“Some time later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite… But Naboth replied, ‘The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers’” 1 Kings 21:1, 3.
When King Ahab approached the vineyard owner with an offer of buying the vineyard from him, Naboth refused. The basis for his refusal was given as obedience to God who had instructed him not to sell. The king went back to the palace, ‘sullen, angry and sulking’ according to the Bible. He felt that he had the right to this property when really it belonged to someone else. His right of entitlement put into place the strangest set of circumstances. Upon, seeing his bad mood, his wife Jezebel stated, ‘Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard…’ 1 Kings 21:7. She sets up a scenario of entrapment enlisting others to spread rumors about the property owner. At her hand and with her plan, the owner was stoned to death. The story goes on that eventually God punished her by taking her life on the very land that she manipulated circumstances in their favor.
Although the property owner was stoned to death, we cannot lose perspective of how he lived his life. He was given the vineyard as an inheritance from his father, but viewed it completely different. He had every right to sell what was given to him but he understood that the Lord owned everything. He had a heart towards God and realized that He was giver and taker of everything he possessed on earth. He allowed God the freedom to do whatever He wished with whatever he owned. In sharp contrast was the greedy couple who felt entitled to anything they wanted due to their position in the land. They got what they wanted but then had to pay the consequences for their manipulation of circumstances.
God may allow our manipulation of details to bring us what we want but we will eventually pay the price of disobedience. When we approach life with complete trust in God and His provisions we will see everything as His and nothing as ours. We will realize that while we may be entrusted with certain things God has the final say over its place in our life.
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