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Summary: Our lives are defined by the nature of our choices.

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Title: Deal… or No Deal?

Text: I Kings 21:1-10 (11-26)

Thesis: Our lives are defined by the nature of our choices.

Introduction

Perhaps you are familiar with NBC’s Deal or No Deal game show? Howie Mandel is the host. There is a bevy of beautiful young women on a stage, each is holding a brief case with a monetary amount written on a card inside from a dollar to one million dollars. The contestant picks a case which contains his or her potential prize… as the cases are opened the amounts exposed are then eliminated from the big board. Depending on what amounts remain on the board, a banker phones Howie and offers the contestant a cash deal in exchange for what he or she may or may not have in their brief case.

For example… there are three cases left unopened on the stage in addition to the one held by the contestant. On the big board are four numbers: $1, $750, $100,000, and $1,000,000. Those four amounts remain in unopened brief cases. Which one does the contestant hold? The banker offers the contestant $300,000 for his or her case, which may contain $1, $1,000, $100,000, or $1,000,000. And then Howie Mandel asks, “Deal or No Deal?

The contestant thinks a moment… his or her family members are screaming. The studio is screaming…”Deal!” “Deal!” But you know they are going to go for the $1,000,000 and the contestant says, “No Deal!”

Then comes the moment of truth… the case is opened and the contestant and all the world sees he or she has traded $300,000 for $750.

You don’t always get what you want…

I. We don’t always get what we want.

King Ahab said to Naboth, “I would like to buy your vineyard to use as a vegetable garden…” But Naboth said, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance that was passed down by my ancestors.” I Kings 21:1-3

A. Ahab’s reasonable request. Because of the close proximity of Naboth’s vineyard to Ahab’s summer palace, Ahab approached Naboth hoping to acquire the piece of property.

• He offered Naboth a better piece of property in exchange for the vineyard.

• He offered Naboth a cash purchase price.

Land swaps are very much in the news here in Colorado. Near Durango, Colorado the Tamarron Resort is offering exchanging two parcels of private land for a piece of the San Juan National Forest near Haviland Lake. The problem is, the San Juan National Forest land, which happens to be adjacent to the resort owned land is a relatively area popular with hikers, cross country skiers, and equestrians, while the land they are offering in exchange is steep and not readily accessible. Land swap offers are usually better for the proposing party than for the other.

However, Ahab did offer Naboth a better piece of property saying, “I would like to offer you a better vineyard in exchange for the one you own that abuts my property. Or, I’m willing to offer you cash, if you prefer. Name your price.” And then, he may well have asked, “Do we have a deal?”

What is not to like about his kind of offer? However, Naboth said, “No deal!” He flatly refused either/or or any offer. He was not interested in trading or selling his vineyard to anyone under any circumstances.

B. Naboth’s understandable denial.

Naboth’s vineyard was property allotted his ancestors when the Israelites entered the Promised Land. It was an inheritance to be passed from generation to generation, never to be sold permanently.

• Naboth had a sentimental attachment to the property.

• Naboth had a spiritual obligation to honor God’s commandment that ownership of the land stay within the family.

It did not matter what Ahab offered, Naboth’s vineyard was off the market.

What then was Ahab to do?

II. The question is: What happens when we don’t get what we want?

So Ahab went home angry and sullen because of Naboth’s answer. The king went to bed with his face to the wall and refused to eat! I Kings 21:4-5

A. The first thing Ahab did was get angry.

B. The second thing Ahab did was go to bed, turn his face to the wall, and refuse to eat.

Ahab thought he had made Naboth an offer he could not refuse… Ahab tried to get what he wanted by legitimate means. But when he finds out that he cannot have what he wants, all sense of adult behavior and reason evaporates and he is reduced to acting like a big pouting baby.

Alison Amgrim is known and respected today as an outspoken advocate for the protection of children. But, when she played the role of Nellie Oleson on the Little House on the Prairie series, she was the most disliked person on the planet. She was Walnut Grove’s richest and best-dressed young girl. She was also Walnut Groves most spoiled, unpleasant and disrespectful child. As the daughter of the wealthy Oleson family, Nellie was accustomed to having her way because her mother, Harriet, insisted on it. When things went her way, Nellie bragged about it. And when things did not go her way she was capable of concocting the most diabolical of schemes. Nellie could pout and throw tantrums as well as any snobby, bratty, and whiny person.

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