The last time we looked at this couple we spoke about how they failed to hide God's word in their hearts. This time I want to look at a specific story: Naboth's vineyard.
King Ahab had a whim. He wanted a vegetable garden and he had the perfect spot for it - the vineyard that was next door.
He wanted it and he believed he should have it. Never mind that it was a man's inheritance (as an Israelite he knew how important a man's heritage was to him.) He approached the owner for it: "Give me your vineyard." The "no" that he received sent him to his bed sulking like a spoilt child.(I Kings 21:2-4)
I can imagine his thoughts, "How dare he tell me no. Why should he have a vineyard when I want the land to plant a garden?" Did he think about the man who was using the proceeds from the vineyard to support his family? Did he think about the fact that this vineyard had been passed down in Naboth's family for generations? Did he think that money or any old vineyard could take the place of the labor of love that Naboth's vinery represented to him? (I don't know about you but I strongly doubt that Ahab intended to compensate Naboth for his plantation. Maybe Naboth felt the same way and that's why he resisted the offer.)
Jezebel's response, "Is this how you act as king over Israel? (I Kings 21:7)", could easily have translated as, "Are you a girl? Man up!" Now, if I went to my husband crying about something that I wanted that someone else had, I would get a long Bible-based sermon about what it means to be a Christian. I would not get even one ounce justification.
This couple had yet to learn that:
Ahab and Jezebel had to learn the value of patience. They needed to get the concept that they can't have everything they want. They had gotten so used to satisfying the lust of their eyes immediately that they failed to see the effects of their greed and impatience.
Patience is one of those fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). It's a fruit because it takes a while before you see its effects. It needs to be nurtured and fed and watered. The only thing this couple nurtured was their greed!
Let's not be like Jezebel and Ahab. Let us try to wait for the Lord's leading. This may mean that we have to slow down so much that we feel as though we're not moving. That's okay. We never see the seed growing, but eventually we are able to see the fruit and before long it's harvested and benefits the receiver.
When we choose God's way it may seem to be more difficult than doing our own thing but God is the Ultimate Gardener (I John 15:1). He knows how to grow good fruit so let's put our trust in Him today.
Lord, teach me patience. The patience that Your Son showed while He was here on earth. Help me to remember that some things are worth waiting for and a lot of the things I see are not mine anyways. Help me to be content with what I have. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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