This saying was spoken by Israel’s evil king Ahab when Elijah challenged him over Naboth’s vineyard. Ahab’s evil wife Jezebel had organised the death of Naboth. Elijah had only found Ahab because God had directed him, he was acting for God.
Let us always be aware, as Ahab wasn’t, of the all seeing eye of God. We read recently of Jeremiah’s prayer to the Lord, “O great and mighty God … the LORD of hosts, great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the children of men rewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his (or her) deeds” (32:18,19).
Ahab was a man of weak character, manipulated by an evil wife; both came to an untimely end! Their attitude, especially Jezebel’s, created problems for those who had allowed themselves to be associated with them. “The elders and the leaders who lived with Naboth in his city” (1 Kings 21:8) obeyed the wicked Jezebel when she required them to set a trap for Naboth and get “two worthless men” to bring false charges against him leading to his death (verse 10).
Here is a lesson for us – to avoid any situation that has the potential to oblige or force us to do something contrary to our conscience – for it is vital that our conscience is always activated to follow divine principles. Ahab had a no conscience and it would be tragic if we ever found ourselves developing a character like his. What kind of mentality caused him to say to Elijah, “Have you found me, Oh my enemy?” (verse 20).
Listen again to God through Jeremiah. “Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth …” (23:23,24). The world around us is unconscious of God and the challenge to our faith is greater than ever – for faith has to show itself by actions.