2015-11-01 - The Tenth Commandment
Biblical Example of Coveting: King Ahab
The next account is that of another king who certainly couldn’t exactly be called a man of God, and that man was King Ahab. This account is found in 1 Kings 21, and I’ll share selected verses from the passages.
“Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And after this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.” But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen …” (ESV)
Ahab was bent out of shape, and Jezebel came up with an idea to get him what he coveted.
“So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and she sent the letters to the elders and the leaders who lived with Naboth in his city. And she wrote in the letters, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth at the head of the people. And set two worthless men opposite him, and let them bring a charge against him, saying, ‘You have cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.” (ESV)
So Ahab got what he coveted. But, Elijah brought him God’s word.
“Behold, I will bring disaster upon you. I will utterly burn you up, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. And I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin” (1 Kings 21:1-4, 8-10, 21-22 esv). (ESV)
As Spock said to Stonn at the conclusion of Amok Time1:
“After a time, you may find that having is not, after all, so satisfying a thing as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true …"
For us this is a logical problem, because the Lord didn’t put us here for “wanting.” With the two examples we have seen, “taking” is certainly contrary to what is expected of us. It obviously undermines whatever witness we have. God promised judgment on Ahab and Jezebel, and that judgment certainly came to pass.
To be continued.
All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.