Monday: June 15, 2020
Reference text: 1 Kings 21:1-16
1 Kings 21:2 One day Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard; it is close to my palace, and I want to use the land for a vegetable garden. I will give you a better vineyard for it or, if you prefer, I will pay you a fair price.”
Even with the strongest of locks, extreme determination has meant that over the last couple of years, I have had three bicycles stolen. I am, therefore, somewhat hesitant when buying another so try to avoid making expensive commitments and settle for a fairly used one, lest that is also lost. One thing I have noticed with these purchases is a rather interesting clause inserted in the lines of description ‘Please let it go to a good home’.
As though the sellers wished to say ‘I have taken care of this pretty well and used it as required. I hope you do the same’. The story of Jezebel, Ahab and Naboth, is layered with many complexities, however I just turn our attention to one: the use of a vineyard. Over the course of multiple generations, Naboth’s family had a vineyard and used it as intended, thus preserved its status as a vineyard. It was their livelihood, a trade they had clearly mastered and sustained.
Therefore, it isn’t as though Naboth was just not interested in Ahab’s offer, the terms offered defeated everything the vineyard stood for: ‘good vines, hedged and protected’. Ahab intended to use it for a ‘ VEGETABLE GARDEN’. Imagine someone walks up to knowing clearly that you possess a gift or a brilliant idea of some sort and says ‘Let me take over your gift, however, I wish to use it as I desire not as you intend it to be. And I will give you a different one
That would be a blow in the gut, but it will prompt you to ask the question ‘am I willing to exchange this for something else knowing that it won’t be used right?’ Naboth’s hard work was being underappreciated and it’s importance, brushed aside; and for that, he refused to ‘play ball’, even with the king. I somehow now better appreciate it when people are hesitant to give out their prized possessions to others because of genuine concern that it will not be used right or treasured as they would wish. This really does sometimes equate to ‘resisting the urge to trade off or give away what you value, but holding firmly on to and protecting it.