A Devotional Thought From 1 Kings
So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. And she wrote in the letter saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them. They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. And there came in two men children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city and stoned him with stones, that he died. 1 Kings 21:8-13
Ahab pouted because his neighbor Naboth refused to sell a vineyard that had been in his family since they entered the promise land. Jezebel, Ahab’s wife and wicked queen, said leave it to me. I’ll get it for you.
Her plan was very simple. She put political pressure upon the leaders of the city of Jezreel to get rid of Naboth. Suborn perjury she instructed: Get two wicked men to claim that he had blasphemed God, and the king also, convict him and kill him.
The pliant leaders did exactly that, and Naboth died by stoning, a tragic and wicked story.
Such things still happen today. Christian believers in countries dominated and ruled by other religions have often been accused of blasphemy against the dominant religion they do not believe in. They are convicted, jailed and even murdered in this quasi legal form at the word of one person, when the cause of unfounded charges may have been nothing more than a property dispute, or jealousy, or bad feelings between parties.
Sometimes the countries that allow these travesties have clauses in their constitutions supposed to protect freedom of religion, yet they have these unfair blasphemy laws that essentially strip freedom of religion and certainly freedom of speech out of the culture of those nations. It often takes the outcry of the whole world just to save one of the many individuals who suffer this way. This is an area in which the United Nations should show its value to the world by supporting and enforcing religious freedom for minority religious groups in nations worldwide.
It is time to do away with the kind of actions committed by Jezebel and Ahab.