“But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.” – 1 Kings 21:25
When you hear the name Jezebel, what do you think of? Most likely it is not anything good. I would guess that almost anyone you asked could tell you whether Jezebel was a good or bad woman in the Bible regardless of whether they have ever actually read her story in God’s Word. So, what did Jezebel do that has made her name become synonymous to wicked and ungodly behavior?
In my last blog I talked about God stirring hearts to work for Him (A Stirred Heart). This post is about a different type of stirring. Instead of divine, good, and loving stirring of God, it is stirring to work wickedness by an ungodly wife: “But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up” (1 Kings 21:25). God’s Word says that Ahab “did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him” (I Kings 16:30). Ahab was already an ungodly king, but then he did something worse: “And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam…he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians.” Ahab took a wife who was not an Israelite and worshipped false gods. Through the influence and power of Jezebel, Ahab soon became evil like no other king of Israel.
Wickedness Jezebel stirred up:
- led Ahab to serve and worship Baal (I Kings 16:31)
- slew the prophets of the LORD (I Kings 18:13)
- desired to have the prophet Elijah killed (I Kings 19:2)
- had Naboth killed so Ahab could have Naboth’s vineyard (I Kings 21)
However, we can be assured that God sees all, and He is the final judge. God pronounced His judgment on Ahab for his sin and took away his posterity (I Kings 21), and God’s judgment was upon Jezebel in her death as well. She was thrown down from a window, trode on by a horse, and eaten by dogs until only her skull, feet, and the palms of her hands remained (2 Kings 9:30-37). How’s that for a graphic picture?
Now, for the moral of the story…I believe you can guess we shouldn’t be like Jezebel. But just as Jezebel had a major influence in her husband’s life, we have an impact on those around us. Would our husbands say they are stirred up to work wickedness or stirred up to work good by us? Our friends, other church members, family…what would they say of our influence? Are we an example and encouragement to others to do good? Jezebel led her husband to serve false gods. Do you lead your husband or others away from following the Lord? Do you choose a job, sports, entertainment, rest, or anything else over the Lord’s house and serving Him faithfully? If so, you are serving and worshipping another god, just as Jezebel. If your husband is unsaved or not serving God faithfully, remember that you do have an influence in his life. Make it a godly one. “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives” (1 Peter 3:1). Yes, everyone has a free will, but there is no denying the influence we have on others. Jezebel led her husband to punishment and destruction. Are you leading those most important to you to destruction or blessing?
Note: If you desire to read the complete story of Jezebel in the Bible, it begins with her marriage to Ahab in 1 Kings 16 and ends with her death in 2 Kings 9. The name Jezebel is also mentioned in Revelation 2.