A guest post by Arabah Joy of arabahjoy.com.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “She’s such a Jezebel?”
If so, you probably know this is NOT intended to be a compliment! Jezebel in the Bible is a woman in which none of us wishes to be compared.
Thousands of years after this woman walked the face of the earth, she continues to be the epitome of shameless femininity. Even today, when searching the name Jezebel, here are the synonyms you’ll find associated with her: hussy, tramp, wench, prostitute.
Not exactly what we aspire to personally or want for our daughters, right? But do you know why she earned such notoriety? Today I’d like to share a bit about the infamous Jezebel in the Bible and what we can learn from her example.
Who was Jezebel in the Bible?
Jezebel in the Bible was a princess. According to I Kings 16:31, she was the daughter of the Phoenician King Ethbaal. Both she and her father reference Baal in their names, indicating devote idol worship.
As such, Ahab, King of Israel, should have run and run hard from any kind of alliance or relationship with her… but he didn’t. King Ahab married Jezebel and joined his new wife in her pursuit of false gods.
Unfortunately, the story of Jezebel in the Bible gets much worse. In I Kings 18-21, she uses her position and influence to murder, steal, and persecute the prophets of God. Some say she used her femininity to connive, convince, and pretty much get her way.
What we do know is that yes, Jezebel in the Bible wreaked havoc in the nation of Israel, but ultimately was no match for God. He decreed judgement on her and she died by being betrayed. Two men threw Jezebel out a window where she was trampled on by horses and eaten by dogs. Ew.
While Jezebel isn’t a shining example of what we should be as women, she does teach us some important lessons. Here are a few things we can learn from the life of Jezebel in the Bible.
Guess what! This post is part of a series on Great Women of the Bible.
Be sure to check out all of the other posts in this series here: 15 Great Women of the Bible Every Christian Woman Should Study.
3 Lessons We Can Learn from Jezebel in the Bible
1. Women are Influencers
We live in an age of personal “brands” and “influencers.” Every day thousands of women flock to Instagram and Youtube in the hopes of building a platform and becoming an “influencer.” Whereas Jezebel in the Bible had to marry a King to hold sway over the nation of Israel, today it’s easier than ever to reach a global audience.
However, we need to realize Jezebel’s most potent influence was with a single person: her husband. Many of Ahab’s decisions came as a result of Jezebel’s input. II Kings 21:25 says, “There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited.”
We as women do not need to go global to be an influencer- the greatest influence we will ever have is with those in our own homes. This impact is powerful and far-reaching, even if we never become a household name. We each can influence for good or for evil. That choice is ours. Let’s choose wisely.
2. Who or What We Worship Matters
Jezebel’s identity was wrapped up in the object of her worship. Like it or not, the same is true for us all. We all worship someone or something and the object of our worship begins to shape and define us over time.
We are shaped into the likeness of what we worship, so we need to again choose wisely. Psalm 115 says, “But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell. They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.”
What kind of woman do you want to be? A godly woman? Or an empty, lifeless woman who gives all her energy pursuing vanity? What you worship determines the kind of person you’ll be.
3. We Can Use Whatever Position We Have For Good
If there is one good thing we learn from Jezebel in the Bible, it’s how to make use of everything we’ve been given. We see her using position, relationships, beauty, wealth, and influence to serve her agenda.
As bad as Jezebel’s example is, she does illustrate what a “sold out” life looks like. It makes me take a step back and look at my life. Am I as committed to and centered around Christ as Jezebel in the Bible was to Baal?
Jezebel shows us what it looks like to be all in, sold out, on fire. She used everything she had for the advancement of idol worship. There was never a question of who or what she served. Imagine what she could have done with her life had she served the Lord? Jezebel’s opportunity to live for God is over, but yours isn’t. You and I can still make a powerful impact with our lives by choosing Christ and serving Him with our all.
As Joshua challenged the Israelites so long ago, so we too must, “Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
Are you as centered around Christ as Jezebel in the Bible was to Baal? What could you do in your life to be ALL IN in your faith?
Arabah Joy is an author, blogger and spiritual mentor. She’s blogged at arabahjoy.com for the last ten years, encouraging her readers in their relationship with God. As a former missionary, her adventures span far and wide, from eating pig snouts to giving birth in three different Asian countries. AJ has experienced the life transforming power of grace, something she writes about in her books, resources, and prayer challenges, including her best-selling 40-day devotional, Trust Without Borders.