In this episode Pastor Harris picks back up with Elijah returning to the kingdom of Israel after his sojourn at Mount Sinai, at least two and maybe three years had passed before Elijah made a reappearance. We can determine this from several situations that are recorded in I Kings.
In the first place, in I Kings 21, we find a vineyard thriving in Jezreel which means the effects of the three and a half years of drought had now been overcome. This would take at least a year or two to occur. In the second place, after Elijah's return to Israel, the nation fought several brutal wars with Syria, all of which occurred before the events recorded in I Kings 21. These wars lasted over four at least two years.
That which brought Elijah on the scene again was criminal conduct on the part of King Ahab, the most wicked ruler Israel had ever experienced up to that time, and his even more wicked wife, Jezebel. These two persons would commit a dastardly crime against a godly citizen of Israel. This act provides all the proof we need that, evil was still flowing from the throne of Israel. So, Elijah was sent by God to confront Ahab.
We should note, however, that a bit of tranquility had come to the land of Israel in Elijah's absence. There had been a lull in the conflicts with Syria, and, as we said, the land seems to have recovered from the three and a half year drought. King Ahab now had some time to sit around in his palace in Jezreel and think about things he could do to improve the place.
This palace was not the main residence of the king and queen. The capital and main palace was found in the city of Samaria. The palace in Jezreel was a kind of Camp David for the royal family. Such residences were located in places of great natural beauty in biblical times. Ahab, a well-known builder, was interested in improving the grounds and the landscape. Next to the palace was a vineyard that belonged to a man whose name was Naboth. He had taken very good care of the vineyard, something that had caught the eye of the king.
So, one day, Ahab went to Naboth and made an offer to buy the vineyard and that offer is the subject of Pastor Harris’s teaching for this episode.