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October 19 – The righteous sufferer

So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.Hebrews 13:12-14

Scripture reading: 1 Kings 21:1-16

Naboth was a righteous man. He refused Ahab’s offer, not because he was churlish, but for righteousness’ sake. He knew the Lord’s laws forbade, under most circumstances, the selling of one’s land (Lev. 25:23-28). The gift of the land was part and parcel of Israel’s redemption. Redemption was not simply escaping from slavery but provision for the future. The promise of God to the fathers was realized only when Israel possessed its inheritance in the land and enjoyed life there with their Redeemer. Naboth treasured God’s blessing and was not going to part with it. Esau did. So did Demas (2 Tim. 4:10). Would you?

His determination cost him. He suffered through wicked machinations. Remarkable how similar Naboth’s experience was to our Lord’s: Christ was accused of blasphemy against God and king, two false witnesses spoke against him, and he was put to death outside the city. The similarity is not so much because Christ joins us in our suffering as that we join Him in His.

But even as Christ received His inheritance following His suffering, so will the saints receive theirs following suffering. Naboth is dead but not forgotten. His name is mentioned seven times after his killing. And after his death his vineyard is still called “the vineyard of Naboth” (v. 18). Nor did he not lose his eternal inheritance. Neither shall we who trust in the righteous Sufferer, Jesus Christ. Our names are engraved on His palms, those palms that were outstretched on Golgotha’s cross for your salvation, a salvation that rescues you from tyranny to bring you into an inheritance.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that we would be encouraged to embrace suffering for Christ’s sake by the confidence that we shall share in His glory. Pray for your minister that he may preach Christ and Him crucified and that God’s Word would both comfort and convert for the glory of the Saviour.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. John van Eyk is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta.

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