DEVOTION:It Is That Dangerous!
This story of Naboth’s vineyard has been an interesting story to study. So before we move on to the next chapter or chapters, here is one more lesson for us to learn. Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was closed to King Ahab’s palace. And Ahab desired to have this vineyard. Typical of Old Testament stories, this becomes dramatic that caused Heaven to respond. So here it is:
Some time later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. The vineyard was in Jezreel, close to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth.” 1 Kings 21:1-2
As King of Israel, Ahab expected to get an easily get the Vineyard from Naboth. However, that was not the case. Here is Naboth’s response:
But Naboth replied, “The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” 1 Kings 21:1-2
Naboth’s response was a categorically, No! His reasoning includes the fact that this vineyard has been own and operated by family members because it was a gift from his ancestors to them. But this was not enough reason that would convince the King that Naboth had a right to keep the vineyard to himself. So the King was not happy about Naboth for denying him the vineyard.
So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat. 1 Kings 21:4
You wonder why Ahab, the King of Israel became this angry that he could not eat food. His wife, Jezebel noticed that the king was not happy. After inquiring and finding out that it was because of Naboth’s vineyard, he said to the King:
Jezebel his wife said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” 1 Kings 21:7
She then orchestrated the death of Naboth the Jezreelite. This is one example of the many evil acts of Jezebel. Listen to this mixture of power and evil thoughts of murder.
So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, placed his seal on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him. In those letters she wrote:
“Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 10 But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”
So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city did as Jezebel directed in the letters she had written to them. They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth in a prominent place among the people. Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, “Naboth has cursed both God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death. Then they sent word to Jezebel: “Naboth has been stoned to death.” 1 Kings 21:8-15
Scripture does not tell us what other conversations went on between Jezebel and Ahab. However, judging by the response from God, Ahab gave his wife an okay to have Naboth killed for when he heard that Naboth was death, immediately he went to the vineyard to take possession of it. Notice how God described it:
Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. Say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’ Then say to him, ‘this is what the LORD says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’” 1 Kings 21:17-19
All this because of pride for there is nothing that can explain why Ahab became too angry. I guess being the King of Israel; he had not been denied anything he asks for.
- Can you think of two examples: one from the Bible and the other from any contemporarily or historical figure who did the same thing?
- Pride can sneak on you without knowing. Check if you have done or say the following statements.
- Have you become angry because a meeting was held that you were not invited and you felt that you should have been there?
- Have you become angry because someone made a major decision without consulting you?
- Are you used to being invited to speak that when you are not invited, you take an offense?
- May be nothing can be done in your community or work place without your knowledge because you are a very respected individual, which is good. But be careful, this can easily turn into pride.
- Are you Mr. Right that you do not take correction? Or are you selective on who it comes from?
- How can the following scriptures help you in dealing with pride?
- Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
- Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whomever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24
4. Have you done anything in your life that was harmful to another person because of pride? If so, then you need to ask for forgiveness if you have not done it already.
Pride goes before destruction,
A haughty spirit before a fall.
IT IS THAT DANGEROUS!