This weeks, we conclude our sermon series looking at the God of Elijah.
Because of man’s sinful nature there will always be wicked people in this world and also their innocent victims. In this story we have the evil King Ahab and Queen Jezebel arranging for the murder of an innocent citizen, Naboth. In such cases people cry out to God for justice, but somehow we still find it difficult to reconcile the concept of a loving, forgiving God with one who metes out justice and punishment.
1. God’s justice is justified. Ahab thought that he had got away with murder because he got other people to do it. God sees not only our deeds but also our motives behind our actions.
2. God’s justice is often delayed. We want instant retribution, but often God gives time for repentance. God’s judgement on Ahab was delayed for a long time 1 Kings 21:27-29.
3. If we repent, then God forgives. This was so in the case of Ahab. It is also true in our own case – If we confess our sins they are forgiven (1 John 1:9) because Jesus has paid the penalty for our sins. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Psalm 103)
4. We are commanded to love our enemies and not to hate them and want revenge against them (Luke 6:37)
5. God does, judge nations, churches and individuals. We may suffer the consequences of our actions both in this life and also, if we have not accepted Christ’s forgiveness, in the final judgement. God judged the nation of Assyria – Nahum 1: 2-24; the church at Ephesus – Revelation 2: 1-7, and individuals will answer for their deeds – Revelation 20: 11&12
1. 1 Kings 21: 1-7. Do you think that Naboth was being selfish in refusing the reasonable request of King Ahab to sell his vineyard?
2. In 1 Kings 21: 27-29 God delays his judgement on Ahab. Why is this? See 1 John 1:9. Does this mean if we repent of what we have done wrong we will escape the consequences?
3. In Acts 5: 1-11, why do you think that Ananias and Sapphira were immediately punished for their sin, without being given time to repent?
4, Study Psalm 103 verses 6-17. What do these verses tell us about the nature of God’s justice and compassion? .
5, Study Nahum 1: 1-8. What sort of God of justice is portrayed in these verses and why do you think the picture differs so drastically from Psalm 103. See also Jonah 3:3-10.
6. When our deeds are judged, what sort of rewards can the faithful Christian look forward to in heaven? Why do we not receive the justice that our deeds really deserve? Romans 8: 1-2.
Sermon Title: The God of justice
Bible Reading: 1 Kings 21:1-19
Preacher: Alan Cole
Worship Leader: Beverley Sills