#15 Bad girl: Jezebel
Updated: Aug 27
Arguably the most hateful woman in the Bible, Jezebel boggles the mind at her resourcefulness for evil. She was the Phoenician wife of King Ahab of Israel. She disregarded God, worshipped many idols, promoted the Canaanite religion in Israel, murdered God’s prophets, menaced Elijah, murdered an innocent God-fearing man purely because she wanted his land and she had a particularly vicious tongue.
But I don’t want to focus on her life. Let’s face it – she had an ignominious end! She was sitting at her balcony window when 2 eunuchs threw her onto the street. Hungry dogs quickly dived onto her leaving only her skull, feet and hands.
No, I want to know why Jesus, when talking to a first century church, said, “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow (or tolerate) that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols” (Rev.2:20 NKJV). Obviously that dangerous woman is now dead and buried but I’m interested in that Jezebel spirit lest that spirit appear in this day and age.
So how could sexual immorality be taught?
Imagine 2 pastors who counsel an unmarried couple living together. One pastor calls it for what it is, sin that leads to death, and cautions the wrath of God. The other pastor refers to “maximizing God’s grace”, accessing “super grace” and says, “You can’t out-sin God’s grace”. This pastor has effectively condoned sexual immorality amongst God’s people.
By being timid, we are teaching tolerance and compromise. Jezebel’s name stands for anything that draws God’s people into sexual immorality through religion – using the Bible to preach tolerance to sexual immorality. To be clear, engaging in any illicit sexual act is sinning against your own body (1 Cor.6:18). It is God’s will that we abstain from sexual immorality by consecrating ourselves to Him (1 Thess. 4:3).
People today think that tolerance or freedom of choice is a virtue but God tells us very firmly that indifference to what the Bible clearly teaches is totally unacceptable. From the beginning man wanted autonomy from God and sin was introduced. If we choose autonomy over what God has said we cease to have truth, and the consequences of following Jezebel’s lead will be that God will “kill (Jezebel’s) children with death” (Rev. 2:23).