Applications from 1 Kings
As we left Ahab last he was heavy and displeased. He had twice defeated Ben-Hadad. Neither time was he able to enjoy it & had really gotten things wrong.
Here we find him interacting with Naboth. Naboth has a vineyard next to Ahab’s palace. Ahab would like the vineyard since it is near his property. He offers Naboth another vineyard or money in exchange.
Naboth will not give King Ahab the vineyard. So again we find Ahab “heavy and displeased”.
As Ahab sits around and pouts, Jezebel notices. Hearing Ahab’s sob story, Jezebel decides to take care of things. She has Naboth killed and gives the vineyard to Ahab.
For the application, let’s look in detail at each of the characters we
The Application: Naboth
In refusing to sell, Naboth is not being unreasonable. His reason is honorable. He is not just trying to hold on to land, or be greedy. He isn’t trying to play hard ball with the King.
Naboth feels a biblical conviction not to sell his land. He considers the sale of this land a violation of the biblical law of inherited land. See Numbers 27:8-11.
It would be beneficial for Naboth to sell this land. This was an offer from the King, money was probably not an issue here. Also, the replacement land would likely be very good. Not to mention the benefit of helping the king out.
It is very dangerous for Naboth to keep this land. We read that Naboth is killed over it. Even if they had not killed him, going against the king is a BIG deal.
Aware of all of this…Naboth refuses to sell. He stood on his conviction. A conviction is something we are willing to die for, Naboth died. A preference is something we would like, but don’t intend to die for. A conviction is something you have truth on. (i.e. Num 27) A preference is something just based on facts. Preference is left for us to decide, convictions are truths already decided and out of our hands. Naboth was not left with a decision of, “…can I sell and still be right…” He was left with, “I can sell and be wrong or not sell and be right.” This left the results out of his hands. What a wonderful example of living with conviction. We should all be people of conviction with our decisions guided by the truths of God’s word.
Pastor Chanc Strickland
Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN
This blog post was adapted from a sermon preached at Harpeth Baptist Church in the summer of 2012.