A Sulky King


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 because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and would eat no food. I Kings 21:1-4 ESV

The inheritance of the people of Israel shall not be transferred from one tribe to another, for every one of the people of Israel shall hold on to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers. Numbers 36:7 ESV

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications,with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. Hebrews 5:7-9 ESV


Ricky was sulking. He wanted to have some candy, and his mother had said no. He tried kicking and screaming, but that didn’t get his mother to give him his way. So now he was sulking. He sat angrily in his room and refused to come out or to talk to anyone. Lots of little children throw tantrums and sulk, but most of them eventually learn not to. Older children know that they can’t always have what they want or get their way about everything.

King Ahab was a grown man and the king of Israel, but he had never learned not to sulk. He thought that because he was the king, he could have everything he wanted, and that everybody would have to obey him no matter what. He didn’t understand that even though he was the king, he had been put into his position by God, and he had to answer to God for the things he did as king. He wanted a vineyard that belonged to a man named Naboth, and when Naboth said no, King Ahab sulked. He acted like a little child who hadn’t learned to accept that he couldn’t always have things his own way. The vineyard belonged to Naboth, and even more than that, it belonged to God. Naboth understood that the land of Israel was a gift from God, and that it couldn’t be sold. According to God’s law it needed to stay in his family. Ahab didn’t care about God’s law or what Naboth wanted. He only cared about getting his own way.

We are all like Ahab sometimes, even if we don’t sulk or act in other childish ways. We want our own way, and we don’t want to give in or consider the needs of other people. We don’t want to follow God’s ways or do the things he wants us to.  This is because we are sinful people. God wanted to bring us out of our selfish ways and into life with him, so he sent Jesus to be our Savior. Jesus went to the cross to pay for all our sins. It was a very hard thing for Jesus to do, to obey his Heavenly Father even to the point of terrible pain and death. But Jesus was perfectly obedient to God. He didn’t put his own needs or wishes first, but instead he obeyed God for our sake. Because of what Jesus did, we are God’s people, and he sends us his Holy Spirit to help us follow God’s will and leave our selfish ways behind every day.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to save us. Help us to follow him and obey your will. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.