There’s no joy in her story.
She was bad, for her own glory.
But the truth I gotta tell:
We can learn from Jezebel.
Chapter 8: Friends in Low Places
1 Kings 21:1-25 and 2 Kings 9:30-37
We’re cutting to the chase this week. A quick review, and I’m washing my hands of this evil queen. Before we’re done, I think you’ll discover a lesson worth learning.
Her crimes were legion. For starters, Jezebel committed forgery and identify theft: “she wrote letters in Ahab’s name [and] placed his seal on them” (1 Kings 21:8).
Plus, her letters to the elders were filled with false accusations and character assassination: “seat two scoundrels opposite [Naboth] and have them testify that he has cursed both God and the king” (1 Kings 21:10).
Then came murder: “take him out and stone him to death” (1 Kings 21:10). Sadly, the nobles in Naboth’s city did exactly what they were told.
Naboth was killed, Ahab got the man’s property, and Jezebel once again got her way.
She told her husband, “take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you. He is no longer alive, but dead” (1 Kings 21:15).
Though being heartless and ruthless isn’t a crime in most law books, it’s a sin in God’s Book, which Jezebel had no time for.
Jezebel’s worst crime was her first crime: she worshiped that bad god of the Bible, Baal, just like her daddy, King Ethbaal (1 Kings 16:31). Because of her idolatry, she encouraged her husband, Ahab, to turn his back on God: “There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife” (1 Kings 21:25).
We may not be queens of the realm, but we still wield power in our homes, our workplaces, our churches, and our social circles. If we worship the one true God, any strength he provides should be used for the good of others. His name will be glorified, and an entirely different kind of crown will be reserved for us: “Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).
In this week’s Discussion Question from Bad Girls of the Bible, we took a look at some of Queen Jezebel’s good qualities, and how she (unfortunately) used them for Baal’s glory:
1. She had a finely tuned mind, but used it to devise evil schemes.
2. She had boldness and courage, but used those attributes to commit murder.
3. She had strong leadership abilities, but used them to take over the throne.
4. She had an assertive personality, but used it to draw people away from God.
5. She had a royal lineage, but used it to manipulate her subjects.
Now the question: how could those same attributes be used for God’s glory? Here’s my take.
1. A smart woman who loves the Lord could study his Word and teach others. She could become a licensed counselor and help others. She could become a medical doctor and heal others. There’s no limit to what a bright woman could do for God!
2. A bold, courageous sister who has given her heart to the Lord could rescue women from sex traffickers. She could find a way to take the gospel into closed countries. She could speak the truth in high places where others are afraid to do so. Think of all the doors this bold sister could kick open for God!
3. A natural leader who follows God could build a business using biblical principles. She could educate her peers and point them in the right direction. She could create a non-profit organization that helps those in need. A woman in leadership can make a world of difference!
4. An assertive personality can be an asset when a woman wants to convince others that God’s way is the right way. Her conviction might give others confidence. Her fearlessness might empower those who tend to be afraid. Her positive straight talk might dispel all the negative self-talk. What a powerful servant an assertive woman can be!
5. A woman born into an influential family can be mightily used of God. When she talks, people are more likely to listen. When she proclaims the truth, others are prone to be persuaded. When she opens her checkbook, others will want to follow suit. When we’re born into power, prestige, or position, we have the opportunity to turn the spotlight on our Savior.
How sad to think that Jezebel might have been a Deborah, an Esther. All the more reason for us to reach out to those strong women who seem least likely to be interested in the things of God. When their hearts are won, look out world!
Now, it’s your turn. If you share any of these strengths, how might you use them to honor and serve God? Is it time to step out of your comfort zone and really go for it, for God’s glory?
I hope you’ll add your voice to the conversation under Post a Comment below. Your sisters and I love hearing from you.
And do take a peek at Jezebel’s woman-in-black Pinterest board. http://www.pinterest.com/lizcurtishiggs/jezebel/ Believe it or not, it’s one of my faves.
Next time we’ll tackle what I consider the most difficult story in Bad Girls of the Bible. Thanks for making our study a part of your busy week!
Your sister, Liz
P.S. If you and your small group are interested, here’s a helpful PDF:
How to Use the Women of Christmas as a Bible Study