Today: [1 Kings Chapter Nineteen]: Jezebel in High Places. In this chapter Elijah comes under assault from Jezebel. He runs for his life. He becomes suicidal. He is separated from his support system. He hides in a cave believing he is the only one left in Israel who loves and serves God. He is waiting on a mighty wind and fire from heaven but what he gets is a still small voice. God puts him back on task and he goes to find Elisha who is plowing with 12 yoke of oxen. Elisha is willing to follow but wants to put his life in order first. Elijah keeps on walking and Elisha has to decide if he is going to follow Elijah or not.
[1Ki 19:1-21 KJV] 1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do [to me], and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. 3 And when he saw [that], he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which [belongeth] to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I [am] not better than my fathers. 5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise [and] eat. 6 And he looked, and, behold, [there was] a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. 7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise [and] eat; because the journey [is] too great for thee.
In this chapter Elijah flees the threats of Jezebel and comes to Mount Horeb where he hears the still small voice of the Lord and finds out there are yet 7000 in Isreal who have not bowed down to Baal. In the previous chapter Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal before Ahab and the Lord answers by fire. He goes up on the mountain and after praying seven times the drought is broken with an abundance of rain. Ahab sees all of these miracles but does not repent. This is a common occurrence with people of importance. They are full of themselves to the point they have no interest or capacity to acknowledge God even when mighty works are done in their midst. They would live for God if they didn’t have to repent and forsake all but since that is not possible they harden their hearts and turn away. Jesus spoke of this in the gospel of Matthew:
[Mat 19:23-24 KJV] 23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
When we think of a rich person what are describing? Those that are materialistic. Those whose lives are distracted by natural things. Even a poor person can have this hedonistic, materialistic approach to life. Jesus warned of this in Luke:
[Luk 12:15 KJV] 15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
Ahab rather than repent and be thankful for the abundance of rain goes to find Jezebel. Why would he do this? Because Jezebel is the facilitator in his life. If he doesn’t like what is going on in a situation he goes to Jezebel and she fixes it. There are many ideas floating around about what a Jezebel Spirit is. First of all I don’t see in the scripture that there is a Jezebel spirit. Jezebel is a personality type and can be either man or woman. The common misconception about Jezebel is that she is a controller but she is much more than that. If you are going to coin a term such as this let’s go to the bible and see what she actually did to get an idea how to identify a Jezebel influence.
1.) She hates the prophetic. She hates the prophets. Here we see the pervasiveness of the Jezebel influence in the church. Whole denominations teach that there is not need for prophets, that they like the apostles have passed away. Even full gospel, charismatic and Pentecostal denominations openly teach this – significantly the Assemblies of God. This is Jezebel in high places. Even leaders that claim to believe in the prophetic go to great lengths to insulate themselves and their people from the prophetic. They openly call themselves pastors, evangelists, etc., but if you dare to call yourself a prophet you are rejected although they boldly claim to believe in the very office of the prophet that they reject every time it shows up. This is Jezebel in high places.
2.) Jezebel is a counselor and a facilitator. When a leader is threatened and not getting their way the person they complain to is often a Jezebel influence. Ahab expected Jezebel to do his dirty work for him. Many people call this being “a protector of the anointing” – a person who gets close to a leader and waits till he wants something and then makes it happen no matter what God says. This is what Joab did for David in helping him take Bathsheba and kill her husband. Joab was a Jezebel Influence. Richard Dortch was Jim Bakker’s assistant who set him up with Jessica Hawn and paid her off to keep quiet. Later he painted himself as a victim but he was the Jezebel influence in the situation NOT Jim’s wife Tammy Faye. Beware the person who panders to your selfishness and self pity. Beware the person who tells you how special you are and then offers to help you take what is not yours to have. This is Jezebel in high places.
3.) Jezebel threatens the Prophets. When prophets obey God the person that threatens them and maligns them is a Jezebel influence. Jezebel will claim she is “just protecting the sheep…” but she is really moving in the spirit of anti-christ. This is a Jezebel influence.
Elijah who stood up before 450 prophets of Baal now despairs of his life and flees from Jezebel. Her influence was so strong that Elijah is suicidal. When you have obeyed God and done what He said and come under pressure – the person that pressure comes from is a Jezebel influence.
Elijah flees to Beersheba which speaks of a spirit of rejection. This is where Hagar was banished by Abraham and where Isaac was expelled by Abimelech. As a prophet the origin of the spirit of rejection that comes against you is a Jezebel influence. Elijah left his servant in Beersheba and goes a day’s journey into the wilderness. The Jezebel influence will separate a prophet from his support system. We have seen this many times when people make great sacrifices to join with us in the prophetic but then are swayed by people to back off and separate from us. The person that tries to separate you from the prophet in your life is a Jezebel influence. This is Jezebel in high places.
Elijah is now isolated, despairing of life itself and lies down to sleep because he is exhausted. When the prophets are spent and overworked to the point of exhaustion this is evidence of a Jezebel influence at work. God had mercy on Elijah and sent an angel to minister to him. He receives supernatural meat and drink. Elijah wants to languish under the juniper tree but the angel knows Elijah has a journey to go on. When you want to quit and just lay down and die know that God has a journey for you to go on.
8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. 9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD [came] to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? 10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, [even] I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; [but] the LORD [was] not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; [but] the LORD [was] not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; [but] the LORD [was] not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was [so], when Elijah heard [it], that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, [there came] a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? 14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, [even] I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael [to be] king over Syria: 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint [to be] king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint [to be] prophet in thy room. 17 And it shall come to pass, [that] him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. 18 Yet I have left [me] seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
Elijah arrives at Horeb (where God sent him) and the Lord asks “what are you doing here Elijah?” God knew why Elijah was there but he wanted to dialog with him. God wants us to verbalize what is in our hearts. Elijah retorts “I’m here because you sent for me and I am the only one left that is doing the right thing…” That wasn’t true. The Jezebel influence will always delude the prophet into thinking he stands alone. God corrects Elijah pointing out there are 7000 yet in Israel that had not bowed to Elijah. When you feel isolated and alone this is the Jezebel influence.
Elijah goes into a cave to sulk. While in the cave he there is a wind, and earthquake and a fire. These are the manifestations that Elijah presumed he would find God in. But God was not in the manifestations. However we do know that the scriptures do compare God with both the wind and the fire. There is something to be learned here. Finally Elijah hears a still small voice speaking in the very cave where he is hiding. He goes outside the cave and wrapping his face in his mantle turns back to the entrance to hear what God would say to him. God was not in the outward manifestations. He was right there looking over Elijah’s shoulder. He is right there on the inside of you. He is the voice speaking between the silence of your own thoughts. The question keeps coming from God to Elijah “what are you doing here…” Elijah is full of self pity, anger and frustration. He has lapsed into total self referral without any God consciousness in the situation. The Father never panders to self pity. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. What is your assignment? What did God tell you to do and why have you run from it?
Ultimately we don’t know that Elijah ever understood. He is despairing of life and the next thing God does is give him instructions regarding those who are to take his place after he is gone. He receives his instruction and goes to find Elisha.
19 So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who [was] plowing [with] twelve yoke [of oxen] before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. 20 And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and [then] I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee? 21 And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.
Elisha is the great example of a second generation leader and there is much we can learn in how Elijah dealt with him. He simply throws his mantle over him. He doesn’t tell him how great Elisha is. He doesn’t offer him a compensation package. He doesn’t ask him if he went to seminary. He simply throws his mantle over him and keeps walking. Elisha was a busy man. He was plowing with 12 yoke of oxen. He wasn’t standing around saying “I’m tired of working for a living – I’m going into the ministry…” Elisha had a work ethic and was doing what he knew to do. Elisha was also very respectful of his parents. He wants to go tell them goodbye but Elijah doesn’t take responsibility for the complications of Elisha’s call. If you are an Elisha know that it isn’t your Elijah’s job to sort out all the problems in your life that will arise from the assignment of serving Elijah. You will have many opportunities to go back. Elisha doesn’t have all the answers but he literally burns his bridges behind him and goes after Elijah. Is this you? Then don’t allow anything to keep you from serving your Elijah!
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