Women of the bible: Jezebel
Jezebel is the classic example of a woman who exercised her influence to her husbands detriment.
Jezebel was a religious woman, spreading her idolatry through Israel. She was powerful, cunning and arrogant, she actively opposed God and did evil openly without remorse.
She was willing to enhance her power at the expense of others.
In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri became king over Israel; and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. (1 Kings 16:29-31)
Ahab, king of Israel was already inclined to do evil before he married Jezebel. In fact he was more evil “than all who were before him”. To put it bluntly, he wasn’t a nice man. However his wife, a foreign woman, incited him to do even greater evil.
Together they killed and persecuted the Lord prophets, they blamed Elijah (a prophet) for the drought and threatened to kill him.
For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water. (1 Kings 18:4)
On day Jezebel found her husband sullen (pouting) and she asked him what the problem was and he told her that Naboth the Jezreelite would not sell his vineyard to him. Jezebel took the matter into her own hands and got him that vineyard “Then Jezebel his wife said to him, “You now exercise authority over Israel! Arise, eat food, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” (verse 21:5) and did away with Naboth.
Ahab took possession of his newly acquired vineyard, however he bumped into Elijah who rebuked him over the vineyard and even though Ahab had sold himself to evil, his conscience could still be touched because he repented—So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house.” (verses 27-29)
The bible states that “Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up.” (verse 21:25)
What can we learn from Jezebel:
* We have the power to influence (and stir) our husbands, we can colour our husbands views or feelings on a particular person by the way we speak about them. We can turn them against another through our manipulation and sway their decisions to get our own way. Or we use our power to build up our husbands to make them strong.
* If we see our husbands doing wrong, we have two choices—encourage him to continue to do wrong, join in and be activity involved in his wrong doing OR we can steer our husband away from evil and back on to the path of Godliness. However, this isn’t always easy if our husbands don’t want to change their ways (ie if they are addicted to porn). However we certainly do not to join them in their activities instead we can vehemently pray for them and seek help.
* A wife’s power can be used to destroy her husband or to build him up and make him stronger—isn’t it funny that when someone is given a position of power they tend to use that power for their own selfish desires and rarely use it for the greater good of society in the service of the Lord.
* Jezebel was a worshipper of idols, even when she clearly saw the power of God she did not turn away from her idols. We might think we don’t follow idols, but it can be easy to fall into the trap of idolatry — sport heroes, movie stars, fashion and even our homes. We must be always watchful of idolatry.
* The end for Jezebel would have been swift and sure — her story is an excellent reminder that God hates evil and will surely punish it as He did with Jezebel. Yes, He is a loving and compassionate God, but He will not tolerate evil. However, when we come to him for forgiveness, He is a God who loves to show mercy. It is NEVER too late to bow down and ask for forgiveness. One is never too old to embrace the wonders of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20)