Thursday, February 25, 2016

No Disney princess here - Jezebel, conclusion


This princess from Sidon who became the queen is so puffed up with arrogance! We'll see more of her today, and then see how the end of the story went . . .

After the miracle on Mount Carmel, Elijah fled to the south, away from Jezebel and her threats. Jezebel needed to find something to do, I suppose, so when she found her husband despondent because he couldn't convince Naboth to sell his land to him, she was delighted to move things along.

King Ahab was pouting - Naboth's vineyard was lush and fruitful. It stands to reason, Ahab thought, that the land would make a lovely vegetable garden so that he could enjoy fresh produce at his meals. Just imagine; Naboth was such a stingy guy that he refused to sell to the king. The nerve of some people!

Jezebel jeered at her sulking husband, and told him he wasn't acting like a king. And (cue the ominous music here) she told him she would get the vineyard for him.

The arrogant queen thought up her scheme and put it in motion: she wrote a letter in Ahab's name and sent it to the elders of the town. In the letter, she instructed them to produce false witnesses who would accuse Naboth of crimes. They did as they were told, and the witnesses confirmed that Naboth had cursed against both God and the king -- both offenses were punishable by death.

She meant business, didn't she? Wow.
With Naboth stoned to death and now only a memory, Ahab was a happy man. He was strolling in his newly-acquired garden when --
Who is that walking toward King Ahab?
Why, it's Elijah!
The king greeted him with annoyance, I'm sure. The Bible scholars say that the word Ahab used to refer to the prophet means "snake."
Elijah told him that Yahweh knew what he and the queen had done, and that He would bring disaster upon him; He would cut off all of Ahab's descendants and every last male in Israel, even the slaves. He also foretold of their deaths . . .

An interesting note here is that King Ahab actually repented! He tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and was a changed man -- probably was quite annoying to Jezebel, I'm sure! He did die just as Elijah foretold, and then Jezebel survived him for about ten years. Did she pay attention to the fact that her hubby died in just the way the man of God said he would? Did she turn from her arrogance and evil?
Nope.
One day a man named Jehu, who would be important in the history of Israel, rode toward the palace. Jezebel heard he was coming, and carefully applied her makeup and made sure she looked her best. She shouted insolently to him as he stood in his chariot below her window, the horses stamping impatiently. Jehu ignored her insults and challenged those near her to "throw her down!" And they did . . . I expect they were sick and tired of her evil, scheming ways. The horses and the dogs completed the work that Elijah foretold years ago. She was a powerful person in life; in death, there was no honor, not even enough of her left to bury.

What can we learn from Jezebel? She was an ardent worshiper of false idols, but surely there is nothing there that applies to us? It's true that Baal worship is far from us, with its horrid practices, but aren't false gods just as prevalent today? Look at how we worship sports figures, movie stars, millionaires, and reality show actors. Look at how our society puts so much emphasis on money, sex, and power. We must guard our hearts, and remember that anything that takes God's place in our lives can become an idol,

             If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

And what about her arrogance, and pride? Do we need to guard against those sins, as well?

                    To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
    I hate pride and arrogance,    evil behavior and perverse speech. (Proverbs 8:13)

              Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
              (James 4:10)
This was a princess that we don't want to imitate . . . we are children of the King, so let's guard our hearts against arrogance and false idols!
See you next week!

3 comments:

Katie Isabella said...

This is EXCELLENT! I always keep wishing things were different sometimes in these matters, but they are as they are supposed to be to fulfill the Word. I will never be like Jezebel, thank God literally.

Katie Isabella said...

Also....WOW!

Austin Towers said...

I am very much behind!! The story of Jezebel is sobering for us all, because we are all in danger of setting ourselves up as arrogant and proud! It always has struck me that Ahab's repentance did not lead to a longer life for him. But God still took him in the way foretold. Maybe He wanted him away from the influence of his wife! Eternity was his reward for his repentance!