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“That we might have hope” (Rom. 15:4)

First Kings Chapters Twenty-one and Twenty-two

Reaching For Forbidden Fruit

My sainted great-grandfather wrote a book entitled “A Christian Physiology.” It has provided some good family entertainment, for he seemed to believe that gluttony was the root of nearly every human physical ailment.

I don’t believe the writer was too far off. After all, gluttony is a kind of discontentment and I do believe the sin of discontentment is a root of nearly all of our problems in life.

Consider the condition of our first parents. Adam and Eve had been truly blessed by God. They were given a perfect paradise to live in and to care for. Each had a perfect partner in the other with whom to share the joys of their world. They also had a perfect, loving Father watching over them.

Satan’s lure of “to be like God” was just too much of a temptation, however. Adam and Eve surrendered to the attractions of pleasure and power–which plunged all mankind with them into a never-ending quest for the next best thing.

Consider King Ahab of the Old Testament. The Lord had blessed him as well. He came from a long line of kings. The Lord allowed him to sit in the seat of authority over God’s people. Ahab would have been able to consult with the prophet Elijah–had he so desired. He had great wealth and command of armies; yet it wasn’t enough.

In 1 Kings we read that a certain vineyard was adjacent to Ahab’s royal property, a perfect spot for the royal vegetables to grow. Ahab sought out Naboth, the owner of the land. Ahab’s intent was to purchase or trade for the parcel he desired. Naboth quickly put the kibosh on the deal by informing the king that the property would never leave his possession, as it was his family inheritance. Ahab then showed his lack of spirituality by going home and pouting over the whole affair, even to the point of not eating.

In stepped the king’s wife, Jezebel. She devised a plan that would not only get her husband what he desired, but would make it “legal” as well. She hired men to bear false witness against Naboth, claiming he had blasphemed both God and the king. It worked; Naboth was put to death. Having left no heirs, his property was left to the king.

Ahab’s gluttony, greediness, and discontent had come to full fruition –bearing the fruits of lying, deceit, thievery, and even murder.

Some Self Examination

Consider yourself. Do you get that “grass is greener” feeling that causes discontent to take root? Things seem to be going along fine in our lives until we see how richly the Lord has chosen to bless someone else. Stirrings begin. “Why not me, Lord?”

These feelings of dissatisfaction with our lot in life can strike us at any and all ages.

Children often look longingly at the parents of their peers. For guidance against this discontent, our Lord encourages: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Eph. 6:1).

A student may feel a need to cheat on a test on the excuse that God just didn’t give her the abilities in a certain area. For this temptation our Lord advises: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (Jms. 5:1).

A married man thinks he can find solace and understanding in the arms of a woman not his wife. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Eph. 5:25).

A Christian may feel a yearning when he sees the power, pleasure, wealth, and influence that the people of the world enjoy. Yet the Lord reminds him, “In the morning they are like grass which flourishes and grows up; in the evening it is cut down and withers” (Ps. 90:6).

An elderly widow wonders why she must suffer heartache and health problems in her golden years. To this the Spirit assures her, “And the Lord, He is the One . . . He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear or do not be dismayed” (Deut. 31:8).

Our Lord and Savior came to earth to pay our debt, which we could not pay. He earned for us His riches, which we did not desire. Now all of heaven lies before us, and the Lord will provide all that we need for the journey, including contentment.

“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:31-32)

–Teacher David Bernthal