Selling Yourself

Text: I Kings 21:1-26


I.         Have you heard the old phrase that someone had sold his soul to the Devil?

            A.        Unfortunately, it is not just some mythological idea. It has some biblical basis.

            B.        Elijah, in I Kings 21:20, accuses Ahab of selling himself when he took possession of Naboth’s vineyard.

                        1.         Notice though that Ahab did not murder the man. He did not even order the man’s death.

                        2.         However, he allowed his wife to “take care of the problem.”

                        3.         When he learned how the problem was solved, he did accepted possession of the land anyway.

            C.        Ahab sold away his honor and his dignity as king just to own a piece of property. He gravely sinned against Naboth, his country, and God by not upholding the law.

II.        Ahab did not reach this miserable state all at once. You could say Ahab mortgaged his soul and made payments bit by bit throughout his life.

            A.        I Kings 16:30-33

                        1.         When Ahab was made king, he continued the sins of Jeroboam.

                                    a.         Jeroboam did not want the Israelites going to Jerusalem to worship. Jerusalem was a part of the Southern Kingdom, not his kingdom.

                                    b.         Jeroboam established two centers of idol worship within his kingdom and used ex-priests of God to operate them.

                        2.         But this was nothing to Ahab’s next payment on his soul, he married a non-Israelite who worshiped the idols Baal and Asheroth.

                                    a.         He even established temples for these idols, and worship there himself.

                                    b.         It is not that Ahab totally abandoned God, but God became just one of many gods that Ahab worshiped.

                        3.         We don’t realize the danger of mixed religious marriages.

                                    a.         It is true, that some marriages work out in the end, but most cause a child of God to leave the faith.

                                    b.         Abraham would not let Isaac marry the unbelievers in his area.

                                    c.         During the times of the Judges - Ps 106:33-39

                                    d.         Solomon strayed because of his idolatrous wives - I Kings 11:1-8

                                    e.         The wisest man was brought down by those whom he married - Neh 13:23-27

                        4.         Paul warns about committing ourselves to non-believers - II Cor 6:14-7:1

                                    a.         Some say, that Paul is not talking about marriage here, but they are wrong.

                                    b.         Paul is talking more than just marriages here.

                                    c.         Anytime we commit ourselves in a relationship that causes us to compromise our values, there is a danger for the Christian, whether it is a business relationship or a marriage covenant.

                        5.         It happens so often. Why do we think we are immune?

            B.        Therefore, Ahab sold himself, making another payment with his soul, by doing the evil his wife incited him to do - I Kings 21:25-26

            C.        Finally, Ahab went so far as to allow a murder to happen in his name, just for a place to plant his vegetables!

III.       People don’t realize the power of sin

            A.        Too many treat sin like a cookie – I’ll only eat just this one.

            B.        Sin is progressive. It starts small and builds up.

            C.        Sin is a fetter that will not let you go

                        1.         Pr 5:22 - Our sins hold us in bondage

                        2.         Rom 7:14 - Our yielding to sin, sells us into slavery

                        3.         John 8:34 - We become slaves of sin.

            D.        Far too many people don’t care. They push the envelope to see how much they can get away with.

                        1.         Isa 50:1 - When we insist, God gives us up and sells us to our sins

                        2.         Rom 1:22-32 - As society decades, God allows us to move farther and farther into sin.

            E.        What is unfortunate is that Satan gets a bargain when we sell ourselves to sin.

                        1.         Isa 52:1-3 - Unlike the prostitute, most sinners do not profit from the sale. Sure they gain a moments pleasure, but then it is gone.

IV.      But God in His mercy wants to buy us back – and He will do it at no cost

            A.        Isa 50:2 - We sold ourselves into slavery, but God is willing to purchase us back.

            B.        It didn’t cost us anything, but it doesn’t mean the price was cheap.

            C.        God payed the redemption price with the life of His own Son - Eph 1:7-8

            D.        Can you understand the value that God places on the souls of you and me? - I Peter 1:18-19

            E.        We become the possession of God - Tit 2:14

V.        We have sold ourselves into sin, but God has loved us so much that He has paid a price beyond imagining for our souls. Will you not leave your sins behind and be washed in the precious blood of the Lamb?