What do you do when you don’t get your own way? This story in 1Kings 21 reveals the truth of
Jer 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
God lists Covetousness, Deceit, Murder under the heading “all things God hates.” Yet, like King Ahab, we quickly push those under the rug when we want our own way. He is a man who wants his way all the time and when he doesn’t get it, he retreats to his “man cave” bitter, angry and pouting. He knew the Law that inheritances of land were not to be sold according to Lev 25 but that didn’t seem to matter to this spoiled king. Queen Jezebel is used to his tantrums and thus takes matters into hand to get Ahab in a better mood. However, sly old Ahab doesn’t quite tell the truth to Jezebel but she goes on her way to deceive and commit murder in his name. Naboth will be stoned and Ahab will have his vineyard, end of the story—right? Well, not quite.
As Ahab tours his new possession, Elijah arrives and reminds him of the tenth commandment, “do not covet” along with the one “do not murder.” God is less than pleased and so Ahab’s days will be numbered. It is then that this crybaby King retreats to his “man cave” once more but this time he seemed truly repentant and God’s mercy and grace are invoked.
How would you react? Would you ask why God didn’t wipe him off the map? It is all because God’s grace is greater than our sin. It is all because God sees the heart whereas we only see the outward manifestation. Stop and think – 70×70 is how we are to forgive and God demonstrated that to Ahab and He does it to us!