Jezebel is often considered a very wicked and evil woman. However, the Bible does not go into much detail about her. We are introduced to her in 1 Kings 16:31. It tells us, “…as though it were not enough to follow the example of Jeroboam, [Ahab] married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and he began to bow down in worship of Baal.”
This is our first glimpse at the spirit of Jezebel. We can conclude that she was able to persuade Ahab to follow her gods. Support for this can be found in 1 Kings 18:19. We see the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah were “…supported by Jezebel” (NLT). Also, when she hears news of the death of her prophets, she becomes angry and vows to kill Elijah, the prophet of the LORD, who exposed her prophets as false.
So, just from these few verses of scripture, we can see Jezebel is not too keen on worshiping God. But, to get a better idea of her influence, let’s look in 1 Kings 21. Here we find a story about Jezebel that gives us most of our impressions of her true spirit.
When the chapter opens, we see Ahab trying to negotiate the purchase of a vineyard. The vineyard was located right next to the palace, and Ahab wanted to turn it into a vegetable. The owner, Naboth, had received the vineyard as an inheritance and did not want to let it go, so he declined the offer.
Ahab was so upset about this that he pouted the rest of the day. When Jezebel saw how depressed Ahab was, she said, “Are you thing King or not?” So, she promised her husband that she would figure out a way for him to get the vineyard.
She schemed with the leaders of the town to hold a feast and invite Naboth as the guest of honor. During the meal, two men would be planted in the group to stand up and accuse Naboth of cursing God and the King. The town leaders would then have Naboth dragged out and stoned to death.
The plan went perfectly and Naboth was killed. Jezebel went to Ahab and told him that he could now go take the vineyard. She said, “You know the vineyard Naboth wouldn’t sell you? Well, you can have it now! He’s dead!” (1 Kings 19:15b, NLT).
This short story reveals the spirit of Jezebel—a spirit of sinfulness. We can see the progression from desire to sin, just as it is described in James 1:14-15. “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” The story started with a desire for something that Ahab could not have. Jezebel took it to the next level. However, things did not end well for her. Her death was even foretold by the prophet of God, Elijah. He prophesied her death as part of the punishment for her actions against Naboth in I Kings 21:23.
It is easy to have the spirit Jezebel. It is easy to be dragged away by our own desires. But, if we continue down that line, sin will be waiting for us. There is a warning in Genesis 4:7, “You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master” (NLT).
We are also encouraged not to look after our own desires. If we focus too much on ourselves, our desires will constantly drag us into temptation. So Philippians 2:4 reminds us, “Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Or, in other words, don’t have the spirit of Jezebel.
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