The first few weeks of May were spent preparing for finals. This involved a lot of reading and re-reading notes on different topics, hence, a lot of learning took place in these weeks.📚 Although it was a stressful period for me, it wasn't all bad as I love learning new things. 😊Therefore, even though I was happy to see the back of school when we finally closed for the summer, I was eager to continue learning...
So I started reading through the 1st book of Kings in the Bible. I've read it before, but I really wanted to go through it again; not only because I enjoy reading about the different kings who ruled Israel and how their leadership influenced Israel's history, but also because I learn so much that I can still apply in my life today from each and every one of them.
I recently started reading about King Ahab, an infamous king of Israel who was married to a woman named Jezebel. Unfortunately, there are many characteristics I dislike in Ahab. But the one thing that really gets to me is his reluctance to act.
The picture painted of what is expected of a king in the Bible is that of a bold man who is not afraid to act and make tough decisions when necessary. He should also be mature enough to concede defeat when he loses a battle, and humble enough to realize that he can't own everything. Sadly, King Ahab possessed none of these qualities.
Take for example the story about him and Naboth's vineyard. In this story, King Ahab asks a man named Naboth if he can have his vineyard, so as to use it as a vegetable garden for himself; he even offers to pay for it in cash or give him another vineyard in exchange. But Naboth rejects his offer because the vineyard belongs to his family and he doesn't want to sell it.
In response, Ahab goes back home in a sulk, lies in bed and refuses to eat. His wife, Jezebel finds him like this and asks him why he's so upset. After finding out the cause, she decides to solve the problem herself by getting rid of Naboth. Two days later, Naboth is framed for treason as well as speaking against God, and is stoned to death by an angry crowd.
Now Ahab can finally have his vineyard.
What stood out to me the most in this story is how Jezebel completely took matters into her own hands - and Ahab let her! Not once after he told her about it did he ask her what she planned to do about it. He remained silent while she planned Naboth's death, and happily took possession of Naboth's vineyard after finding out that he was dead. King Ahab's wife ended up committing a crime just so her husband could get what he wanted, and that cost an innocent man his life. In the end, God held Ahab responsible for Naboth's death - not Jezebel - and passed His judgement on him.
Needless to say, I was disgusted by Ahab's behaviour when I first read this story years ago. I thought of him as weak, and as an embarrassment to the whole of Israel. However, after recently reading it again, I was reminded of the times when I have been in a position of power - just like Ahab was - and I didn't use my power to act.
There are times when I have been in a position where I could have said something in defence of someone else, but chose to remain silent instead; or like Ahab, I was in a position where I didn't get what I wanted, and chose to act immaturely in response. Reading this story made me think of how much of an impact such decisions can have. I'd hate to think that my lack of wisdom in a position of power would lead to something as serious as someone's death, and it scares me to think that my lack of action in the past has had dire effects on others that I know nothing about.
The story of King Ahab & Naboth's vineyard shows me just how significant my choices to act - or not act - are.
We can learn a few other lessons from this story. For one, be careful who you choose to marry. 1 Kings 21:25 says, "There was no one like Ahab who had chosen so often to do what the Lord said was wrong, because his wife Jezebel influenced him to do evil" (The New Century Version Bible). This story of Naboth's vineyard is just one of many examples of Jezebel's influence on her husband. All throughout his reign, she played a vital role in pushing him and Israel further and further away from God.
Secondly, Choosing not to act is still a choice, and God will still hold you accountable for the consequences of your non-actions.
Lastly, and most importantly, we should take our positions of power more seriously. It really doesn't matter how much power you have, but rather how you use it.
Let's not be the ones to stand by and let injustice prevail - let's be the ones to act.
I find it easier and more effective to write down how I feel rather than to say it.
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