Through the Bible in a Year – July 22

1 Ki 20-21; Acts 6:1-7-16; Psalm 105 vs 26-end

The tale of Naboths vineyard does not resonate with us as powerfully as it ought, so used are we to thinking we might buy and sell land . . .

Herein we are reminded of the deepest of truths – the Earth is the Lord’s – so it is given for an inheritance and not to be accumulated. For the Earth is a source of the gracious provision of God. None of us ‘owns’ land – and we would do well not to mask this behind careless use of the word ‘Stewardship’, a concept that has become so distorted in Christian usage as to be all but beyond redemption, were such a thing not unthinkable.

Ahab – like his ancestor David, looks out from his palace and sees that which is not his own – and covets it.

Jezebel, who is a foreigner to the tradition of Yahweh, the story of the Exodus, and the true King of Israel – tells Ahab to behave like a King. If you want it, you take it! Are you not the king??? ‘Bow down and worship me and all this will be yours’. The covetous desire to acquire is always rooted in false worship – and this tale makes that so explicit it is alarming that we still rarely see – we still seek to say – I want this for myself.

Dust we are – to dust we shall return. We are ‘Admah’ – of the Earth – how can we own it, when one day we will fertilize it?

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