The Consequences of Imploding Anger: 1 Kings 21:1-19
The Consequences of Imploding Anger: 1 Kings 21:1-19By: Todd Hudnall
The story of Ahab, Naboth and Jezebel is a strong warning concerning the danger of envy and imploding anger.
1Kings 21:1 And it came to pass after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel, next to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.
1Kings 21:2 So Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near, next to my house; and for it I will give you a vineyard better than it. Or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its worth in money.”
1Kings 21:3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The LORD forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you!”
1Kings 21:4 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.
This is imploding anger – sullen, displeased, pouting and not eating.
1Kings 21:5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, “Why is your spirit so sullen that you eat no food?”
1Kings 21:6 He 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.’ ”
1Kings 21:7 Then 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.”
1Kings 21:8 And she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who were dwelling in the city with Naboth.
1Kings 21:9 She wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth with high honor among the people;
1Kings 21:10 and seat two men, scoundrels, before him to bear witness against him, saying, You have blasphemed God and the king. Then take him out, and stone him, that he may die.
1Kings 21:11 So the men of his city, the elders and nobles who were inhabitants of his city, did as Jezebel had sent to them, as it was written in the letters which she had sent to them.
1Kings 21:12 They proclaimed a fast, and seated Naboth with high honor among the people.
1Kings 21:13 And two men, scoundrels, came in and sat before him; and the scoundrels witnessed against him, against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth has blasphemed God and the king!” Then they took him outside the city and stoned him with stones, so that he died.
1Kings 21:14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.”
1Kings 21:15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.”
1Kings 21:16 So it was, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab got up and went down to take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
1Kings 21:17 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
1Kings 21:18 Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who lives in Samaria. There he is, in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone down to take possession of it.
1Kings 21:19 You shall speak to him, saying, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Have you murdered and also taken possession?” ’ And you shall speak to him, saying, “Thus says the LORD: ‘In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, dogs shall lick your blood, even yours.” ’’”
There are consequences to implosive anger. Anger is contagious and will spill out to bring others into it. A spouse will often respond to his or her partner’s anger to try to fix the supposed reason for the anger. Jezebel is an extreme example but there are many examples I’m aware of that also had significant negative consequences.