My thoughts (David Zier):
This passage reminds me of myself as a child when I didn’t get my way. One year when I was ten, I wasn’t getting what I wanted for my birthday, so I stomped my feet and told my parents, “Well, I’m not gonna have a birthday!”
Isn’t that what Ahab did? When he couldn’t get Naboth’s vineyard, he goes on a hunger strike. Jezebel set things in motion so that Ahab could own the vineyard, leading to Naboth’s death.
What seems like a petty disgruntled person not getting their way, leads to an awfully traumatic ending. Even as Ahab admits to his sin at the end of the passage, I admit that I am not too happy. Yes, he repented, and I know God forgives him as Elijah speaks in the passage.
But how many times do we take advantage of those who are less advantaged by taking good property away because it is useful for industry and highways, or by placing the polluting industry, the state prisons, the landfills, the toxic waste dumps, and the noisy industry near their neighborhoods? These living conditions bring on difficulty in people’s lives that affect their health, as if they were slowly being stoned to death!
This passage is telling me that I must be cognizant of others, and be careful of what I covet, and its impact on others. We are all living together, and the choices we make can cause the lives of others to be miserable. Why don’t we humble ourselves, and acknowledge the lack of fairness in how we all choose to live, and recognize that we all deserve to live in a safe place, clean environment, and not live near the toxic waste that corrupts our lives and affects our health.
In a day where we are concerned about healthcare and the rising costs, why don’t we really look and see what is causing a lot of the problems in our society. What would Elijah say to us about the way we are living?
Thought for the day: God, I pray that I can recognize that choices I make impact others’ lives. The way I live and the things I covet have an impact on my neighbor and your creation. God, please humble my heart so that I can be the peacemaker and lover of others you call me to be. Amen.
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