Ahab and Jezebel lived in the palace at Samaria. Right next door to the palace was a well kept vineyard owned by a man named Naboth. this vineyard had belonged to his father, and his grandfather and others in the family from the time when they came into the land, hundreds of years before this.
The law which God had given them said that they were not to sell their land, but pass it on from father to son. Ahab looked with longing eyes at this vineyard and thought what a fine garden it would make for his palace. One day as Naboth was working in his vineyard the king came to him and offered to buy it. Naboth said, I cannot sell it. The law of God forbids me to sell this land which came to me from my fathers. this made Ahab very angry.
Ahab went back to the palace with a heavy heart and was most displeased. he spent the day sulking in his room and would not go down to dinner. Jezebel came to see what was wrong. he told her that Naboth had refused to sell his vineyard to him. Jezebel said, are you really the King of Israel? Don’t worry, I will get you the vineyard.
Jezebel wrote letters to some of the men in the city, and signed Ahab’s name to them. In the letters she asked them to arrange a celebration and invite Naboth to have a special seat of honor. Then she asked them to bribe two men to come and make false charges against him. Then as a punishment, they were to take Naboth outside the city and stone him to death. The men did as Jezebel asked them to do, and Naboth was stoned to death.
They then sent word to Jezebel that he was dead. Jezebel said to Ahab, You can go now and take possession of Naboth’s vineyard which he would not sell you, for he is now dead. So Ahab went and claimed the vineyard.
God spoke to Elijah the prophet and said Go to Ahab and give him a message from me. Ahab was surprised to see Elijah and said to him, Have you found me, mine enemy? Elijah answered, I have found you because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of God. God will punish you for this. All of your sons will die or be killed and all of your family will be taken away. In the place where Naboth died the dogs shall lick your blood. your wife Jezebel shall be eaten by dogs. All this is because of your wickedness.
When Ahab heard these dreadful words, he rent or tore his clothes, and put on rough sackcloth as people did when they were very sorrowful. Then the Lord said, because Ahab has humbled himself before me, and seems sorry, I will not bring all these hard things whilst he lives, but when his son is king.
Not long after this Ahab was killed in battle. he had been in his chariot and an archer shot an arrow through his body. They brought the chariot back to the pool at Samaria to be washed. there at the very place where Naboth had been killed the dogs licked up Ahab’s blood from the chariot.
Ahab’s son became king, but not many years had passed before judgement had fallen on the whole family just as God had said. All of his sons were killed. Jezebel met her death in a dreadful way. Servants threw her from an upstairs window into a courtyard where she was killed. The dogs ate her flesh, just as God had said.
Because Ahab and Jezebel went there own way and refused the love of God, awful judgement came upon them and the whole family. Their name today stand for wickedness and ungodliness.
The lesson we learn from this is: because they had refused the living God they had only idols to help when in trouble or times of temptation, and an idol has no power to help. They thought hat God’s way was to narrow so they chose their own way. It brought unhappiness to them and to all their family while they lived and an eternity shut away from God in hell, the place that God prepared for the devil and his wicked angels. But no one need to go that way, for God prepared another way, His straight, narrow way. We may enter that way through our Lord Jesus Christ, who took our punishment upon himself. he receives all who come to Him.