(NIV1984) 1 Kings 21:2-4 – “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.’
“But Naboth replied, The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.’
“So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, ‘I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.’ He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat.”
Ahab’s argument does not sound unreasonable on the surface. He makes what seems like a reasonable offer – giving Naboth a better vineyard or money in exchange. But the idea that Ahab would take a perfectly good vineyard and turn it into a vegetable garden is preposterous. It’s like the movie about the guy who sold his house only to find it would get torn down for a mall (I don’t remember the name of the movie, unfortunately). It’s one thing to think Ahab would keep the vineyard as is – but to destroy it? That’s infuriating.
Naboth says no because it is the inheritance of his fathers. I don’t know exactly the connotations of this, but I know that inheritances were a super big deal. Outside of that – Naboth probably had fond memories of working in the vineyard with his father and perhaps even his grandfather. To think that it would be destroyed – all the hard work they’d put into it over generations – of course he would refuse!
And Ahab response similarly as in the Ben-Hadad episode – He becomes “sullen and angry” (NIV1984, 1 Kings 21:4). Ahab probably sees nothing wrong with what he did. He made the best, most reasonable offer he could think of, and now it was refused! So he sits and mulls over it and essentially pouts because he doesn’t get his way. Eventually maybe he would get over it…(SPOILER ALERT) if Jezebel hadn’t gotten involved (END SPOILERS).
I guess that’s kind of like me and planes. No – that becoming “sullen and angry” when I don’t get my way – I do that a lot. The problem with that is that it lets people like Jezebel get a foothold and sets us up for death and destruction.
I don’t want to be like Ahab. I want to be like Paul – content whatever the circumstances. But I don’t want to be so content as to not have a preference or to go along with whatever other people say, either. I believe that God is working at this in me – and He was using my last therapist to bring me to a happy medium – but it takes a lot of work.
At least I know that God is working on me! He’ll make me better! And that is so encouraging, because it keeps showing me how much I am HIS – He has not given up on me yet and He will never give up on me! Woo-hoo!