1 Kings 21: 1-10 slowly and repeatedly.
The main content of the text: Ahab, who wanted the vineyard, asked Naboth to exchange or sell the field, but was refused because it was an ancestral inheritance. So Jezebel plots to take it by force.
Verses 1-3 Ahab wants to take over Naboth’s nearby vineyard so that he can have his own vegetable garden in his villa in Jezreel. However, Israel’s land system does not allow for arbitrary trading of ancestral inheritance. This is because land was something that God promised and gave as a gift to the Israelites (Leviticus 25:23-28).
Ahab wants to turn the ‘vineyard’, which symbolizes God’s care, into a ‘vegetable garden’ (Deuteronomy 11:10) that reminds him of his days as a slave in Egypt. This shows Ahab’s habit of ‘Egyptizing’ the Promised Land because he was blinded by desire.
Verses 3, 4 When Naboth refuses the king’s request to uphold God’s law, Ahab returns to the royal palace of Samaria and locks himself in his room, depriving himself of food and drink. He, who did not fast like David despite the prophet’s declaration of judgment, fasts because he was unable to plant a vegetable garden in his villa in Jezreel. How do I respond when the Lord blocks my greed disguised in the name of faith?
Verses 5,6 Ahab, who realized that God is alive during the war with Benhadad and does not dare to overcome the law because he is afraid of God, tells the story of Naboth’s vineyard to his wife Jezebel, who does not fear God, and secretly asks for a solution. As a Christian, let’s take a look and see if we are taking advantage by participating in the affairs of those who do not fear God, just to the extent that it does not offend our conscience.
Verses 7-10 Jezebel steps up for Ahab. Jezebel, who has continued to worship Baal and Asherah, has no regard for the law of God. Jezebel, who had promised to give Ahab, who was irritable like a child, a field, sent a letter to Jezreel and instigated him to kill Naboth. The sin of cursing God, the two witnesses, and execution outside the city – all of these are provisions of the law that Jezebel used in her lies. Ahab, who must afraid of the law, he used the law as he pleased. This is the reality of Baal, the god of greed, and the worshipers of Asherah. Justifying in the name of faith the satisfaction of one’s own desires by any means necessary while demanding sacrifice from others is modern-day idolatry.
Community Prayer – Living God, help us escape from the life led by greed and follow the goodness of God.
Prayer for the Nations – In the Indian state of Manipur, tribal friction led to religious oppression, with more than 25 churches burned and 50 Christians killed. Let us pray that the government will actively intervene and come up with appropriate measures.