April 20, 2021
Daily Reading: I Kings 21-22
I Kings 21:2 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.
So it begins. A sordid story of intrigue, treachery, and deceit, leading to murder. Ahab the king wanted Naboth's vineyard, so much so that the king made an offer to buy it or swap it for some better vineyard. Frankly, there was nothing wrong with Ahab's desire, he was just proposing a real estate transaction. This was not the problem; the problem was how Ahab acted once Naboth rejected his offer. The king returned home pouting...yeah, he was heavy and displeased. Which, again, so far, not too bad. But upon telling his wife about Naboth's rejection she got involved. She promised to deliver the vineyard to her husband, no matter the cost.
She came up with a plot, turn people against Naboth, get testimony from false witnesses that this good man blasphemed God. Then, stone him. "How dare this nobody say no to my husband the king!" This was her mindset. Naboth was stoned to death and the vineyard was given to Ahab. This plot seemed to work like a charm. The only problem is that there is a Lord God in Heaven that sees all. He saw what Jezebel did, He saw that Ahab was complicit in this murder, He saw the selfish hearts and hypocritical nature of these two, and He got involved. Ahab ultimately lost his life, same with his wife, even all of Ahab's children would pay the price. All because the Bible says: 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. (I Kings 21:25).
Did you read that carefully in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up? God held Ahab accountable for Naboth's death even though it was largely Jezebel's deed. God always holds leaders accountable for the actions of their followers. Knowing this, how many good men have been brought to ruin by their wife? Selfish she was. She did not ask Ahab's guidance, or approval, in fact there is no record that she even told him of her scheme. She just did it. Without thought of Naboth's family, his rights, Ahab's testimony, or how God would react to such a diabolical plan. She just took matters into her own hands and did it.
Loving husbands seldom know how to relate to their wives in times of her questionable behavior. If they address it they usually pay a price from her, if they don't intercede where they should, they may pay a price from God's chastisement. Either way, husbands will pay a price for a wife's rebellion. There are many good men who have been ruined by the unwise actions of a wife. No doubt, also, on the other hand, many good women have been ruined by the unwise actions of their husband. Selfishness, regardless of where it is hatched once it rears up there will be a price to be paid. Of that there is also no doubt. This is the lesson of Ahab and Jezebel in regard to their treatment of Naboth. Beware of being self-centered.
Until tomorrow, live for Christ today... knowing that you cannot live for yourself and Him at the same time. Impossible.