He Sold Himself

He Sold Himself

The record of the Kings of Israel says, “Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the Lord” (1 Kings 21:25).

We can gasp in horror at some of the wretched things Ahab perpetrated. He married the wicked pagan named Jezebel and listened to her rather than to God. He slaughtered the innocent priests of God and persecuted the prophet Elijah at every turn. He patronized the religion of Baal, building altars and idols to Baal on every high place. He encouraged the people to worship Baal and the Asherah instead of God. He murdered Naboth, a righteous man, simply because he refused to break God’s law and sell the king his father’s vineyard.

God had made Ahab king over all Israel, to guide the people in paths of truth and righteousness. But he used his position for evil. He was so determined to work wickedness that he ignored God’s chastisements, including a three-and-a-half-year drought. “Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him” (1 Kings 16:33).

Ahab displayed a level of dedication that would be enviable if it weren’t directed toward wrongdoing. Ahab was willing to make the deliberate choice to “sell himself” to pursue evil deeds. The consequences of his sins would be grievous to bear—and Elijah had just announced to him once again of judgment coming upon him shortly (21:20-24). But Ahab didn’t care.

The nature of sin has not changed in the intervening centuries. People today are so enamored of sin that they will sell themselves into heartache and destruction to continue it. Satan purchases the deed and holds the lien until the judgment day when he must be paid. Giving oneself to sin shackles him in spiritual bondage, for “everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin” (John 8:34).

You Will Sell Your Body
Many sins will destroy the body. Drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse cause physical damage that can continue long after the abuser kicks the habit. Every year, thousands of heavy drinkers and smokers die of cirrhosis of the liver and lung cancer. Pot smokers can be recognized for their loss of memory and cognitive ability—other drugs fry the brain even worse. Fornication often causes disease. Is it really worth selling your body for these sins?

You Will Sell Your Family
If someone demanded we make a choice between our family and some activity, all of us would choose family. We would not consciously do anything that would jeopardize our family. And yet there are some sins that create strife and separation among our loved ones. Drug and alcohol abuse is again an example. Adultery is another.

You Will Sell Your Freedom
Many sins are also illegal and will often land a person in jail. Drug possession, drug trafficking financial crimes carry sentences from a few months to several years.

Paul says in Romans 13, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities ... for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.”

Those who have seen the inside of a prison will testify that it is a wretched, boring, and often dangerous life. Amazing that some will serve their sentences, and immediately repeat the same mistakes, returning to the very same prison cell.

You Will Sell Your Finances
Many sins place an extreme drain on the wallet. It takes a lot of money to sustain a drug habit, to pay a fine, to support a child born out of wedlock.

You Will Sell Your Soul
This is the ultimate concern, however. Though some sins will have a greater or lesser effect on each of the physical things listed above, all sins will cause you to lose your soul. Though some people manage to live in sin all of their lives and never encounter any of the above consequences, some day they will have to pay the piper with the value of his soul. “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36).

The only way to avoid these terrible costs is to have Jesus Christ redeem your soul with the price of His blood. When a person commits his life to Jesus Christ and is washed in the blood of the Lamb, Jesus literally buys Him back from Satan. In Romans 7:14, Paul moaned, “I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.” But immediately he continued, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (vv. 24–25). First Peter 1:18–19 says, “you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold ... but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”

—John Guzzetta