by Lázara Tenório
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3:16
Jezebel’s story is recorded in the Bible, but whenever we talk about her, it’s not because of the good influence she left, but because of the atrocities she committed. She was a bad influence for the nation of Israel. But as per the verse above, there is a reason why her story was recorded. We can extract some lessons from her life.
Who was Jezebel?
Jezebel was a princess. She was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians, and priest of the idol Baal. Both father and daughter had names related to the idol they worshiped, demonstrating their devotion to this god.
Ahab, king of Israel, married Jezebel in disobedience to God’s plan that His children not marry people of idolatrous nations. She became queen in Israel and was the power and influence behind the king. Jezebel influenced Ahab to worship Baal, and he built a house and altars to this idol in Samaria. In the book Prophets and Kings, p. 115 it says that
Ahab was weak in moral power. His union by marriage with an idolatrous woman of decided character and positive temperament resulted disastrously both to himself and to the nation. Unprincipled, and with no high standard of rightdoing, his character was easily molded by the determined spirit of Jezebel.
A determined woman
On one occasion, Jezebel noticed the king sulking. She asked him why he didn’t eat, and what troubled him so? (1 Kings 21:5). Ahab told the queen that he had asked to buy Naboth’s vineyard or exchange it for another property, but Naboth had refused. Then Jezebel in all her power said to the king, “Is this how you reign in Israel? I’ll show you how it’s done. Get up, eat, and make your heart glad; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth.” (1 Kings 21:7)
So Jezebel orchestrated a diabolical plan and Naboth was killed. Ahab was happy with Naboth’s death and went out to possess his vineyard (1 Kings 21:8-16).
We need to choose wisely where we will channel this energy, this ability to influence others. If Jezebel had used her gifts to be a blessing to Israel, how different her account in the Bible would have been! God gives us the freedom to choose what kind of influence we are going to be—good or bad, light or darkness—we can lift up or tear down. We lift ourselves up by lifting others.
A devout woman
All Jezebel’s devotion to Baal did not bring her a conversion, a change of heart; she remained a wicked queen until the end of her life.
Our way of worship should not only be centered around the times we gather at church, but also in our daily lives, at our workplace, at school, and in our home. The way we carry ourselves demonstrates our worship of God.
My wish is that as Jezebel was determined and dedicated in her devotion to Baal, we can be determined and dedicate our lives, without wavering, to serving the true God. May we reflect on the verse found in 1 Kings 18:21, when the prophet Elijah, on Mount Carmel, made this appeal to the people of Israel before the prophets of Baal:
The Lord wants us to choose Him, just as Joshua did (Joshua 24:15). God wants you to choose to shine for Him. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Will you?