evil Ahab was?  This was a blatant lie.  But Jezebel set up the false witnesses to make the lie a truth by making them to lie against Naboth.  This was Satan's strategy.  Satan is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44).  He is not on the side of the truth because he does not have the truth (v. 44).  He is a liar (v. 44).  His scheme is to lie to us.  Satan lies to us by adding or subtracting from the truth.  Therefore, it may not be easy for us to discern the lie.

 

We must not fall for this satanic scheme.  Satan, who turns truth into lies and lies into truth, uses his servants, his false witnesses, to frame us.  Even by telling lies, he puts us in trouble.  At that time, we must be awake and sober, praying and standing firm in the word of God.  In particular, we must not abandon our integrity in the midst of any lies and slander.  We must be truthful with the belief that the truth triumphs over lies.  In addition, we should look and depend on God more and more and long for God's deliverance.  We must ask God to deliver us from the hands of those who frame us.  We must also have spiritual discernment.  Only then will we be able to discern Satan's clever lies and the lies of his false witnesses so that we can throw away lies and stand firm in the truth.

 

            Third, Satan's strategy is to kill us.

 

Look at 1 Kings 21:10b – “…  Then take him out and stone him to death.”  The third and final instruction Jezebel wrote to the elders) and the nobles who lived with Naboth was to stone Naboth to death.  According to this instruction, the elders and the nobles living in the city of Naboth did as Jezebel had written in her letter to them (vv. 11, 13).  Then they sent word to Jezebel, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead” (v. 14).  Upon receiving this notice, Jezebel said to her husband, King Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth, the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead” (v. 15).  So, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth's vineyard (v. 16).

 

How evil are these people.  Evil Ahab broke the tenth of the Ten Commandments and coveted his neighbor's vineyard (Exod. 20:17), and his wife Jezebel made Ahab take possession of Naboth's vineyard that her husband wanted, even by killing Naboth.  How wicked is it that the king and the queen of a nation take away what they want, even if they kill the faithful Naboth, who obeys the word of God, instead of taking care of their people (v. 19).  Ahab, who had sold himself, did what was evil in the sight of God, and his wife Jezebel incited him (vv. 20, 25).  Perhaps Ahab and Jezebel thought they had overcome because they got what they wanted.  They would not have felt any guilt for the sin they had committed.  But God knew it all.  So God sent the Prophet Elijah to meet King Ahab (v. 18) and said, “In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth the dogs will lick up your blood, even yours” (v. 19).  Not only that, but God said to Ahab through the Prophet Elijah, “Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, both bond and free in Israel; and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and because you have made Israel sin” (vv. 21-22).  Regarding Jezebel, God said, “The dogs will eat Jezebel in the district of Jezreel” (v. 23).  God's righteous judgment was, “The one belonging to Ahab, who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and the one who dies in the field the birds of heaven will eat” (v. 24).  It is truly a terrifying judgment from God.  Therefore, we must not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, but fear God who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Mt. 10:28).

 

In one way, I think that it is effective to spread the Word if I write a meditation on the Word and post it on my personal Facebook or Social Network Service (SNS) such as Naver blog and make it public so that everyone can see it.  At the same time, I think there is also a risk on the other side.  The more I think about it these days, the more I think that I can be caught in my own writing just like an animal is caught in a trap.  Since I am trying my best to write honestly by reflecting on the words of God while meditating hard on my own, I think writing down my shortcomings and faults and sharing them openly with everyone is enough to cause difficulties and pain for myself in the future.  Since in writing, the intention of the writer may not conveyed to the readers as it is, and each person interprets the writing in his or her own way, I think those who may hate me can attack me with my onw writings.  So these days, I am more careful about writing and sharing than before.  However, I do not want to stop writing.  I want to continue writing while meditating on the Word of God.  The reason is because the heart that the Lord has given me is that it is my mission to meditate on the word of God day and night and share it.  But Satan will continue to work to prevent me from fulfilling this mission.  Satan has placed me on a high place in front of people and keeps working to make me proud.  Also, Satan continues to work to get his false witnesses to frame me by falsely accumulating the writings of my meditations.  Satan's purpose is to kill me.  Satan continues to work to kill my faith rather than kill my body (life and death are in the sovereignty of God).  In other words, Satan is working diligently to get me to have a dead faith without works (Jam. 2:26).  Satan is making me to just say, “Lord, Lord” only with my mouth, so that I cannot do the will of my Father who is in heaven (Mt. 7:21).  But I am not afraid.  The reason is because Jesus, who overcame Satan and death on the cross, is with me.  Therefore, imitating Jesus and sharing the word of the truth with humble heart, I want to enjoy eternal life on this earth, even partially, more fully.