seller beware

Here is a draft for an Our Daily Journey devotional which I worked up over the weekend. I’m not real happy with the application (last paragraph). I’d like to also mention the positive aspects of buying (sometimes what we buy and sell is good), but ran out of room (the limit for the piece is 300 words). Thank you in advance for any constructive feedback you may have.

read 1 Kings 21:1-28

Elijah answered, “I have come because you have sold yourself to what is evil in the Lord’s sight” (v. 20).

        Every buyer is also a seller. If I buy apples from you, then you are selling your apples and “buying” my money, while I am “selling” my money to buy your apples. I may feel that I am only a buyer, but in truth every time I make a purchase I must give up something to make the transaction. If I have nothing to sell there is nothing I can buy.

        Ahab mistakenly thought he was only a buyer. He wanted to turn Naboth’s vineyard into a garden, and he offered to pay cash or trade a better vineyard if Naboth would sell. When Naboth answered that his family inheritance was priceless, Jezebel told her pouting husband that she would get the land for him. She had Naboth stoned on trumped up charges and then said to Ahab, “You know the vineyard Naboth wouldn’t sell you? Well, you can have it now! He’s dead!” (v. 16).

        A happy Ahab immediately claimed the vineyard. What a bargain! He had been willing to overpay for the land, but now he was getting it for free. Almost.

        Ahab was so focused on the buyer’s side of the ledger that he didn’t notice he had vastly overpaid. Elijah told Ahab that Naboth’s vineyard had cost his soul. He had sold himself to evil, for he had robbed and murdered an innocent man so he could grow vegetables. Hope you enjoy tomatoes, Ahab, because “dogs will lick your blood at the very place where they licked the blood of Naboth!” (v. 19).

        If every buyer is a seller, then every time we take we give something back. Visit trashy websites, and you leave a part of your soul behind. Cheat others, and the money you save is outspent by the cost to your character. You belong to God, don’t sell yourself short.

 

3 Comments

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  1. Bulls-eye. In the last paragraph, I might omit the conditional opening so that it begins with “Every time we take, we give something back.” Maybe divide that final sentence in two?

  2. Jonathan Shelley April 10, 2012 — 3:52 pm

    I like Matt’s suggestion. Dropping the conditional opening also allows you to end with “You belong to God, who paid with his Son. Don’t sell yourself short.”

  3. Thanks, guys. I made your changes, and now it sings!

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