Stolen Veggie Gardens and the Other

1 Kings 21 continues telling the story of King Ahab.  He was king over Israel, and was married to Jezebel.  They are a horrible couple.  They push God out of the country’s mind, they set up idols to worship, they murder people, steal, and more.  Ahab is one of the most evil kings in the Bible.

And he’s a wimp.  

In chapter 21, there is a dilemma for the king.  He wants to plant some veggies in a garden near one of his castles.  But he doesn’t have enough land to do.  Naboth is the guy who owns the land, and doesn’t want to sell his family farm for the king’s veggie patch. Yeah, that’s a tough, king-like problem….

So anyway, he resolves it by doing what any good leader does.  He pouts.  No, really, the Bible is clear that this is what he does.  Check it out.  “4 So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat.”

So, the king is pouting.  His wife meanwhile, takes a different route.  She sets up a plan to have Naboth set up, falsely accused, and killed.  The plan comes off perfectly.  Naboth dies, falsely accused, and the king takes his land.  

As I read this, I thought about how many times I act like Ahab, and how many times I act like Jezebel.  I mean, so many times life doesn’t go exactly like I want it to.  Sometimes I get mad at God and pout.  I go in my room and lay on my bed sulking.  At least, in my heart that’s what I do.  I try and milk the situation for sympathy from others, and I get upset with God for not giving me what I want.

Other times, when things don’t go my way, I get mad, and create a plan to make things happen.  I simply take whatever it is I think I am owed or what I deserve.  I don’t wait on God or anyone else, I just make it happen.  “I’m a leader, a do-er”, I think as I justify my actions.  And I get what I want.

But I never stop to think why God is telling me “no”.  I never think about the Naboth in my story.  I get so focused on what I want, that I honestly don’t stop to think that God is telling me “no” because to tell me “yes” would hurt someone else.  I get so caught up in me, and my desires, I forget how intertwined my life is with everyone else.  

But God never forgets the other.  He always looks at my life with others in view.  Both Jezebel and Ahab got what they wanted with their actions.  They got another veggie garden.  But a wife lost her husband, children lost their father, people lost a friend.  Naboth lost his life.

When God tells us “no”, maybe we need to remember the other, and trust Him.  Maybe we need to try and think of the other before we ask.  Maybe….