Jezebel (1 Kings 16)

1 Kings 16 Jezebel

Jezebel. The very name makes us shudder! Jezebel was vindictive, manipulative and pure evil. (She had a man murdered over a vegetable garden!)

When she left her palace home in Phoenicia to marry King Ahab of Israel, she had only one goal; she was going to stamp out Jehovah worship in the land of God’s chosen people and replace it with Baal worship. Fortunately for her, she married a snively, emotionally weak man who was willing to go right along with her.

Jezebel started by having the king build a temple to Baal. She had 450 prophets of Baal eating at her table. (This was, of course, subsidized by taxing the Israelite people.)

Baal worship was horrifyingly barbaric. It included child sacrifice by which a stone idol was heated until it was red-hot. Then you placed your baby in the outstretched hands of the idol and “worshiped” while your baby was burned to death. It is unimaginable!

Next, Jezebel began hunting down Israel’s spiritual leaders. Some of the prophets fled to Judah, some hid in caves and some were murdered for their faith. This tactic was as much about fear and power as it was anything. Jezebel wanted everyone to know that she was calling the shots and they had better get in line or they would pay the price.

Queen Jezebel had become a true threat to the nation. It must have been a terrifying time to be a Believer in Israel! But let’s consider this; Jezebel was a threat that should have never been a threat at all- because she should have never have been in their country in the first place.

In Deuteronomy 7:3-4 God warned about this very thing. He told the people (both men and women) not to marry pagan partners, “For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods.”

Ahab married Jezebel as a political alliance between his country and the Sidonians. The Israelites would be able to buy the exotic goods that Phoenician ships brought to port, and the Sidonians would gain access to the King’s Highway in order to market their goods. It was win-win! That did not change the fact that God had forbidden it. If only King Ahab had obeyed God!

Ephesians 4:26 instructs us not to give the devil a foothold in our life. That means that we should not do anything that is going to open the door to sin, because that little bitty foothold can turn into a Jezebel and cost more than we could ever imagine.