Naboth for me, is among those people worthy of emulation for their godly character and allegiance to divine instructions. This man’s story is really short but his fearless decision left a substantial legacy to be emulated. Here is a man that would not compromise his godly stand and standard to give in to the King’s offer. He would rather fear God than a mortal King. He chose to risk and lose his life where others could have chosen to save theirs. For me, this man was bold as lion for saying NO. He was ready to face the consequence of saying NO to the SUPREME RULER KING AHAB.
Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. Luke 17:13 (NIV)
Someone else, might say, but Naboth lost his life, did he really preserve it? . My answer is, I believe his life is preserved in heaven, because he died a godly man. He stood for the truth and died for it. Naboth represents a godly man who valued his God-given inheritance more than anything. It is a birthright he would not sell for a morsel of meat unlike Esau who regrettably sold his.
See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Hebrews 12:16 (NIV)
From the above, Bible called Esau godless for selling his birthright. Naboth knew no Israelite is permitted to sell their inheritance: God had warned them not to. Ahab was probably testing this man’s mettle. As a king, he knew he had no authority over somebody else’s vineyard because it was rightly belong to them, therefore he decided to make an offer to buy it or for exchange; which Naboth refused. This is nothing but a true character of a godly man. The bible did not tell us this man financial status. Who knows, he might actually be in a condition of great need, but he would rather say ‘NO‘ to the King unholy advances than compromise his godly standards.
GOD WARNS AGAINST SELLING AND COVETING ANOTHER MAN’S INHERITANCE
No inheritance in Israel is to pass from one tribe to another, for every Israelite shall keep the tribal inheritance of their ancestors. Numbers 36:7 (NIV)
But Naboth replied, “The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance that was passed down by my ancestors.” 1Kings 21:3 (NLT)
Moreover the prince shall not take of the people’s inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession; but he shall give his sons inheritance out of his own possession: that my people be not scattered every man from his possession. Ezekiel 46:18 (KJV)
Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it. 2. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud people of their homes, they rob them of their inheritance. 3. Therefore, the LORD says: “I am planning, disaster against this people, from which you cannot save yourselves. You will no longer walk proudly, for it will be a time of calamity. Micah 2: 1-3 (NIV)
WHAT LESSONS CAN WE LEARN FROM NABOTH AS CHRISTIANS
- Believers are to value God’s instructions above everything. The first statement of Naboth is, ‘God forbid‘… (verse 3). He declined because he revered God. He put a high value on the instructions of God. He would not fear Ahab above God. This must be our attitude. No policies, regulations, orders from workplace, communities and government that contravene the word of God is to be clung to, we must refuse them like Naboth. God’s instructions must take supremacy in our life.
2. Believers must live their lives to please God. The only person Naboth wanted to please is God. He had made up his mind that whatever decisions he made, it is to please God. Likely the benchmark for most of his life’s decisions. Because if he could refuse the King (the number one citizen), he could refuse anybody. Galatians 1:10 (NLT) Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
3. Believers are to live ready to face persecution and human threat because of the Gospel. Naboth was ready for the consequences. He was ready for whatever punishment his actions might attract. Standing up for biblical truth may come with persecutions, threat, intimidation, punishment, loss of job, e.t.c,…. as promised by Jesus (Matt 10:22, Matt 5:11, Matt 24:9). Mentally, believers should prepare themselves for persecutions so that when it occurs, they will welcome it with their minds already fixed. 2 Tim 3:12 (NIV) In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
- Believers are to guard their inheritance in Christ jealously. For us to keep it, we are to take our relationship with God more seriously. Jesus died and resurrected to secure a divine inheritance. Those inheritance is based on biblical promises to be enjoyed now and in eternity. As a child of God, you have the right to those promises, because you are in Christ. Promises like good health, healing, financial prosperity, divine presence, peace and so on. They are wholly ours to claim. Galatians 3:18 (NIV) For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. Galatians 3:29 (NIV) If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
5. Believers are to pass on the godly virtues from them to the next generation. Inheritance is meant to be generational. They are to be kept, preserved and bequeathed to the next generation. Naboth having obtained the vineyard from his ancestors, he was committed to not loosing it during his own time. He made it clear to Ahab why he could not afford to sell nor exchange it. 1 Kings 21:3 (NLT) But Naboth replied, “The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance that was passed down by my ancestors.”. For us as believers, how do we transfer our inheritances to the succeeding generation? I believed by prayerfully committed to educating our children to hold out a godly life like us. Let’s be committed to train our children in the way of the Lord for the trend to continue to the next generation. Concerning Abraham, God actually made a profound statement that he had confidence in him to command’ his children and household to walk righteously. I hope God would be able to say this concerning us. May God help us to be successful in this area. Genesis 18:19 (KJV) For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgement; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
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