Tried in the Court of Public Opinion

“The worthless men brought a charge against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, ‘Naboth cursed God and the king.’ So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones” (1 Kings 21:13, ESV)

The long-awaited report has been filed with the Attorney General. Unless you have avoided all media for the past two years, you have heard that President Trump has been tried in the court of public opinion for collusion with the Russians to rig the 2016 election by the Mueller Investigation. The official verdict of the investigation is that neither he nor any of his team worked with the Russians to undermine our elective process. Stated positively — he won the election fair and square, and is the rightfully installed POTUS.

The tactic that was used to try to unseat Mr. Trump was right out of Scripture. It had been tried about 850 years before the common era (BCE). The king of Israel was Ahab and his wife was Jezebel. Ahab approached a man named Naboth to purchase his vineyard, but Naboth refused because Naboth was determined to preserve the family property/inheritance that had been established by the God of Israel after Joshua conquered the land of Canaan. This frustrated Ahab, so Jezebel took matters in her own hands and convened a special public event at which a couple of “worthless men” falsely accused Naboth of “[cursing] God and the king.” The public outrage led to Naboth’s execution.

The attempt to engage public opinion to condemn an innocent man (in this case, a man duly elected to public office) employed virtually every media outlet in America for the past two years. But it failed — so far. Mr. Mueller included the statement in his report that although there was no evidence of collusion, it did not exonerate Mr. Trump. Just as Naboth was guilty without<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>any corroborating evidence, it appears that Mr. Trump will continue to be tried outside our courts until he is destroyed. One of the principal principles of American jurisprudence is that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Mr. Mueller spent (reportedly) in excess of $25,000,000 over a two year period to establish a violation of the law, could not find one, yet declares that Mr. Trump is not exonerated. This statement is in violation of the American legal system and in violation of the the normal definition of “exonerated.” Mr. Trump has every right to feel like Naboth.

The Scripture doesn’t speak about Naboth’s family in this story, so we can only speculate (but with great sympathy). After being blind-sided by false accusations against their family member, they lost him and their property to the elite and powerful people of their day. (And the desire to retain power has been behind the Mueller Investigation from the beginning.) Mr. Trump’s family likely will celebrate a major victory, but the “not exonerated” line (however irrational it is) will signal to them that they will still have to endure more attacks upon their family. In reality, this family is experiencing the pressure of the larger war of our culture over the ascendancy of a conservative, if not a Christian, worldview versus a liberal one.

Happily for God-fearing people, the story did not end with Ahab rejoicing over his spoils of victory. While he gloated over the property he acquired by deceit and slander, he was met by the prophet Elijah who informed him that the God of Israel that created this world, that will execute true justice, Who provided the very air he breathed and food he ate, by Whose will Ahab retained a position of power in his world, had seen what Jezebel had done for Ahab’s benefit. There would be judgment.

Happily for those who perpetrated the crime, the Lord commends Ahab’s sincere repentance. In His judgment, He remembered mercy. And those in our day that have slandered and deceived to manipulate their political will can find that same mercy if they also will repent.