The Menorah Blog

Jesus, Name Above All Names

Men Of The Vineyard Of God

I was thinking on the slick strategy of Jezebel in the matter of Ahab her husband wanting the vineyard of Naboth. Naboth was a simple man. He was just a keeper of his vineyard. His work consisted of pruning his vines each winter before the spring rains. Taking small cuttings and planting them so new vines can grow to replace old or dead ones. Then tending to the vines as they bud and grow during spring. Looking after insects and birds to keep them away from the vine as it blooms and as it brings forth a new cluster of grapes. Then of course waiting for harvest time in the fall of the year. It is not an exciting life tending after vines but it is rewarding and also a very calm way to spend your days, especially if you have a large vineyard and your grapes are a special type. In Israel there were several types of grapes and different colors. The grapes of Eshcol were the very best. They were large almost as big as small apples (Numbers 13:23).

Naboth was a man of personal integrity. The vineyard had come to him from his father. He had it all of his life and cared for it. He also had removed old or dead vines and planted new cuttings. So after the death of Naboth’s father the vineyard became his inheritance. It was not just a parcel of land or just a bunch of grape vines. It was a place of family memories. He grew up running through these vines playing as a child. He assisted in the harvesting and stomping them out to make grape juice and wine. He learned from his father all about grapes and vines. When it came his time to take the pulpit of the vineyard at the wine press, he was prepared, trained, and ready. And he kept the vineyard as a good keeper would.

The problem that developed, was that Ahab built his house next to the parcel of ground of Naboth. And on a particular day as he look out from his house and saw this beautiful kept vineyard he lusted to have it. He coveted it. He saw its beauty and he saw the manner of it as a vineyard well kept. The visible appearance was the result of the hard work of Naboth, a humble Jewish man.

He decided he wanted that vineyard for which he had no inheritance, no memories, no family connection. He just wanted it because it was something he did not have. He wanted what another man had produced. He wanted something another man had spent days, months, years, cultivating and caring for with tender hands and a loving heart. What did he care about all of that legacy. What he wanted he would get. After all he was the important one and he had power.

So Ahab went to Naboth and asked him to sell him the vineyard. And Naboth refused. This was an inheritance. And he was not going to sell his hard work for money. He was not going to give up the accomplishments of his father and his grandfathers before him. This was an inheritance and he would protect it, keep it, and not sell it. So he told Ahab NO, he would not give it to him (1Kings 21:6).

Ahab was sad. His heart was broken. He did not get his way. How could Naboth deny him the vineyard. Did he not know how important he was, he was the king? As he sulked and had a sad face, Jezebel saw it and asked him why he was so broken hearted. So he told her the story of the vineyard and how Naboth would not sell it to him. Jezebel listened and instantly came up with a plan to get that vineyard.

She took a simple nobody of a man, a man no one payed much attention to, and she began to praise him. A man the queen praised was soon a man everyone knew about. He was no longer a quiet hidden man. He was now a public celebrity. He had been made famous by Jezebel and her secret plot. You see, she planned to have him killed. And she needed a way to get all the people to approve his death. She wanted the people to consent to his death when it happened. In this way, they would never suspect that his death was just so Ahab could have his ministry. I mean his ministry of caring for his vineyard. Ahab wanted that vineyard, the vines, the fruit, and this ministry. And so Jezebel would get it for him after Naboth was dead. All she had to do was get Naboth killed and shift the attention away from Ahab to Naboth.

So on a certain day after Naboth had become famous by the wiles of Jezebel and she had made him famous with a feast (1Kings 21:12); then came in two sons of Belial. Now Belial are people of lies and deception, perverters, distorters, and false accusers. But they are exceptionally good at it. Here they came. Proud, arrogant, and slicked tongue. The sons of Belial spoke: “we heard him blaspheme God and the king” (1Kings 21:13). Of course Jezebel had staged and orchestrated this whole scheme. She knew the people would now consent to the death of Naboth. Their zeal would be used to sanction his bloody death. And so it was, the vineyard ministry of Naboth was taken from him and fell into the hands of a devil.

They took Naboth out and the people stoned him to death. And off in the distance stood Ahab and Jezebel grinning as they watched the people kill him.

Now we know this spirit. I am sure they told everyone how they loved Naboth. How he was a good man. How he was a good father. But he had blasphemed against God and that was enough for him to lay over there all bloody on the ground in his vineyard. And he deserved his vineyard ministry to be lost. And someone better than Naboth should have that vineyard. Someone who wanted it and never worked for it. And that someone was none other than Ahab. So he took the vineyard ministry that day not knowing that God was a witness of the scheme. Not knowing that God would avenge this murder and stealing of the vineyard ministry. And some day Ahab and Jezebel would pay for this with their own lives.

The strategy of Jezebel continues today. Speak good of a man while you plan his death so you can have his vineyard ministry. He will not give it to you. He will not allow you to take part. He will not allow you to participate in the inheritance. He will not sell what God had given him. So, praise him with the mouth while behind the scenes look for sons of Belial to raise accusations of blasphemy. Yes, the scheme worked with Jezebel. But what a price she paid. Naboth lay dead. And the vineyard ministry deteriorated into a parcel of dead vines and weeds. You see, after the death of Naboth there is no record Ahab took care of it. And when Ahab was dead, the vineyard was no more. An inheritance was lost. A vineyard ministry was destroyed because of greed, lust, covetousness, and at last hate.

I look at this story and then my mind goes to the parable of Jesus in Luke 20:10-15.

Now I know some of you will not get it. Some of you are just modern Ahabs and Jezebels. You will justify your sins and claim you love the Lord. You will not see that when an inheritance is destroyed someone must pay.
People who are saved and a part of the vineyard of Jesus Christ are precious special people. They do not deserve to be looked upon as objects of covetousness by unproductive men who lust and are full of greed for another man’s work. If you like what another man has produced, ask him how he did it and go do what he did. Spend the days, the months, the years: and learn how to care for your own inheritance.

This is just for those who have a spiritual mind and who love simple men who have spent their lives cultivating the vineyard of God as they stand in the pulpit.

If all of this went over your head, just remember one thing: do not follow the accusations of the sons of Belial when they accuse “blasphemy.”

Do not pick up a stone and cast it. Keep your hands from blood. Or pay the price of Ahab and Jezebel.

Bishop Reckart
A Man Working In The Vineyard of God.

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January 14, 2015 - Posted by | Apostolic Messianic

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