This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering- since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels… – 2 Thessalonians 1:5-7
Scripture reading: 1 Kings 21:17-24
Surely God must have seen what had happened to Naboth. Why then doesn’t He do something about it? Well, He does. He sends his servant Elijah to confront Ahab and announce judgment against him. The vineyard was stolen through Jezebel’s schemes, but Elijah assesses blame to Ahab. Ahab killed a man and seized his property (v. 19). Ahab was wicked and weak. He should have led his household in righteousness and truth. Judgment will fall on Ahab and his descendants because he sold himself to do evil in the sight of the Lord (v. 20). Jezebel will be judged too and become dog food for her sin (Deu. 28:26).
Though it might be tempting to pay back evil to those who mistreat us, remember the Lord’s declaration, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Rom. 12:19). The wicked will get what is coming to them. God will bring it about. But what about Naboth? Why didn’t God intervene? Good questions. Here are some more. Why was Peter delivered from prison and James killed? Why are Syrian Christians crucified and we have freedom? Why does your friend have cancer while you have health? Good questions. We need to trust the wisdom of God Who makes no mistakes.
And we need to be confident in His goodness. Naboth was treated unjustly but God, Who saw that, will also see to it that Naboth gets his reward. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:10).
Suggestions for prayer
Remember the persecuted Christians throughout the world as they worship on this Lord’s Day and ask God to encourage them and fortify them to be faithful to the end. Pray that the Lord will teach us to trust His wisdom and goodness in times of difficulty and confusion.
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.