We live in strange times. The uncommon is now common. Hypocrisy is king. Truth is either condemned or distorted to fit an agenda. Something has crept in unawares and weakened our ability to believe. To believe in anything other than ourselves. Jesus mentioned an interesting term when it came to weakened belief.
“Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.”
What was this perversion that covered the nation? Biblically, the word perverse means to turn aside or corrupt your way. To alter the original trajectory or purpose. As said by Christ, Elijah first came and proceeded to restore some semblance of order. One of his main jobs turned out to be placing a spotlight on the often unnoticed.
“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
Ladies night out
Jezebel was a landmark moment for the kingdom of Israel. Kings had ruled from its inception but this was the first time that a woman held all the power. Ahab might have been the King but Jezebel proved to be the brains behind the operation. Her impact was so formidable, it far outlasted her demise.
“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's influence was based on teaching and seducing others into a commitment. A commitment to their destruction. How was Jezebel able to "hijack" a kingdom she held no legal right to rule?
1. To teach
To teach is to convey and persuade another into adopting a form of learned behaviour. How did Jezebel teach? She fostered an environment of unrighteous behaviour. Jezebel welcomed Ahab's complaining, his unrighteous requests and did his dirty work for him. Was Ahab blameless? No, he compounded his already questionable state by surrounding himself with yes men. Ahab resembled more of a spoiled child than a King. His lack of maturity would prove costly later on.
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
1 Corinthians 13:11
A small child can get away with almost anything. The repercussions become greater once that age of innocence runs out. Jesus told us to come to him as children. He also said be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. We are to have the innocency of a child but the understanding of an elder.
“Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.”
1 Corinthians 14:20
2. To seduce
To seduce a thing you lure it by playing on its desires. Jezebel's influence came behind the scenes. Behind the scenes is another way of saying the hidden things. What are our hidden things? The things of the heart. This is where our power lies. Who holds the heart, holds the power. Jezebel spared no expense for her husband to have the things his heart desired.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
On the surface, Jezebel's actions would give an impression of sacrifice. A woman that is willing to sacrifice for her husband also sounds like what many may call love. Love and sacrifice are two core values we should have as followers of God. How can the wicked possess qualities that appear good on the surface? When we stay on the surface, it all looks the same. One of the reasons we are told to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh.
“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:10
If one was to simply read the story of Jezebel at a glance, it may be possible to come away with an entirely different idea of who she was. That's the power of seduction. It shows you just enough for you to yield but not enough for you to see the real. Jezebel appeared outwardly "good" while inwardly wicked. A modern day shapeshifter and a Jill of all trades. Laying quietly in the background while her King "ruled" out front.
3. To commit
The seeds we allow to become sown into our heart may produce trees of unrighteousness. If Ahab was King but Jezebel ran the show behind closed doors, who takes the blame when things go bad? Jezebel played her part but a King ultimately has the power and authority to sign off on or put an end to a thing. They both shoulder the burden.
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
Jezebel held the power as Ahab allowed it. She nurtured him up in the way that he would go and took every advantage she could over him. What were the fruits of Jezebel's version of love and sacrifice? Love of self thereby robbery of another and willingness to sacrifice another for her kingdom to flourish. Her fruits would not end with Naboth. Her husband died on the battle field and she fell from her lofty tower as well. Jezebel and everything around was left desolate. All's fair in love and war...
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy...”
- John 10:10
Fit to be King?
Ahab and Jezebel was a love story akin to Israel and Babylon. Israel grew to love Babylon but Babylon did not love him. She was unwilling to love anyone but herself. Elijah played the role of that friend who tells the truth about your toxic relationship. Ahab held the title of King but in reality he had little control. As followers of Christ, we carry the title of our King. He made us royalty but be warned...even Kings can surrender their power. A King without a crown is just a man.
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
1 Corinthians 10:12
When Elijah arrived on the scene, he came to address Ahab. Jezebel's unrepentant heart was already identified. Elijah was one man she could not control.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient”
Ahab was wicked but even he still feared God enough to repent. He found mercy which spared him God's full wrath. If you ever think it's too late, always remember that God does not work on our time. Reverse the perverse. Reverse the curse.