“And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD” (1 Kin. 21:20). While the title of this article sounds repulsive, it is a grave possibility. When we first think of the question, we feel that no one would be foolish enough to sell his soul. If someone had asked Ahab early in life if he would sell his soul, he, no doubt, would have said no. But Elijah told him that he had sold his soul. We may do as Ahab did.
Ahab took out the first mortgage on his soul when he married:
But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up (1 Kin. 21:25).
And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him (1 Kin. 16:31).
These verses tell the story of how he mortgaged his soul when he married Jezebel.
The first down payment on his mortgage of his soul after he married was the compromise of his religion. The same verse that tells of his marriage, tells us that he served and worshipped Baal. No, he did not pretend to completely reject God, he tried to please his wife by recognizing Baal along with God, but Ahab could not worship both. He was in the position now of having to choose between his wife and his God. This is a lesson we need to write deep into the hearts of our young people. While it is not always true that marrying one that is not a Christian leads to the selling of the soul, it happens too many times. I can point out many instances where husbands and wives are making the second installment on their mortgages by trying to compromise essential truths of Christianity. Let Ahab speak from the past and warn against the danger of mortgaging your soul in marrying.
Ahab’s next installment in selling his soul was a piece of land. “And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread” (1 Kin. 21:2-4). It is in reference to this incident that the prophet reminds Ahab that he had sold his soul.
Ahab was not the last one to sell his soul for material things. Judas sold his soul for thirty pieces of silver (Mat. 27:3). The rich, young ruler sold his soul for his possessions (Mark 10:17-22). Ananias and Sapphira sold their souls for money also (Acts 5:1-5). The rich man in Luke 12 sold his soul for his crops and more and bigger barns. The rich man in Luke 16 sold his soul for high living while he ignored a hungry man at his gate.
These are but a few of the examples in the Bible of people selling their souls for land, houses and money. Multitudes today are doing the same thing. There are those that know what they ought to do to become a Christian, but refuse to do so because it would cost them money. Many in the church are neglecting their souls because of trying to maintain a standard of living that requires all of their time. Some in the church can barely spare the Lord an hour on Sunday morning because of the demands of material standards of this age. Our lives are so full of things involved in gaining a living that we have no time to do personal work, or visit the sick, or seek out and help those that are in need. We are like the excuse-makers in the day of Christ; we have no time for the Lord’s invitation to enjoy spiritual things because we have oxen or lands to see about. Brethren, Think on these things!