Few names are as notorious as the name Jezebel. The name implies of an ambitious, conniving adulteress, intent on ruining the reputation of all innocent young men. But just where this reputation came from is not always clear.
The Book of Kings tells of a person by the name of Jezebel. There was nothing good or virtuous to say about this woman. She is introduced in 1 Kings 16:31 as the new wife of King Ahab. He married Jezebel, a daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and served and worshipped Baal, his wife’s god in order to please her. He erected an altar for Baal which he built in Samaria. Ahab then made an Asherah, an idolatrous symbol of the goddess Asherah. Being the king of Israel, one might hope that Ahab would marry a worshiper of Yahweh. Or even that Jezebel would convert to take on the faith of her new homeland. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. She held fast to her false gods and led others to worship them and to kill those who continued to prophesy for Yahweh (1 Kings 18:19-21; 21:25) (1 Kings 18:4, 13; 2 Kings 9:7). Jezebel had even caused her husband to do more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel before him.
In another story about Jezebel we are shown the strategy she used to obtain the wishes of her husband Ahab. He had a desire to posses his neighbor Naboth’s vineyard in order to build an herb garden. Ahab made an offer to Naboth to purchase the property but he declined, since the land was an inheritance of his father’s (1Kings 21:3-4). Ahab became so distraught at the response of Naboth that he laid in his bed and turn away his face and would not eat any food (1 Kings 21:4). When Jezebel heard what had happened she rebuked Ahab then took over the situation. She forged letters in Ahab’s name, closed them with his signet seal and had them delivered to the elders and nobles who dwelt with Naboth in his city (v 1 Kings 21:7-8)
“She wrote in the letters, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth at the head of the people. And set two worthless men opposite him, and let them bring a charge against him, saying, ‘You have cursedGod and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.” 1 Kings 21:9-10
The men did as she said, unbeknownst to them that this was a selfish evil act on her part. Tricking and deceitful, this woman lied to the elders and nobles of the city and had them stone an innocent man to death. Instead of telling her husband how Naboth had died, she said simply,
“Naboth of Jezeel is dead. Now you may go and take for yourself the vineyard he would not sell to you” (1 Kings 21:15).
Before all this occurred, Jezebel had done much more damage because she wanted to accomplish her own agenda. For example, the prophets of God would not agree with her ordinances or worship her gods, so she sent out a command to gather them all to be executed (1 Kings 18:4). She also convinced her husband to worship and idolize the gods she and her ancestors served, which placed a curse on him and caused the people in the land to stumble. It appeared that little by little she became the one wearing the pants in the family, since Ahab seemed to have lost his belt.
Fed up with Jezebel and Ahab’s tactics, the Lord pronounced their death sentence via the prophet Elijah, because of the evil crimes they had done against the God of Israel (1 Kings 21:19; 2 Kings 9:31-37). In the end, Jezebel was killed by a newly appointed king for Israel named Jehu. She tried to persuade her assailant with eye makeup and words of flattery, saying,
“Have you come in peace, you king (2 Kings 9:31)?
This was to no avail, as she was immediately thrown from the window and trampled by horses.
Even now to this day the Spirit of Jezebel is well and alive. It lingers even amongst the church and its believers. You can see it in those who operate in greed, lust, and selfishness. This spirit is relentless at getting its way at all cost. It doesn’t matter who it has to destroy, as long as the odds fall in its favor. And when it looks like it won’t, it will manipulate a circumstance until it does.
Hungry for power, those who operate in the Jezebel Spirit may appear to be innocent, even helpful. Their actions may seemingly want to exalt another person, all the while seeking self promotion. One who has been affected by this spirit may feel as if they were put in a trance and weakened during this time of deception. As the truth is revealed they may experience a feeling of despair, defeat and disappointment.
The most effective way to combat against the Spirit of Jezebel is to stand on God’s Word.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:4-6
Like Jezebel, we, too, can be led astray or lead others astray when we follow our own gods and not the One True God. Her story leaves us with a warning and promise. Those who refuse to honor the Lord will not go unpunished.
When we stay focused on God’s word and meditate on it daily, he will keep us protected and give us revelation of the traps that the enemy will try to set against us. So let our steps be ordained by Jesus as we give him full rein over our lives.
“Praise You God, for you do not let evil goes unpunished.
Thank you for justice, even when it seems delayed.”