Daily Archives: November 1, 2016
Every Real Christian has a vineyard granted by the Lord Jesus. The vineyard is a Christian’s ministry. It is the specific spiritual work belonging only to each Real Christian.
No one else is responsible for it. The only way to possess it is by first giving oneself to the Lord 100%. It is His gift. The only way to keep it and make it function is to possess it fully, be responsible for it, guard and protect it, and work it always. This is how it becomes and remains fruitful.
It is the Lord Jesus who chooses the particular vineyard for each of His children. He puts a longing and desire for it in one’s heart. Once receiving it, the believer wants to do nothing else but answer the call, throw oneself into the work, make the work productive, do his or her part, and thus please the Lord. It is a Real Christian’s entire reason for being and only ultimate purpose for living.
THE GARDEN BEFORE THE FALL
The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. [Genesis 2:8]
Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. [Genesis 2:15]
One will note the following:
(1) It is the Lord’s garden. He planted it.
(2) In the Hebrew, the garden is defined as “an enclosure.”
(3) The Garden of Eden was specifically an enclosed fruit tree orchard.
(4) The Lord created Adam, chose Adam, and put Adam into His garden.
(5) Adam had two jobs to do with reference to the garden:
1. He had to cultivate it. This meant he had to work it and make it productive and fruitful.
2. He had to keep it. This meant he had to be responsible for it, guard it, and protect it against all enemies.
We know from the initial text of Genesis 2 that Adam did a great job and that the Lord was pleased with him. The garden was very fruitful. He worked very hard to make it productive. He began expanding it into territory previously occupied by wild nature. He was taking dominion of the earth as the Lord instructed him to do.
Also, Adam fought off the serpent who wanted to rip him off. There was always a battle, especially on the periphery. Yet Adam slowly expanded the garden and took fruitfulness into the land of wildness where everything grew of its own accord without a gardener, and where “there was no man to cultivate the ground” (Genesis 2:5). In time, he would expand the garden over the entire planet. The devil never deceived Adam. Adam never gave in to the serpent’s temptations.
In these two things, cultivating the garden and keeping it, Adam excelled. He honored the Lord. To separate faithful Adam from the Lord’s garden of which Adam was in charge, the enemy had to resort to another plan of attack. He eventually found a way around Adam’s dominion. The devil ripped him off.
Naboth was an honorable man who possessed a vineyard. The vineyard had been passed down to him as a family heritage. Naboth’s Vineyard was located next to the palace of King Ahab, a notorious jerk and wicked Hebrew king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The inference in Scripture is that Naboth’s Vineyard predated Ahab’s palace.
Keep in mind that Hebrew kings were never supposed to exist in the first place and only did exist because the ancient Hebrew people rejected the Lord God as their King and demanded mere sinful men to reign in His place. The sad tale of Naboth’s Vineyard is one more lurid example of what happens when men leave their proper place in God and give themselves over to selfishness and evil. Explosive sin and corruption, as evil fruit, always results.
Naboth was an Old Testament type of Real Christian with a spiritual ministry granted by the Lord. To separate faithful Naboth from the Lord’s vineyard of which Naboth was in charge, the enemy had to resort to another plan of attack. He eventually found a way around Naboth’s dominion. The devil ripped him off:
Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden because it is close beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard than it in its place; if you like, I will give you the price of it in money.” But Naboth said to Ahab, “The LORD forbid me that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”
So Ahab came into his house sullen and vexed because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and ate no food. But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, “How is it that your spirit is so sullen that you are not eating food?” So he said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you a vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now reign over Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let your heart be joyful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and sent letters to the elders and to the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city. Now she wrote in the letters, saying, “Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people; and seat two worthless men before him, and let them testify against him, saying, ‘You cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.” So the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters which she had sent them. They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people. Then the two worthless men came in and sat before him; and the worthless men testified against him, even against Naboth, before the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones.
HATE, MURDER, RIP OFF
Then they sent word to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.” When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth, the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth where he has gone down to take possession of it. You shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Have you murdered and also taken possession?”’ And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth the dogs will lick up your blood, even yours.”’” [1Kings 21:1-19] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.