Summary: Jesus died so that we could live.
- In Great Britain, there is a service provided to the people of England called "The Alibi Agency." Ever heard of it? Well if you haven’t, let me read to you their purpose for existence.
"We offer a Service which can help to protect your loved ones from undue anxiety, and help to ensure the stability of a long term relationship and financial security, by offering secure and professional handling of "Alibi’s" for you."
If you still don’t get what they are all about. Maybe an example of how they operate will fill you in...
Say you want your wife to think you are away on a business trip, but there really is no business trip. The "Alibi Agency" will send a fake invitation to some corporate meeting. They will even provide a phone number of the hotel, or convention center where you are supposedly staying. So if your wife wants to get in touch with you while you are away on this supposed business trip. She would call this fake number, where a fake secretary will answer and let your wife know that you are away at the moment. The fake secretary will get in touch with you, and give you the message. Where you, in turn, would call your wife back as if you are at this fake business meeting in this fake hotel which has a fake receptionist who gave you the message. For that service it will cost you 50 pounds (remember this is in England).
If you want fake purchases with fake receipts to make it look like you were where this fake purchase was made... well the cost of that depends upon the fake gift that is purchased.
The company even assures its customers that a tailor made alibi can be created to accomodate your needs... again price depends upon the situation you create. And all of this is done with the sole purpose is "to provide total peace of mind for you and your family."
Do you get it now? The "Alibi Agency" is for the spouse who wants to cheat on their husband or wife. This makes it possible for them to do so. To have what does not belong to them. It allows a husband or a wife to act on their every lustful desires. Isn’t that the mark of our sociey? If you want something, then just go out and get it. Don’t worry about the consequences, don’t worry about the pain caused to others, to yourself. Just go out and get it. A new car, no problem... call 1-800-buy-a -car and they’ll hook you up over the phone with a brand new car and a loan with a low low interest of 20%! A new watch, no problem, just go to the store and rip it off while nobodies looking. An adulterous affair, no probem, just call the "Alibi Agency" and they’ll cover your every move.
- What a world! But listen, this is nothing unique to our day and age. Why we can go all the way back to 800 BC??? and read about a similar operation like the one in Great Britain. The story is found in I Kings 21. You can follow along while I tell you what happened in I Kings 21.
- It all started with King Ahab’s desire for something that did not belong to him. In this case, it was a piece of property, a parcel of land, an obviously luscious vineyard owned by a man named Naboth. You can just picture Ahab sitting on his porch looking out, seeing the beautiful piece of real estate and thinking... "wouldn’t it be great if I owned that vineyard." So King Ahab does the reasonable thing, he calls the owner of the Vineyard, Naboth and offers a deal. Give me your vineyard so that I can use it as a vegetable garden and I’ll give you a nicer vineyard or some money for it.
- Sounds like a reasonable offer, but there is a problem. This piece of land had been in Naboth’s family for generations and generations. It would not only have been illegal according to Jewish Law to give up the land belonging to your fathers, but you can imagine the emotional attachment Naboth had to this land. And furthermore, the land gave him his place in society, his prominence among the people. And so Naboth replies in verse 3, "The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers."
- Oh well, deals off. So what did Ahab do, what did the king of Israel, the most powerful man in the land (notice I didn’t say the most powerful person in the land! We’ll soon see who that is!). What does King Ahab do? He went home, sullen and angry and he lay on his bed sulking and refusing to eat. All because he didn’t get his little vegetable garden.