Israel’s royal ideology demands that its kings deliver the needy from oppression and defend the poor from violence. Jezebel and Ahab do not simply neglect this responsibility; they intentionally repudiate it by murdering Naboth and taking his vineyard.
Ahab’s previous transgressions involve the worship of foreign gods and the persecution of the prophet Elijah. Now he and Jezebel corrupt the very basis of God’s covenant with Israel. They place their own desires above God’s demand for equity and justice.
Ahab wants to turn Naboth’s vineyard into a vegetable garden. Why a vegetable garden? In Deuteronomy 11:8-12 Moses contrasts the freedom and plenty of the Promised Land with Egypt’s vegetable gardens, which slaves water and maintain. The prophets and psalms repeatedly use the image of vine or vineyard to symbolize Israel as God’s chosen people. By digging up a vineyard and planting a vegetable garden, Ahab signals his desire to turn Israel into another arbitrary, unjust, oppressive kingdom like Egypt. No wonder Elijah, the representative of Israel’s covenant traditions, prophesies so vehemently against Ahab and Jezebel. The Sinai covenant demands that the people live in relationships of equity and justice. Israel is not to become a kingdom like Egypt where the powerful enslave and exploit the weak.
Elijah’s message is particularly relevant in an era of corporate greed and political irresponsibility. What power imbalances exist in our world that encourage the powerful to exploit the weak? Who ultimately are the “takers” and the “makers” in our global economy? in God’s economy?

You, O Lord, satisfy our needs, not our greed. Help us live as signs and instruments of your coming kingdom’s justice and righteousness. Amen.

0 Comentarios
Iniciar sesión to leave a comment
Recent News

Sin noticias actuales. Por favor vuelva después.

Encuentre recursos relacionados

Ver todo