A Wily Woman
(1 Kings 20:1-43; 21:1-29, 51; 22:2-28)
(2 Chronicles 18:6-8, 12-27)
Queen Jezebel, wife of evil King Ahab, was perhaps the most blatantly wicked woman ever to appear in Scripture. In fact, Jezebel has been cited in literature, films and popular culture ever since as a prime example of evil incarnate.
According to today’s Bible readings in 1 Kings, her claim to infamy may have been warranted. Jezebel connived and conspired to kill the prophets of the Lord. Jezebel has 850 false prophets of idolatry at her beck and call. Jezebel plotted the death of a citizen, Naboth, after he refused to sell his vineyard to King Ahab. Jezebel displayed her sinister character in her actions, while influencing her husband, the king, towards increased evil as well.
Surely, it is easy for us to point our fingers of judgment at Queen Jezebel. And our indignation may be righteous.
Still, is it possible that we may mirror some of Jezebel’s own qualities ourselves?
In the Bible book of Revelation, the Lord speaks of a spirit of Jezebel, alluding to this wicked Old Testament queen. However, His comments are pointed directly at the church at Thyatira, but perhaps also at some of us today:
18”This is what you must write
to the angel of the church in Thyatira:
‘I am the Son of God!
My eyes are like flames of fire,
and My feet are like bronze.
Listen to what I say.
19I know everything about you,
including your love, your faith, your service,
and how you have endured.
I know that you are doing more now
than you have ever done before.
20But I still have something against you
because of that woman Jezebel.
She calls herself a prophet,
and you let her teach and mislead My servants
to do immoral things and to eat food offered to idols.
21I gave her a chance to turn from her sins,
but she did not want to stop doing these immoral things.
22I am going to strike down Jezebel.
Everyone who does these immoral things with her
will also be punished, if they don't stop.
23I will even kill her followers.
Then all the churches will see
that I know everyone's thoughts and feelings.
I will treat each of you as you deserve.
24Some of you in Thyatira
don't follow Jezebel's teaching.
You don't know anything about what her followers call
the "deep secrets of Satan."
So I won't burden you down with any other commands.
25But until I come,
you must hold firmly to the teaching you have.
26I will give power over the nations
who wins the victory
and keeps on obeying Me until the end.
27-28I will give each of them the same power
that my Father has given Me.
They will rule the nations with an iron rod
and smash those nations to pieces like clay pots.
I will also give them the morning star.’”
(Revelation 2:18-28, CEV, emphasis added)
Do we tolerate idolatry or evil? Can we love fallen people (even those who practice what we consider the most ugly and wicked sins) without participating in evil? If we are honest with ourselves and our God, must we not admit that we may carry the spirit of Jezebel within us – until we lay ourselves at the foot of our Lord’s cross?
Could the reference to Jezebel in Revelation actually pertain more to an evil and deceiving spirit, even more than to the actual historical Jezebel of Old Testament times? If so, what must we do to guard against this influence?
Will you pray with me?
We fall at Your feet
And thank You for Your mercy and grace.
For we have listened
To the evil spirit of Jezebel.
We have carried idols
Of various sorts in our hearts,
Whenever we have allowed
Desires of any sort
To distract us from Your glory.
Call us home to Your heart,
Where we belong.
Guard our hearts
And dangerous desires.
Remind us that we are Yours,
Bought with the dearest price.
We give You all the glory
And all the honor
And all the praise,
For only You are worthy
Of our allegiance.