Scripture: So Ahab went into his house sullen and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no food.  5But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, “Why is your spirit so sullen that you eat no food?” 6He said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ And he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.'”    7Then Jezebel his wife said to him, “You now exercise authority over Israel! Arise, eat food, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”

Observation: Ahab, the King of Samaria, wanted to have the vineyard which was next to his palace and which belonged to a man named Naboth.  But Naboth wanted to keep it because it had belonged to his family and wanted it to remain so.  Ahab was very upset and went into his room, got in bed, and would not eat.
     When Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, asked him for his behavior, and Ahab told her, she told him to eat and be happy because she would get him Naboth’s vineyard.  She then wrote letters on Ahab’s behalf to have Naboth falsely accused of cursing God and the king, for which he was stoned.  She then presented Naboth’s vineyard to Ahab.

Application: If it were not so tragic, this story is almost comical.  An adult, Ahab, pouting like a child because he couldn’t have someone else’s toy, or vineyard.  We can almost imagine Ahab sulking, furrowed brow, hungry but refusing to eat, maybe even crying – the normal reactions of a child who’s not getting his way, but certainly not the reactions of a mature adult.
     On the other hand we have Jezebel, an evil, wicked woman, but also an enabler of her husbands immaturity, selfishness, and childish behavior.  It was convenient for her, however, to keep him that way because then she could control him in other ways, like by furthering the worship of Baal in Israel unopposed by her husband.
     Sometime ago I heard of a guest psychologist that Oprah had on her show – the topic was on marital relationships – in which this doctor said something to the effect that women who treat their husbands like children eventually stop finding them undesirable because a woman wants a man and not a child as their husband.  There are women who seem to enjoy being in charge at home and being the ones to tell their husbands what to do, and when, and how.  They treat them as a mother would treat a young child.  In more ways than one they are emasculated by not being allowed to “wear the pants” in the family.  But these very women, eventually don’t find their man sexually attractive and don’t realize that they’re the ones who have turned them into less than a man.
     If a man is to grow up, so he doesn’t pout like a child when confronted with challenges and difficulties, he needs a supportive spouse, not one who will enable his moodiness.  God designed woman to be a help-meet, not above nor below man.  The best help a woman can give her husband is to believe in him, encourage him, and express appreciation and admiration for him.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, may we be true help-meets to our spouse so that they will grow and mature as they help us grow and mature.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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