“Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And after this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.” But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” 1 Kings 21:1-4
Ahab was a wicked man indeed!! Jezebel was his wife and a God-hater. And one day Ahab decided that he wanted Naboth’s vineyard. The vineyard was right outside the walls of Ahab’s summer palace. It is obvious from the text that Naboth’s vineyard was there before Ahab’s palace was. And the wicked Ahab wanted it so that he could turn it into a vegetable garden. He wanted to turn a vineyard into a vegetable garden.
The name Naboth in the Hebrew means “Fruit.” And this vineyard that belonged to Naboth had been in his family for quite some time. Naboth had inherited it from his fathers. Of the 36 times that Jezreel is mentioned in the bible, we have only one man being called a Jezreelite, and that man is Naboth.
The name Jezreel means “God sows.” God has a vineyard – and you are that vineyard. Isaiah 5:7 says, “For the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel.” And Paul calls those of us in the New Testament who are believers “Jews” and “Israelites” (see Romans 2:29 and Gal. 6:16). And then you will remember in John 15 that the Lord said, “I am the Vine, you are the branches.” In other words, Jesus is talking about a vineyard in John 15. A vineyard is something that bears fruit – NOT vegetables.
God is looking for fruit, not vegetables. All through the New Testament (from Matthew to Revelation) you will find the word Fruit and Fruitful mentioned 66 times. That is one time for every book of the bible. Now, can that really be a coincidence? Fruit grows on trees and bushes, whereas vegetables grow on stalks and vines of the ground. But grapes come from a vine called the Vine Tree (some call it the Grapevine).
So here we have a man named Naboth whose very name means “fruit” tending a vineyard that produces fruit and that he inherited from his fathers. And Naboth’s vineyard was not in Jerusalem where God’s presence was, but in Jezreel, which was the place where God sows. Our spiritual fruit needs to be growing each day on the vine; not just in “church.” God is trying to sow Himself in many other places than just “church.” He wants you to let your vineyard yield fruit unto Him even in Jezreel (far away from Jerusalem, so-to-speak).
We also have inherited a vineyard from our Father, and we need to be tending it daily and keeping watch over it night and day so that the fruit is acceptable to God. Naboth “had a vineyard” and it must have been a very nice one indeed for the king himself to want it. Make no mistake about it, satan is living just right outside and is constantly looking at your vineyard. And he doesn’t want it for its fruit; he wants it so that he might destroy all your fruit. 2 John v.8 says, “Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward.”
Satan wants you to compromise and sell your vineyard to him that he may till all your fruit under and turn it into a vegetable garden. And you need to tell him the same thing that Naboth told Ahab (satan): “NOT FOR SALE!!” Naboth said to him, “God forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”
Satan is a liar and he will promise you “a better vineyard” or he’ll offer you money for your vineyard. He’s willing to trade or just buy you out. But we need to be smart enough to say to him in his face, “NOT FOR SALE!!” You need to be wearing a sign across your heart that says to all in the spiritual world “NOT FOR SALE!!” Satan is a flim-flam real-estate agent that would love nothing better than to sell you oceanfront property in western Kansas. Yet every day over 80,000 Christians backslide and give up their vineyard that they inherited from their Father. You see, satan’s business hours are from 12:00 midnight to 12:00 midnight, Sunday through Sunday, 365 days a year. His office is always open for those willing to make a deal or a trade.
Brother and sister, satan is after real-estate…namely the ground of your heart and he will pay you dearly for it, or he’ll offer you anything for it. I have fallen for his sales techniques myself over the years. But no more. Because of Christ, I have taken back by force that which I had relinquished and I have put out a sign in my “yard” that reads NOT FOR SALE!! And I have placed this sign on all four sides of my house, and even on the NW, SW, NE, and SE sides, so that there is no mistake by any enemy that may come and want to buy or trade that my field is NOT FOR SALE!!
Your vineyard is your responsibility. The fertilization and cultivation of your vineyard is your responsibility. It is your responsibility to get the rocks, weeds, thorns and thistles out of it. It is your responsibility to set a guard on your heart and not let your wall of protection down. The word says in Ecclesiastes that the man who lets down his hedge of protection shall be bitten by a serpent (Ecc. 10:8b).
As Naboth’s name meant “fruit”…so also let your name (Christian) mean fruit, and let your fruit remain!! For at the end of the day, He’ll be looking for fruit and fruit alone. He even said in Luke 13:7 that “these three years I have come seeking fruit.” Year after year He came looking for fruit. And please notice that Naboth didn’t lease his vineyard out to others. It was his vineyard. He was tending it himself. Your heart is God’s vineyard, and your living is the fruit of the vine. Why did God choose to compare Himself with a vine? I think it’s because a vine can spread out and weave itself into every fabric of your living.
Dear reader, are you leasing your vineyard out to others? In other words, are you compromising your standards and your convictions for the love of this world and the things of this world? Your vineyard is your divine inheritance from the Lord. He has entrusted you with it friend. Please don’t let it go to waste or get overgrown with thorns and thistles, and don’t let its stone wall become broken down. “But my own vineyard have I not kept.” SS 1:6 and “My vineyard, which is mine, is before me.” SS 8:12
I will leave you with a portion of scripture that I would ask you to please consider deeply as to what it is really saying: “I went by the field (the life) of the slothful man, and by the vineyard (the heart) of the man devoid of understanding; and there it was, all overgrown with thorns (see Matthew 13;22); its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall (see Ecc. 10:8b) was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: A little sleep (prayerlessness), a little slumber (spiritual apathy/backsliding), a little folding of the hands to rest (not laboring in the word of God); so shall your (spiritual) poverty come like a prowler (satan), and your need like an armed man (see John 10:10).”