Ketchup thrower needs Bible lesson on Ahab

By Judy Brandon: Local columnist

Have you ever known people who don’t act their age? Children act better than some adults.

Several years ago I read about two women in the grocery store checkout line. The first one in line had an immense basket packed with food, and the second woman in line had only a bottle of ketchup. So the woman with the ketchup gently tapped the woman in front of her, politely asking if she might go ahead.

The woman in front turned around and said: “Certainly not. I was here first.”

Her answer made the woman with the ketchup furious, so she took the ketchup bottle and hit the other woman over the head with it. Ketchup gushed out and ran down the woman’s face, and broken glass hit the floor. The woman who was hit turned around and socked the woman behind her. A free-for-all ensued.

Customers stood in disbelief and children watched in amazement. Police were called, and the two women were arrested and booked into the city jail — all because both could not have their way.

An incident in the Bible details an account of a man who pouted because he couldn’t have his way. Ahab was King of Israel. His legacy was pathetic. In 1 King 16:30, it says: “Ahab … did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of these before him.” Ahab conceived evil and carried it out with his wife, Jezebel. Much, though, she did on her own.

The most well-known incident was with Naboth, a commoner and good man, who had property close to Ahab’s palace. Ahab decided he wanted Naboth’s property for a garden. So he made an offer to Naboth, but Naboth refused because the land had been in his family for years.

When the deal fell through, Ahab went home, went to bed and refused to eat. Jezebel came in to the bedroom and saw Ahab in bed, face next to the wall, sulking.

“Why are you so upset? Why don’t you eat?” She asked. Ahab’s pitiful reply was: “Because I want Naboth’s vineyard and he won’t sell it to me.”

Jezebel asked, “Is this how you act when you are King of Israel? Get up and cheer up! I will give you the vineyard.”

Evil Jezebel began to plan. She wrote letters in Ahab’s name, put his official seal on the letters and sent them to prominent townspeople to proclaim a day of feasting. Naboth was to be at the most prominent place in the feast.

Next she hired two imposters to sit next to Naboth, and fabricate a story that he had cursed God and the king. Then they would execute him.

The dinner started, Naboth was put in the right place and then set up by the imposters. He was accused, taken outside the city and stoned to death. Mission accomplished, so thought Jezebel.

How wicked can two people be? But justice was to follow.

Latter, while Ahab was in Naboth’s vineyard Elijah the prophet was went by God to meet him. Elijah’s warning to Ahab: “You have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord. God says he will bring disaster on you!” And disaster did come to both Ahab and Jezebel.

The likes of Ahab are echoed today throughout the world. Yet there will be a reckoning day someday. The women in the store may not have been as mean but they had one thing in common with Jezebel: their motives were selfish and their actions were wrong.

Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: