The text for this lesson is 1 Kings 21:1–16
- God commands us to be content with what we have. He provides all we have and what we need most: forgiveness for our discontent through the suffering and death of His only Son, Jesus.
- Law: Just as Ahab coveted a garden that was not his, I sin when I am dissatisfied with God’s provision and sinfully desire something that belongs to my neighbor or fail to help him keep what belongs to him.
- Gospel: In His love and mercy, my heavenly Father gives me everything I need, especially His Son, Jesus, who set aside what He deserved in order to be my Savior.
- God blessed David, and he was eventually anointed king over Judah and then all Israel. David was a sinner; yet, God blessed him and gave him many successes as king. David’s son Solomon succeeded him as king. God graciously endowed Solomon with unmatched wisdom along with wealth and influence. As king, Solomon rebuilt the palace and built the temple. His glory and possessions were beyond measure. Yet, he allowed his many wives to turn his trust away from the Lord and to false gods. Rehoboam continued his father’s legacy with a kingdom marked by dissent and rebellion. His kingdom was eventually divided, with Jeroboam ruling Israel to the north and Rehoboam ruling Judah to the south. David’s once-great kingdom was now two. Thus began a series of kings for both Israel and Judah. Some worshiped the one true God in His temple; others, though, worshiped false gods. None was more wicked than Ahab.
Ahab was disturbed at Naboth’s refusal to sell or exchange his vineyard. So troubled was King Ahab that he lay in bed and refused to eat. What was on Ahab’s mind? Was he dissatisfied with his own vineyards? Perhaps Naboth’s was exceptionally fruitful or attractive. Maybe Ahab wanted Naboth’s vineyard just because he could not have it. The reader is equally aghast at Ahab’s wife’s behavior. Jezebel encouraged her husband in idolatry and abused her queenly authority to conceive and execute a sinful plan that brought about Naboth’s death. Jezebel’s sin brought Ahab’s coveting to a dreadful conclusion. The couple could have used their immense riches to help Naboth guard and develop his vineyard. However, two who had so much chose instead to covet, steal, and murder.
Like Ahab’s, much of the coveting we do is based on listening to the sinful, distracting voices in our heads and in the world. Our sinful minds continuously teach us that we have a right to what we want, and immediately so, even if obtaining it requires disobeying God. You have a right to steal what you have not earned. You have a right to sexuality outside of God’s design. You have a right to speak ill of others if they have hurt you. To the same extent, we lend an attentive ear to a world that teaches that a full life is one in which we have all we desire—or at least as much as everyone else.
Thanks be to God that He did not covet. Instead, God’s Son set aside His comfort, His blessed heavenly home, in order to accept what His Father had prepared—death on the cross to save sinners. .