“Payday Someday” by Robert G. Lee (Part 2 of transcript and video)


Pay Day – Someday by Dr. R. G. Lee

Uploaded by on May 22, 2007

Dr. R. G. Lee, 1886-1978, Biography –
http://www.swordofthelord.com/biographies/LeeRG.htm .

“Payday Someday” | Dr. Jonathan Akin

Published on Apr 21, 2015

Dr. Jonathan Akin | 04-19-15 PM | 1 Kings 21:1-26

Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN | bellevue

R.G. Lee – Payday Someday

Uploaded on Oct 6, 2011

From http://www.JackHyles.com – Dr. R.G. Lee and his famous classic sermon, “Payday Someday”.

Tony Merida – Payday Someday – 1 Kings 21:1-16

Published on Sep 13, 2013

Preaching from 1 Kings 21:1-16, Merida calls us to be ready to suffer for righteousness’ sake and to act for the sake of the oppressed.



I grew up listening to sermons by Adrian Rogers who was the longtime pastor of Bellevue Church in Memphis. In fact, since 1927 only four pastors have led Bellevue and I have had the opportunity to hear all four speak (Robert G. Lee [1927-1960], Ramsey Pollard [1960-1972], Adrian Rogers [1972-2005], Steve Gaines [2005- present]). I actually got to hear Dr. Lee preach this sermon in 1975 at Bellevue and I attended his funeral also at Bellevue. Above is the complete sermon and below is a portion of the transcript.

Dr. Lee originally published the following message in 1926. It is said that he developed it following the suggestion of a deacon at a prayer meeting in 1919 and that he preached it at least once a year at his home church. All total, it is related that he preached the message 1,275 times.

Dr. Robert G. Lee was the pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee for thirty-two years. During his lifetime he was a strong leader in the Southern Baptist Convention, known as a preacher’s preacher, and was highly respected among his peers. This sermon has been accepted as a classic by all that have heard and read it, and through its message, the Lord still speaks to mankind. We at Carl Graham Ministries hope you get a blessing from this message written by the prince of preachers.


Part 2 of transcript:

The Pouting Potentate

“He came to his house heavy and displeased.”

Naboth’s quick and firm and final and courteous refusal “took all the spokes from the wheels” of Ahab’s plan and desires. The stream of his desire ran against a barrier that turned it aside and changed it into a foiled and foaming whirlpool of sullen sulks.

“And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezeelite 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.” (I Kings 21:4)

What a ridiculous picture! A king acting like a spoiled child, impotent in disappointment and ugly in petty rage. A king whining like a sick hound. A king pouting like a spoiled and sullen child. He went to bed in the middle of the day, and “turned his face to the wall,” his lips swollen with his mulish moping, his eyes full of cheap anger fire, his heart stubborn in its petty rebellion.



“but Jezebel, his wife!”

When Ahab would “eat no bread” his servants doubtless went and told Jezebel. What she said to them we know not. What she said to Ahab we do know.

Puzzled at the news that her husband would not eat and that he had gone to bed when it was not bedtime, Jezebel sought him out in his room. She found him moaning and peevishly petulant, having refused to eat or to cheer up in the least. At first, in a voice of sweet concern, she sought the reason of his choler. In sweet and anxious concern, she asked “Why is thy spirit so sad that thou eatest no bread?” (I Kings 25:5).

And then, as the manner of women is unto this day, her hand sought his brow to see if he had “temperature” or if some other ailment other than a “sad spirit” had laid hold upon him. Then he told her, every word full of petulance and mopish peevishness as he spoke: “Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money, or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it; and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard!” (I Kings 21:6)

“Are you not the King of this country?”, she chides bitingly, her tongue sharp like a butcher’s blade. “Cannot you command and have it done?”, she scolds as a common village hog who has more noise than wisdom on her words. “Can you not seize and keep?”, she cries with reproach. “I thought you told me you were king in these parts! And here you are crying like a baby and will not eat anything because you do not have courage to take a bit of land. You! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! You the King of Israel, and allow yourself to be disobeyed and defied by a common clodhopper from the country. You have been more courteous and considerate of him than you have of your queen! Shame on you! But you leave it to me, old dear! I will get the vineyard for you, and all that I require is that you ask no questions. Leave it to me, Bo!”

“And Jezebel, his wife, said unto him, dost thou not now govern the kingdom of Israel? Arise and eat bread, and let thine hear be marry, I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth, the Jezreelite!” (I Kings 21:7)

Ahab knew Jezebel well enough to know assuredly that she would do what she said she would do. So he came out of his sulks, slowly, as a turtle drags itself from the slime, and asked her how she was going to do it. She tickled him under the chin or pecked him on the cheeks kissingly with lips screwed into a tight knot, and said “That’s my secret just now; just leave it to me, Honey!”

Now, let us ask who can so inspire a man to noble purposes as a noble woman? And who can so thoroughly degrade a man as a wife of unworthy tendencies? Back of the statement “And Ahab the son of Ormi did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him” (I Kings 16:30) and back of what Elijah spoke, “Thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord” (I Kings 21:25) is the statement explaining both the other statements: “Whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.”

She was the polluted reservoir from which the streams of his iniquity found mighty increase. She was the poisonous pocket from which his cruel fangs fed. She was the burning pit wherein his sulphurous cruelties were born, I suppose that Ahab considered himself the master of his wife, but it was her mastery over him that stirred him up to more and mightier wickedness than his own heart was capable of executing.

Let us come to the next terrible scene in this tragedy of sin.

A Message Meaning Murder

“She wrote letters.”

Jezebel wrote letters to the elders of Jezreel. And in these letters she made definite and subtle declaration that some terrible sin had been committed in their city, for which it was needful that a fast should be proclaimed in order to avert the wrath of Heaven.

“She wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. And she wrote in the letters, saying, “Proclaim fast, and set Naboth on high among the people, and set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying Thou didst blaspheme God and the king; and then carry him out and stone him, that he may die.” (I Kings 21:8-10)

The letters being written, they must be sealed; and the sealing was done, as all those matter of letter writing and sealing were done, by rubbing ink on the seal, moistening the paper, and pressing the seal thereon. And when Jezebel had finished with her iniquitous pen, she asked Ahab for his signet ring; with that ring she affixed the royal seal. “She sealed them with Ahab’s ring!” When Ahab gave it to her, he knew it meant crime of some sort, but he asked no questions.

Moreover, Jezebel’s deeds showed that when she went down to market, as it were, she would have in his basket a nice vineyard for his husband when she returned. She said to herself” “This man Naboth has refused my honorable lord on religious grounds, and by all the gods of Baal, I will get him yet on these very same grounds.” She understood perfectly the passion of a devout Jew for a public fast; and she knew that nothing would keep Naboth away. He and every member of his household would be there.

“Proclaim a fast!” Fasting has ever been a sign of humiliation before God, of humbling one’s self in the dust before the “high and lofty One who inhabiteth eternity.” The idea in calling for a fast was clearly to declare that the community was under the anger of God on account of a grave crime committed by one of its members, which crime is the be exposed and punished. Then, too, the fast involved a cessation of work, a holiday, so that the citizens would have time to attend the public gathering.

“Set Naboth on high!” “On high” meant before the bar of justice, not in the seat of honor. “On high” meant in the seat of the accused, and not in the seat to be desired. “On high” meant that Naboth was put where every eye could watch him closely and keenly observe his bearing under the accusation. “And set two men, base fellows, before him.” How illegal she was in bringing about his death in a legal way! For the law required two witnesses in all cases where the punishment was death. “At the mouth of two or three witnesses shall he be put to death” (Deut.17:6). the witnesses required by Jezebel were men of no character, men who would take bribes and swear to any lie for gain.

“And let them bear witness against him!” in other words, put him out of the way by judicial murder, not by private assassination. “And then carry him out and stone him that he may die!”

A criminal was not to be executed within a city, as that would defile it. Thus, Christ was crucified outside the walls of Jerusalem! We see that Jezebel took it for granted that Naboth would be condemned. And so one day while Naboth worked in his vineyard the letters came down to Jezreel.

And one evening while Naboth talked at his cot-tage door with his children, the message of murder was known to the elders of the city. And that night while he slept with the wife of his bosom, the shadow of death was creeping toward him every hour. The message meaning murder was known to many but not to him until they came and told him that a fast had been pro-claimed–proclaimed because God had been offended at some crime and that his wrath must be appeased and the threatening anger turned away, and he him-self, all unconscious of any offense toward God or the king, set in the place of the accused, even “on high!”

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