Morning Light – August 13th, 2015: Characteristics of Jezebel
Today: [1 Kings Chapter Twenty-One]: Characteristics of Jezebel. In this chapter we see the collusion of Ahab and Jezebel in bringing about the death of their neighbor Naboth. Elijah confronts Ahab and predicts the downfall of his family line. In Christian folklore Jezebel is often referred to as a spirit or a demon but there is no biblical proof of this. Jezebel is a personality type and an activity that will manifest where leaders are selfish, territorial and dictatorial in their leadership style. As we study this chapter we will understand Jezebel’s true form and how to death this deadly influence in our lives.
[1Ki 21:1-29 KJV] 1 And it came to pass after these things, [that] Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which [was] in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it [is] near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; [or], if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. 3 And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. 4 And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread. 5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? 6 And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee [another] vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. 7 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, [and] eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. 8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed [them] with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that [were] in his city, dwelling with Naboth. 9 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: 10 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And [then] carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.
In this chapter we see the final judgment of God against Ahab with concludes in a show of mercy. Ahab has a neighbor by the name of Naboth who owns a vineyard that abuts to Ahab’s palace. Ahab offers to buy it from Naboth but Naboth refuses because it is part of his inheritance. Ahab is very disappointed and heavy hearted and refuses to eat because he didn’t get his way. Jezebel notes his demeanor and promises to solve the problem. She contacts the elders of the city and conspires to have Naboth accused of blasphemy against God and thereby he is stoned to death. Now remember in Israel at this time there are only 7000 (according to what the Lord told Elijah) who are not practicing idolatry. Therefore the elders and all the city that falsely accused Naboth were idolaters themselves. Nonetheless they accuse Naboth and he dies at their hands.
Now the question arose yesterday is there a Jezebel spirit? We often call something a spirit but if we are going to accurately wage warfare against the enemy we should know what is a spirit and what is not. For instance.
- Fear is a spirit (2 Tim. 1:7) yet we often excuse fear as a normal human response.
Witchcraft is not a spirit (1 Sam. 15:23; Gal. 5:20) but rather a human sin and a work of the flesh.
There are 22 references to Jezebel in the scripture but not one of the describes her in connection with a spirit.
What are the characteristics of Jezebel? Regardless of the stereotype of being a strong, controlling woman that does not prominently figure in the character of a Jezebel personality type.
[Rev 2:20 KJV] 20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
- Jezebel considers herself prophetic in the sense that she is very religious and spiritual (there is a difference between being spiritual and godly).
Jezebel is a teacher. (She taught the elders of Jezreel how to entrap Naboth and justify his death).
Jezebel is a seducer. (She finds out what a leader wants and promises to get it for him no matter what the moral cost).
Jezebel promotes fornication. (Fornication comes from a word meaning to sell. Jezebel manipulated Ahab into selling his soul for a vineyard. Jezebel is the person in your life who facilitates and justifies the lowest common denominator of your character.)
Jezebel promotes idolatry. Idolatry is more than bowing down to a statue. Idolatry is any outward dependence. She encouraged Ahab to lean on her in a moment of weakness. She encouraged the elders of the city to rely on her to reward them for doing what she wants. Jezebel in your life will encourage you to look outwardly for what God wants to be in your heart inwardly for the purposes of ensnaring you and advancing her own personal agenda.
11 And the men of his city, [even] the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, [and] as it [was] written in the letters which she had sent unto them. 12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. 13 And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, [even] against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died. 14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead. 15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead. 16 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it. 17 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18 Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which [is] in Samaria: behold, [he is] in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it. 19 And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. 20 And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found [thee]: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD. 21 Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, 22 And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked [me] to anger, and made Israel to sin. 23 And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. 24 Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.
Elijah hears the report and finds Ahab in Naboth’s vineyard. Ahab mocks Elijah saying “have you found me my enemy?” To Ahab this is all a game. Elijah prophesies against Ahab that because of his collusion in the death of Naboth his entire family line will be cut off and the dogs will eat Ahab and his wife in the place where Naboth’s blood was shed.
- Jezebel is said to hate the prophets but this is not true. She presents herself as an advocate of the prophetic. She surrounded herself with hundreds of prophets who served Baal. Remember that her name means “daughter of Baal” or “daddy’s little girl”. This is exactly what Abigail’s name meant in 1 Sam. 25. Abigail was David’s first wife, a woman of a beautiful countenance and full of wisdom. Jezebel was also a beautiful woman, a physically attractive person full of the wisdom of the world. When an apostle gets in the flesh he becomes a sorcerer. When a prophet gets in the flesh he becomes a wizard. When an Abigail gets in the flesh she becomes a Jezebel. So Jezebel only supports the prophetic that moves in the Baal spirit. Baal means “Dominative Father”. This is the leader who stands apart from the rest, is dictatorial, territorial, dismissive of others and demanding that you do things their way. This is the Saul mentality that we dealt with in 1 Samuel.
Elijah spoke directly to the problem – which was not Jezebel but Ahab. Many times you see a woman acting as a Jezebel influence and the man she is connected with is seen as a victim. This is not true. Jezebel panders to Ahab but Ahab made room for Jezebel in his life. You may come under the influence of Jezebel to the point that others feel sorry for you and direct their vitriol to the woman or man who is acting under the Jezebel influence – BUT you must face the fact that Jezebel only operates where an Ahab makes accommodations for what she (or he) can deliver in their lives.
25 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. 26 And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all [things] as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. 27 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. 28 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: [but] in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.
The end of this chapter is unexpected because God shows mercy on Ahab. Verse 25 says that of all the sins of the kings of the Northern Tribes there was “none like unto Ahab who did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord”. Yet for all Ahab’s wickedness it only serves as contrast to the mercy God shows him. Ahab on hearing the pronouncement of Elijah puts on sackcloth and demonstrates remorse. He is remorseful but not necessarily repentant. He publically shows humility before the Lord and the judgment is deferred to Ahab’s second generation. Bear in mind that Ahab in the matter of Naboth was no different than David in the matter with Uriah the husband of Bathsheba. This is how we know that Ahab while remorseful did not actually repent because David, showing repentance was spared along with his bloodline. Even though Ahab showed remorse in his heart he wouldn’t have done anything different. Thus judgment is deferred but not abrogated altogether.
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