Selling the Vineyard

by Dr. Ken Matto

(1 Ki 21:1 KJV) And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.

Naboth was one of the most godliest men in the Old Testament as he refused to sell his vineyard to the wicked King Ahab. Naboth refused to sell his vineyard because the Scriptures had forbidden him to sell his inheritance.
(Lev 25:23 KJV) The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. Naboth knew the Scriptures and refused to disobey them by allowing a sale of property which belonged to the Lord. Notice the language in Leviticus 25:23, it speaks of not selling the land ďforever.Ē A great spiritual principle is being shown to us in this verse. How can Naboth hold on to the vineyard forever, even if it is passed down from generation to generation? The Bible teaches very plainly that this present world is going to be destroyed on the last day and only the New Heaven and New Earth are going to last forever. So then, what vineyard is in view?

(Luke 20:9-16 KJV) Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. {10} And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. {11} And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. {12} And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. {13} Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. {14} But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. {15} So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? {16} He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

In the parable of the vineyard, the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking to the Jews that He is going to remove from them the kingdom of God and give it unto husbandmen (farmers) who will yield the fruit a vineyard should yield. This parable speaks about those who were planning to kill the son so those hirelings may take over the vineyard. The Vineyard is speaking about the body of believers which the Lord Jesus Christ purchased with his own blood. It will be the body of believers who will be the husbandmen who will work in the vineyard and bring in more fruit. There are only two kingdoms on this earth, the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. These two kingdoms are at war with each other and Satanís kingdom will go down in final defeat on the last day.

Naboth was a saved man because only those who are saved will seek to obey the Scriptures. The unbelievers could not care less what is written in the Bible. They reject the Bible as a just another religious book written by men to control people. Naboth refused to sell his vineyard and it cost him his life. Satanís people had set him up so they could accuse him, stone him, and then steal his property. Daniel had the same situation. He refused to stop praying to God simply because there was an edict commanding that prayers to anyone but the king were forbidden. Danielís situation turned out differently than Nabothís. Daniel was thrown in the lionís den and did face imminent death but God sent the angel to close the lionís mouths. This means that faithfulness to God can cause us to lose our life or God may choose to allow us to live on and serve him.

Before I stated that a great spiritual principle emerged in the Leviticus 25 verse. The fact that God used the term ďforever.Ē The Vineyard which God concerns Himself about is the Vineyard of the redeemed. I would like to bring the Leviticus 25 statement into todayís Christianity. Are we selling the Vineyard? Naboth refused to sell the Lordís vineyard to an unbelieving king. Whenever we compromise with false teachers or religions, we are selling the Vineyard. Whenever anyone tries to amalgamate false religion with the truth, it is like they are infesting the Vineyard with insects.
(Joel 1:4 KJV) That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten. Joel spoke about the vine of God being eaten by insects and if you notice, it was not just one time but different insects would devour what the other ones left behind.

This is what is happening to the Christians in our day. Every time we turn around there is a new theology or some type of new system which is causing Christians to fall for them. It is also happening to the churches at a rapid rate. Satan is devising all kinds of theories and systems, and are bombarding the churches with them and since the majority of church leaders lack any discernment, they are selling the vineyard to the Ahabs of today. God tells us that we are to guard ourselves and have much discernment concerning teachings. We are not to make any concord with false teachings because if we do, then we are selling the vineyard. Once the locusts are given free reign, then that paves the way for the cankerworm, and then the caterpillar, and once all three of these have invaded the vineyard, there will be nothing left. We see Christianity being decimated by false teachings and systems which are coming at us in rapid succession.

If you look at how strong Christianity was just fifty years ago, we would have to say that something has definitely gone wrong. As individual Christians it behooves us to watch very carefully what we allow into the vineyard. If what we hear does not align with the Scripture, then it is to be refused. We must keep the locusts out with all possible strength. If you make a door, even a back door for any false teachings, then you adulterate the vineyard. Have you ever seen weeds among a garden? If left alone, the weeds will eventually overtake and choke the flowers. I am not a botanist but after my mother died, I looked at her garden the following year and it was loaded with weeds and some of them were taller than me. When she was taking care of her garden, she knew exactly what to pull out so the flowers would not be strangled by the roots. You see weeds donít go for the tops of the flowers or the stems, they take nutrients from the roots and then they choke the flowers with their roots and then you have only a garden of weeds. False teachings strike at the heart of the root of truth and their intention is to choke out the Christian from the root so they can rebuild your thinking process according to their system. Once they do that, they will get you to not only accept their teachings, but they will also get you to defend them against the truth.

This is why we are to be oh so careful because the Ahabs of the world are waiting around every corner. If we are not careful then we open ourselves to the kingdom of Satan. Attacks are going to come but they do not need to be successful in their attempts. Whenever we stay upon the Scriptures as Naboth and Daniel did, we will have nothing to fear and no amount of locusts will ever destroy our vineyard. (1/14/05)