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ESOCS Devotional 18 March 2023: The Selfishness of the Ungodly

ESOCS Daily Devotional

ESOCS Devotional 18 March 2023

TEXT: 1 KINGS 21:1-16

MEMORY VERSE: “When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard. 1 Kings 21:16 NIV

Ahab is king and lives in his palace. Next door to the palace is a man named Naboth who apparently has a very nice vineyard. Ahab sees how nice this garden is and the convenience of having a garden next to the palace and approaches Naboth to purchase his vineyard. Ahab will give Naboth a better vineyard or just pay him money for it, whichever Naboth liked. The problem is that this vineyard was part of Naboth’s inheritance and is not allowed by law to sell it even if he were poor and impoverished (Leviticus 25:23), rather a redeemer kinsman was to come in and purchase the land so the land remained with the family. Naboth cannot sell this vineyard.

The sin of selfishness rears its ugly head in the response that Ahab has. He is not merely disappointed. He is “vexed and sullen.” He is bitter and angry. So, he laid down in his bed, turned his face away, and wouldn’t eat. 

Do we act like Ahab? Are we vexed and sullen, angry and bitter when we do not get our way? Is our day ruined when we do not get what we want? Are we crushed when we cannot have what we want? The problem is our lack of contentment. So, what if Ahab cannot have that vineyard. There were other options open to the king. He could build his own vineyard. Buy another vineyard. Move the palace to another location near his existing vineyards. Build another palace. Ahab could not see all that he had. He could not see the alternatives. He just wanted this one thing and would not be happy unless he got it. Our lack of contentment comes from our selfishness. “I want, I want, I want” and will not be happy unless I get what I want. We live in a time that tells us that we should get what we want when we want it. However, we must identify our desire to have things immediately as selfishness. Look at what we have and stop focusing on what we do not have.

Jezebel takes care of the situation in the most wicked way possible. Jezebel sets up Naboth to be killed and the plan is perfectly executed. What is Ahab’s reaction to this? “Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.” (21:16). Ahab does not care how he got the vineyard. He is just happy to have his piece of property.

The injustice of this text is overwhelming and we get angry to read of such an awful event. We are as unjust when we put ourselves ahead of others.

  • Will you do whatever it takes to get what you want and you don’t care who gets hurt in the process?
  • Lord God, help me to be content with you have given me to thy own glory. Amen.

FURTHER READING: Exodus 9:13-End; Mark 4:21-34; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Read Yesterday’s ESOCS Devotional here

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ESOCS Devotional 18 March 2023

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