Are You Living Like Jezebel?

New Testament writers often mentioned the name of an individual to make a point or to teach a lesson.  James referred to the steadfastness of Job (James 5:11).  The Hebrew writer mentioned many men and women of faith by name in Hebrews eleven.  John wrote about Diotrephes, Gaius, and Demetrius (3 John 1-4, 12). Some individuals were mentioned as good examples to follow.  Others, however, were mentioned because of their wicked behavior. They serve as warnings to Bible readers.

Jezebel is certainly an individual whose life serves as a warning.  Parents seldom name their daughters after Jezebel today.  Her name is synonymous with evil and wickedness.  She is remembered as an evil woman.  Why is that?  What decisions did she make in her life that caused her to be one of the most wicked individuals in the Bible?  The answers to those questions may shock us.  The attitudes and behavior that made her such a wicked woman could very well be present in our lives today.

Jezebel was not interested in God or his word.  She never sought for God.  She never prayed.  In fact, she actively sought to extinguish God’s word from the land of Israel.  The writer of 1 Kings recorded how Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, threatened Elijah’s life, and her lack of response to God’s word when she was warned (1 Kgs. 18:4; 19:2; 21:27-29).  Her spirit is alive and well today.  We live like Jezebel whenever we remain unchanged by the word of God.  We adopt her mindset when we ignore God and his word.  We act like Jezebel when we refuse to obey God and his word.

Jezebel did not have a pure heart.  Blameless, innocent, and unstained are words that are often used to describe purity.  Those words could never be used to describe Jezebel.  She used deception and worthless men to plan the murder of an innocent landowner (1 Kgs. 21:1-16).  Our actions reveal what kind of heart we have.  Jezebel’s heart was polluted.  What about our hearts?  Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8).  Hearts filled with hatred, bitterness, anger, and spite are not pure.  Individuals with such hearts will not see God.

Jezebel had a bad influence on others.  We recognize that each individual is responsible for their actions.  The Bible, however, does discuss our influence upon others (1 Cor. 5).  Jezebel was a negative influence on her family.  Ahab was a wicked man, but his marriage to her made him worse (1 Kgs. 16:31; 21:25). Her daughter, Athaliah, was perhaps more wicked than her mother.  The author of 2 Chronicles referred to her daughter as “that wicked woman”  (2 Chron. 24:7).  Jezebel’s negative influence was far reaching and long lasting.

The judgment scene of Matthew 25:31-46 pictures the blessed as those who were interested in God’s word.  Their hearts were pure.  Their influence was good.  All of those qualities were absent from Jezebel’s life.  Are they absent from your life?  Are you living like Jezebel?