A Martyr’s Death


In 1 Kings 21 Ahab asks his neighbor, Naboth, for his vineyard since it would be convenient for the king.

Naboth says no, which is the correct answer. He says, “The Lord forbid that I should give” it to you. God does forbid it. Land is their inheritance. God chose whose inheritance was where.

God knew what would happen to Naboth if he was next door to Ahab. God knew Naboth would be a martyr.

The land was not to pass between tribes, and if it was sold, it was to be returned to the owner in the year of Jubilee. God points out to Israel when they are taught these laws about the land and Jubilee, that the land belongs to God, that the Israelites live in God’s land as strangers and foreigners.

Ahab cared nothing for God’s law and is mad Naboth is honoring it, that he can’t get God’s land for himself. He throws a baby fit, acting like a baby because he didn’t get what he wanted. He’s sulks and curls up in bed, refusing to eat.

Jezebel tells her husband that she’ll get Naboth’s vineyard for him. She plots and has Naboth killed, not just killed, but accused and condemned falsely and then killed for his sin that he didn’t commit. Just like Jesus. God didn’t stop Naboth’s murder, though He knew it was going to happen and responded after it happened. God didn’t stop Jesus’ murder, either, that the many might come to righteousness.

We don’t know what seed was planted by Naboth’s death, what fruit came out of it, but he died because he honored God’s word and feared God over the king.

The Bible says that the death of a saint is precious in His eyes (Ps. 116:15). The Bible says that the righteous might die to protect them from an evil to come (Is. 57:1). Neither our lives nor our deaths are accidents. God doesn’t even take pleasure when the wicked die (Ez. 18:23).

God didn’t fail Naboth, even if we don’t understand the plan. God saw what happened to him. God avenges his death. Ahab and Jezebel will die for their sin against Naboth.

And for anyone thinking they can get around sin on a technicality…Ahab dies for killing Naboth, even though all he did was want the vineyard and pout about it. Jezebel is the one who did the evil plotting. Other men were the ones who actually carried out the plot. Ahab dies for the sin.