Ahab was King in Israel after the death of his father Omri. “And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him” (1 Kings 16:30). One of Ahab’s major mistakes, was marrying Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal who served Baal. Ahab followed his wife in serving Baal and built an altar to serve him in Samaria. One day, Ahab approached Naboth who owned a vineyard near his palace. He asked Naboth to give him the vineyard, so that he could turn it into a vegetable garden. Naboth refused as the vineyard was the inheritance of his fathers.
Ahab’s response was so extreme that he went into his room, turned his face to the wall and would not eat. Imagine a King throwing a temper tantrum, because a man would not part with the land that he inherited from his family. When his wife asked him what was wrong, he complained like a petulant child. Ahab was angry because Naboth refused to hand over his vineyard. Jezebel’s response was to support Ahab’s childish behaviour. “Do you now govern Israel? Arise and eat bread and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite” (1 Kings 21:7). Jezebel decided to take matters into her own hands.
She used the Kings seal to write letters of accusation against Naboth, which led to his execution. Ahab took possession of Naboth’s vineyard which aroused the anger and condemnation of God. This was the prophecy concerning Ahab as a result of what he did. “Thus says the Lord: “In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood” (1 Kings 21:19). The plot of land was not worth the life of an innocent man. Ahab brought condemnation on himself and his household, because of his toxic and co-dependent relationship with Jezebel.
“Codependency is a circular relationship in which one person needs the other person, who in turn, needs to be needed. The codependent person, known as ‘the giver,’ feels worthless unless they are needed by and making sacrifices for the enabler, otherwise known as ‘the taker” (DR. EXELBERG, verywellmind.com). In healthy relationships, people have a desire to feel loved and wanted. The ideal relationship is one where both persons are inter-dependent. This is when two strong people are involved with each other without sacrificing themselves or compromising their values.
The pattern of co-dependency first started with Solomon, who married the Queen of Sheba. This marriage led him to leave his love for God and to serve other foreign gods. This generational pattern was passed down to Ahab, who was an extreme case. This is why choosing a life partner is such an important decision, as being attached to the wrong person can ruin your life. We can learn a lot from Ahab and Jezebel’s toxic relationship and guard against co-dependency. A wife should encourage her husband to be a better person as should a husband love and nurture his wife. Both people should help each other to become better children of God. A relationship needs two people who are firmly established in God to create a healthy and balanced union.
“Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals”” (1 Corinthians 15:33).