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King Ahab steals a vineyard

Elijah confronts King Ahab over Naboth and his vineyard.
Contributed by Richard Gunther
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese
King Ahab and Queen Jezebel were two very wicked people who murdered God’s prophets and encouraged people to worship false gods. One day King Ahab was looking out of his palace over the vineyard very close to it. – Slide 1
The vineyard belonged to Naboth. Now King Ahab wanted Naboth’s vineyard so he went to him and demanded. ‘Give me your vineyard. I’ll buy it from you or give you a better one somewhere else.’ – Slide 2
Naboth adamantly replied, ‘I could never part with my vineyard. It belongs to my family and is my inheritance. I want to pass it on to my children and their children.’  No matter how much the powerful king pleaded, Naboth was not going to give up his vineyard. – Slide 3
Ahab was upset and grumpy he could not get his way. So he stomped off to his bedroom to sulk. – Slide 4
As king he was used to getting what he wanted. So, like a spoilt child, he turned his back on everyone and refused to eat. – Slide 5
That was when his very wicked and devious wife, Queen Jezebel came in to talk to him. ‘Why are you so sad and not eating?’ she asked. – Slide 6
‘I want Naboth’s vineyard, but he won’t give it to me’ Ahab sulked. ‘I even offered to pay for it or give him another vineyard.’ – Slide 7
‘You are the king aren’t you?’ Jezebel sneered. ‘Cheer up! I’ll get that vineyard for you.’ – Slide 8
Jezebel had a cunning plan. She wrote letters in the King’s name to the city leaders. – Slide 9
The letters told the city leader to put Naboth on trial and accuse him of things he had not done so he could be sentenced to death. The city leaders knew that if they did not obey the king’s orders they would be in big trouble. – Slide 10
So Naboth was put on trial. Two people were found to falsely accuse him of saying bad things about God and the King. He was found guilty. – Slide 11
The penalty for saying these bad things was death. So the innocent Naboth was taken out and stoned to death. – Slide 12
An excited Jezebel rushed to Ahab. ‘Naboth is dead,’ she announced. ‘The vineyard is yours.’ – Slide 13
But God had seen all that had happened. Greed had led to innocent blood being shed. God spoke to His prophet Elijah, ‘Go and meet King Ahab in Naboth’s vineyard.’ – Slide 14
God told Elijah what to say to the King and Elijah set off at once. – Slide 15
King Ahab was in Naboth’s vineyard looking very happy. At last he had got what he wanted. – Slide 16
Elijah’s message stuck him with horror. ‘Dogs will lick your blood in the same place that Naboth died,’ the prophet declared. – Slide 17
‘You are my enemy,’ Ahab fumed. Elijah was not deterred and carried on with the message God had given. ‘Your whole family is going to be wiped out, and … dogs will eat Jezebel.’ – Slide 18
‘You are my enemy,’ Ahab protested. <br/>Elijah continued with God’s harsh judgment on the wicked king, ‘Dogs will eat your children in the city and birds will eat them outside the city.’ Then Elijah turned and went home. – Slide 19
Ahab was shocked. He began to feel very scared and sorry for what he had done. He liked doing exactly what he wanted but he didn’t want to face punishment that comes from disobeying God. – Slide 20
King Ahab tried to show how sorry he was. He ripped his royal clothes and put on horrible scratchy sackcloth. He stopped eating. – Slide 21
God was pleased that the proud wicked king had humbled himself and was sorry for his terrible deeds. So God told Elijah, ‘Ahab is sorry. I have decided to hold back my punishment on his family until after he dies. And that is exactly what happed. You can find out what happened next in the FreeBibleimages story set called ‘God’s judgement on Ahab’s family’. – Slide 22
Slide 23