Ahab wanted to buy Naboth’s vineyard, but Naboth didn’t want to sell it. So, Ahab went home sulking and wouldn’t eat. His wife, Jezebel, when she learned the reason for her husband’s condition sent letters to the leader is Naboth’s town. Her instruction was: Get two people to falsely accuse Naboth of cursing God and the king. Then convict him and stone him to death. After this was carried out, she told her husband he was free to take Naboth’s vineyard. While he was reposessing the vineyard, he was found by Elijah, the prophet of God with this message:
This is what the Lord says: ‘Have you not murdered a man and seized his property? In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours! I am going to bring disaster on you. I will wipe out your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have aroused my anger and have caused Israel to sin.’ And also concerning Jezebel the Lord says: ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.’ Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country.”
- Even though Jezebel ordered the murder of Naboth, God blamed Ahab. It is a similar principle as when David planned to have Uriah killed by the enemy in battle. Ahab might not have killed Naboth himself, but he lent his approval to his wife’s actions. He was supposed to be the leader of the people, and he gave power to a queen who led them to murder. If he had not made her queen and supported her actions up till this point, she would not have done as she had. And after the murder, he went to help himself to the spoils.
- It seems God’s policy with evil is this: Don’t support it. Don’t even look like you approve of it. Don’t stand by and watch it happen. Don’t partake of whatever comes from it. In fact, stay as far as you can from it.
- Jeroboam and Baasha were two kings I’ve previously written about who did evil like Ahab and received a similar punishment.
Ahab’s response to this was impressive. He tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted – the picture of contrition itself. So God had mercy on him and told him that while the curse would still play out, it would happen after his death. I suppose that was a good thing.
- It’s never too late to repent. Even if you have the sin of an entire country on your hands, God will forgive you.