Naboth's Vineyard

Posted by Page Phelps | | Posted On Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 10:49 AM

My devotion with my children the other morning was a very good one! In the previous post I was talking about discipline and one area of discipline that is always difficult is the teaching of being thankful for what you have and not coveting (desiring) what someone else has.......especially what your brother or sister have. This is a difficult lesson for my eldest son. He is a "collector" of things and he has little treasures that he likes to "cling" to, he takes the things (toys) and carries them with him in the car, to his bed, sleeps with them, to the table, to Kid Fit, to church and school (but must leave them in the car). Oh, he certainly likes "things!" Anyhow, unbeknownst to me what a good lesson this devotion would be. Sometimes I flinch and try to skim the devotion because some Bible lessons are a bit grafic so I did the quick skim and thought, "Hmmm........possible I will not have to answer too many questions about heads chopped off/person killed/etc. or change to nicer words like they got rid of that guy." So what a great lesson for me and for my children about Naboth's vineyard. This lesson is found in I Kings Chapter 21 and in the Illustrated Family Bible Stories on I Kings chapter 21 .

I had forgotten this story and what a treasure it is for teaching my children about having a grateful heart and not coveting to the point of no return. So here it goes.

The King at the time was King Ahab, King Ahab lived next to Naboth's vineyard. Ahab wanted the vineyard and asked Naboth for the vineyard, offering money or exchanging land with Naboth. Naboth replied, "The land had been in his family for many generations, and he had no intention of parting with it." So Ahab was angry and he left and sulked and refused to eat. King Ahab's wife was Jezebel and she inquired what was the matter with him. King Ahab replied, "Because Naboth has refused to give me his vineyard, even though I offered him the chance to get a better one or get money for it." (Can you see you children or yourself acting this way? -- Oh, I have seen my children and know I, myself have acted this way!). Jezebel then took it upon herself to set things straight and get the land for Ahab. She had letters written to the leaders of Jezereel and instructed the leaders to arrange a special banquet and seat Naboth in an important place. Two rogues were to be placed either side of him and they were to testify that he had spoken against God and the king. Naboth was then to be taken out and executed. Once Naboth was announced dead Jezebel informed her husband, Ahab, and he seized Naboth's vineyard. But God sent Elijah to prophesy against Ahab, "As you have murdered a man and plundered his land, God says that in the place where Naboth was stoned to death dogs will lick the blood from your dead corpse!" (Not so kid friendly......but my boys sometimes get the picture). When Ahab heard what Elijah said, he repented. God saw his change and declared, "As you have admitted your sin, I will not destroy you as I promised. "

So wow, what great lessons to be learned. What happens to our heart when we desire what someone else has, it leads to death and destruction. Mainly an anguished soul since it grates on you.........you have to have it! It shows the extremes that one will go to, but yet it also shows how it can entice others into your plot to take and have what you want, what you think you deserve. Oh, the prices we go to, to get what we think we want or deserve and then weeks later we throw away or do not even play with anymore! Oh, how I want my kids to be thankful for what they have!!! This is such a great lesson that I think I will use it and bring it up when they are fighting over a toy or wanting something that someone else has. Something else I really liked at the end of this lesson is how God forgave Ahab. How merciful our God is, to forgive and forget, because Ahab repented.......what a lesson for our children to learn as well. This was neat because after we read our lesson and talked about not coveting and about God forgiving us the boys brought up, "Mommy, do you remember when Eli did ___________?" "Mommy, do you remember when Hezekiah did ________?" And I said yes, I do remember but you know what, when you ask God to forgive you, He does not remember it anymore! He buries it in the deepest part of the sea and it goes away as far as the East is from the West and He remembers it no more, because He loves you and forgives you. So it is no need to bring up the wrong of what your brother did, because when your brother asked mommy to forgive him she did and well she tries to not remember it anymore.



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