Looking at some of the characters here, we have: -
Ahab, whose habitual sulking, presents an image of a small boy with arms tightly folded and lips pouted. He had witnessed the power of God on Mount Carmel and had just been given victory over his enemy by the Lord, but he didn’t revere Him and saw nothing wrong in the worship of idols. He demonstrated no respect for God and His people and allowed himself to be influenced by his wicked wife. Elijah said he sold himself to the devil.
Naboth, considered he was steward of the land he had inherited from his forefathers as part of that promised by God. He stood firm by his belief that he had no right to sell but to pass it on to the next generation. He appeared God fearing enough to resist the temptation of making money or benefiting from an exchange and have to face the consequences of angering God. His death was callous and undeserving.
Jezebel, was so dismissive of God that she had her own gods which she no doubt felt she controlled. Nothing would get in the way of whatever she wanted and although she tolerated her husband - the king - she would not be humiliated by his sulking over Naboth’s refusal to sell the vineyard to him. Such a simple problem to solve and as, in her opinion, Naboth and God were seemingly ‘insignificant’, she orchestrated the murder of Naboth in a way that elders and nobles would be fooled into seeing Naboth as one who deserved death for cursing God and the king.
God, who is just and perfect in all His ways, was neither silent nor absent. He cannot be intimidated or manipulated by anyone. When Naboth was falsely accused and killed, God was already bringing about justice on those responsible. Jezebel may have been able to cover her tracks by using Ahab’s name on the letters and Ahab may have tried to claim he didn’t know how Naboth died, but God witnesses all.
In this account, we see the mercy of God so clearly. Ahab did not have a great track record but God showed mercy to cause the defeat of Ben-Hadad not once but twice. When Ahab failed to do all that God commanded there, God sent a prophet to warn him. Again, when Ahab allows the murder of Naboth for personal gain, God could have struck him down but instead He sent Elijah to warn him. Ahab at last recognised the authority of God and humbled himself and God postponed His judgement.
Father, forgive me when I am self-seeking - help me to seek you instead. Amen.