Bible Passage: 1 Kings 21
As the saying goes “Behind every successful man, is a woman.” Likewise, behind every tyrant, is also a woman. Therefore, a man’s character is shown in his actions, while his woman, simply intensifies them.
The story goes like this.
In this chapter, Ahab wanted to own a vegetable garden. Now Naboth’s vineyard was just beside Ahab’s palace, which seemed very convenient for the king (1 Kings 21:1-2). So Ahab tried negotiating with Naboth on the price of his vineyard in exchange for cash and a better vineyard. The negotiation failed, nonetheless, because Naboth kept the divine law, which had prohibited the sale of a paternal inheritance. (Leviticus 25:23; Numbers 36:7). Despite the dilemma that Naboth might have faced at that time, it was never Naboth’s intention to show disloyalty or disrespect to the king (1 Kings 21:3).
Ahab’s mission has failed. But in came Jezebel, who indirectly taunted Ahab for his pusillanimity and lack of determination, calling him to act as a king and use his authority to take what he wants.
And Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now govern Israel? Arise and eat bread and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” – 1 Kings 21:7.
Soon after, Jezebel went ahead to place false charges against Naboth in the name of Ahab and had him executed.
“So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and she sent the letters to the elders and the leaders who lived with Naboth in his city. And she wrote in the letters, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth at the head of the people. And set two worthless men opposite him, and let them bring a charge against him, saying, ‘You have cursed God and the king. ’ Then take him out and stone him to death.” And the men of his city, the elders and the leaders who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them. As it was written in the letters that she had sent to them, they proclaimed a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people. And the two worthless men came in and sat opposite him. And the worthless men brought a charge against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones.” – 1 Kings 21:8-13.
With the death of Naboth, Ahab took possession of what was not his own. Ahab’s action was condemned by the Lord through Elijah. This was because Ahab did what was evil in God’s eyes by allowing Jezebel to cause the death of Naboth, just so that he could gain control of someone’s family inheritance (1 Kings 21:17-24). Ahab could have stopped Jezebel when he had the opportunity to do so. Ahab could have respected Naboth’s conscientious abidance to the Divine Law. However, Ahab did the opposite. His nasty action reflects his bad character and his tyrannical kingship.
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” – Luke 6:45.
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” – Proverbs 4:23.
We need to guard our hearts well; to have control over our thoughts, words, and actions. Failure to guard our hearts will lead us to the path of evil. Our hearts is our character, which will determine the kind of decision that we make and action that we take. Finally, be careful who you marry, because that would make a heaven or hell of a difference.