King Ahab and his Queen, Jezebel, were infamous for so many terrible actions. This week, I was reminded of one of those. It was when Ahab looked out of his palace and noticed Naboth’s vineyard and wanted it for himself. Naboth, choosing to keep his father’s vineyard, refused the king’s request, even though the king promised him another vineyard elsewhere in the kingdom. So, what did Ahab do? He went home, threw himself on his bed, and pouted. He had a royal pity party.
Doesn’t that sound familiar? Boy, I could see myself in Ahab. Here I am over here working hard, trying to stay productive. Everywhere I look others seem more successful and moving up, but little ole me, I’m still in a holding pattern with no forward momentum. It would be very easy to go home, throw myself on the bed and have my own pity party. And I almost did.
But it’s not my vineyard. When God opens doors in the lives of those around me, it’s in His timing, not theirs. Or mine. He declares it’s time. He makes the success happen. He is growing their vineyard. And their vineyard is a calling I can never fill.
As a result of Ahab’s pity party, Jezebel decided to have Naboth killed and acquire the vineyard for the king by underhanded means. Her plan worked and Ahab got what he wanted, but as a result, it brought the promise of death on him and his household as a result of their evil deed. Ahab looked to this possession as a way to bring satisfaction to his life, but in reality, it only brought death. Because it was never his vineyard to begin with! God has given each of us our own vineyard. Some vineyards seem to grow faster while others are slowly producing. Either, way, we must remain true to our vineyard, not comparing growth and success, but faithfully tending the soil and maintaining our Father’s fruit. In time, we will reap a harvest, but if we spend all our time seeking another’s vineyard, ours will never get the attention it needs to reap a harvest.
Encourage those who have producing vineyards. Become their cheerleaders and promoters. But let’s leave the jealousy and coveting out of the picture. Because their vineyard was never ours for the taking. We have our own to take care of.