Ahab (boo! hiss!) wanted to convert a nearby vineyard into a vegetable garden. When the owner would not sell, Ahab’s wife Jezebel (bigger boo! bigger hiss!) figured out a way to get rid of the owner so Ahab’s possession of the land would look like it was on the up-and-up. Ahab took the land and was visited by Elijah who told him of coming destruction. Ahab repented and God postponed the destruction for the next generation.
This is the second time that I’ve heard this story this week. My very good friend was telling me about it less than one week ago and now, here it is in front of me. I have to seek the Lord as to that meaning.
In reading this story about a man who wanted something he could not have and then killed the one who had the rightful claim, I’m reminded of David. Didn’t he do the same thing with Bathsheba? Repentance followed and the punishment was on the next generation.
But David was the good guy and Ahab was the bad guy, right? How could they have done the same thing? Good guys wear white Stetsons and bad guys wear black Stetsons. If they don’t then how are we supposed to tell the difference between them? Perhaps we aren’t supposed to tell. Perhaps our role isn’t to judge the merits of others and place them in a category: good, bad, righteous, evil, Christian, sinner…
Matthew 7:1-5: “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.”