The enemy won’t steal your harvest
Kenya decelerated as we both stared out the window of our vehicle and smiled, looking every bit the tourists. Hubby and I pointed and gawked, fascinated to see the Love Statue up close.
In 2005, shortly after we moved from Buffalo, New York to the Tristate region, we explored Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The City of Brotherly Love, where Kenya had accepted a directorship at a local college. Momentarily, while appreciating the architectural structure of Philly’s red sculpture of the word LOVE, my nostalgic memories of home and the pain of missing everything familiar, lessened, if only for a brief moment.
Created by American artist, Robert Indiana, LOVE’s association with Philadelphia dates back to 1976, when it was installed in John F. Kennedy Plaza. Briefly, the statue was removed in 1978, but a local businessman bought it and donated it back to Philadelphia. These days, no one can imagine Philly without its iconic symbol, which has become synonymous with the city.
Isn’t it interesting how, over time, we grow attached to things because of their history and legacy?
In 1 Kings 21, a man named Naboth had a deep level of attachment to a vineyard he owned in Jezreel. According to scripture, it had always been in his family, which is why Naboth refused to part ways with it, even when Ahab, king of Israel, offered to buy it or replace it with a better plot of land.
You see, Naboth’s vineyard was in close proximity to Ahab’s palace, and the king wanted to convert it into a vegetable garden. When Naboth rejected his request, King Ahab had a very strong, negative response. He sank into a deep depression and refused to eat—something that made his wife, Queen Jezebel, exceedingly angry. “Don’t worry,” she told Ahab. “I’ll get Naboth’s vineyard for you.”
And boy did she ever make good on her word! Queen Jezebel concocted an evil scheme, setting Naboth up to be falsely accused of blaspheming against God and the king.
In an unethical letter sent to leaders, Jezebel instructed them to proclaim a fast, gather everyone together, seat Naboth in the front, and appoint two liars to falsely accuse him of blasphemy. She knew that, under Mosaic law, two witnesses were all the law required to sentence a criminal to death (Exodus 22:8). She also exploited the sacred nature of fasting—a practice used within the nation of Israel to draw close to God, repent of sin and avert disaster— for selfish gain.
And sadly, Naboth, an innocent man, was stoned to death for crimes he didn’t commit. Thereafter, with no opposition, the king happily seized Naboth’s vineyard. Ahab and Jezebel were pleased with themselves, but God was sorely displeased with their nefarious means of getting what they wanted, leading to a senseless act of violence against Naboth. They thought they had gotten away with it, but it wasn’t over.
God, through a prophetic word delivered by Elisha, pronounced brutal death sentences over Ahab and Jezebel, and their families (vs. 17-23). Although the judgment did not manifest right away, it did happen, just as the Lord said it would. God got retribution.
Though this tragic and disturbing story shows the worst of humanity and the devastating outcomes brought on by corruption, there is something redeeming here: God saw the evil that was done against Naboth, and those wrongs were requited.
The Lord avenged Naboth, which helps us plainly see the principle of Thessalonians 1:6 at work. That scripture says, “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you.” Friend, let this verse encourage you. Satan, your chief adversary, has been troubling you, fighting against you and attempting to rob you. But in this season, the troubler will be troubled to find that, the trap he set for you won’t work.
The attack will boomerang and backfire. Your foe’s efforts to ensnare and come against you will fall flat. Satan, like the thief described in John 10:10, has a mission to “kill, steal and destroy.” But Jesus assures you that He came that you might have life and “have it more abundantly.”
Sure, the enemy wants to strip you, but God desires to increase you, and the good news is, the will of God will prevail! You have no need to worry. Though Ahab and Jezebel robbed Naboth, the enemy’s plan with you won’t get that far. He doesn’t have permission to steal your harvest. What God has set aside for you belongs to you. It is your inheritance.
There is divine covering, protection and favor over your life. Though the troubler wants to steal your harvest, in order for him to do that, he has to contend with God. Isaiah 8:10 says, “Devise a plan, but it will be thwarted; State a proposal, but it will not stand, For God is with us."
Today, God is sending this word to tell you, don’t be surprised by trouble when it shows up. Don’t be dismayed when the attack comes against your faith, family, finances, health, stability, or destiny. In the midst of adversity, be confident that God’s good plan will still unfold in your life. The Lord is not through with you yet; He has the final say. Psalm 91:4-5 tells you God’s faithfulness is your shield, so you need not be afraid of the arrows shot in your direction. They won’t penetrate.
In all things, no matter what you’re going through, know who and Whose you are. You belong to the Lord! He is the protector of your harvest, vindicator, sustainer and defender. Whenever that old troubler shows up, remember the promise found in Nahum 1:7 CSB, which is what I’m stirring into your cup of inspiration. It says, “The LORD is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; He cares for those who take refuge in Him.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, call upon the Lord in your day of distress, lean on Him and expect Him to show up for you. In your time of trouble, know that He cares. He is a refuge and a present help (Psalm 46:1). God will neither leave you, nor fail you, nor allow the enemy to defeat you. So be encouraged!
Now let’s pray.
God, thank You for being my refuge in the time of trouble and for reminding me that, despite the enemy’s attack, Your purpose will prevail. I praise You for sheltering me from the storm, favoring me in adversity and defeating whatever enemy rises against me. I am victorious because of You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Listen to Today’s Podcast: Things are coming full circle
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As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!