A Wretched Woman“Of Jezebel also has the LORD spoken, saying, ‘The dogs will eat Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.’ The one belonging to Ahab, who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and the one who dies in the field the birds of heaven will eat.’ Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him. He acted very abominably in following idols, according to all the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the sons of Israel. 1 Kings 21:23-26
Jezebel’s story can be found in 1 Kings 16:29-34
, 1 Kings 17-21
, 2 Kings 9:30-37
If asked about the most wicked woman of the Bible, even nonbelievers may be able to tell you that it was Jezebel. In fact, Jezebel was so wicked that her name is now listed in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a noun for an “impudent, shameless, or morally unrestrained woman”. Over the course of history, her name has been associated with women of the worst possible kind. Not exactly a wonderful legacy to leave behind.
What was it about her that was so incredibly wicked? Jezebel was the daughter of the king of the Sidonians and was married to one of the kings of Israel, King Ahab. According to 1 Kings 16:30
, King Ahab did more evil in sight of the Lord than any other king who came before him. Whereas David brought the tabernacle of the LORD to Jerusalem and King Solomon built a temple for the LORD, King Ahab built a temple for his pagan wife, Jezebel to worship Baal. His forefathers had been permissible and had failed to eradicate idolatry in the land like they should have, but King Ahab didn’t just allow idolatry, he sanctioned it by building a temple of idol worship in a land that was supposed to be dedicated to Jehovah. And his wife was the initiator.
Jezebel didn’t just encourage the worship of her god, Baal. But she was bent on eradicating the worship of Jehovah from the land. In 1 Kings 18
, we read about Obadiah, a manager of Ahab’s palace who had to hide and care for 100 prophets of the LORD in caves so they would be safe from Jezebel’s murderous tyranny. She was commanding that the LORD’s prophets be put to death because they were speaking out against the idolatry.
The prophet Elijah was one such prophet on Jezebel’s hate list. He predicted that God would punish Israel with a drought and he was right. This was significant because it proved that Baal, who was supposedly a god of storms, could not control the rain. But the LORD God definitely could and did.
But this wasn’t the last time Elijah would enrage Jezebel by proving the worthlessness of her false god. 1 Kings 18:29-46
tells of a face off between Elijah and the false prophets. They prepared a sacrifice of burnt offering and whoever came down with fire to burn up the sacrifice, he was God. Obviously, despite the best efforts of the priests of Baal, they could not get Baal to respond with fire. But Elijah was so confident in the LORD God, that he drenched the burnt offering with water. Sure enough, the fire of the LORD fell from heaven and consumed the burnt offering, the oxen, the wood, the stones, and even all the water in the trench around it! After they were exposed as frauds, Elijah commanded that all of the priests of Baal be killed by the sword. And if that wasn’t enough to prove the LORD was God, after the priests were killed, a much needed rain finally fell on the land.
When Jezebel heard that her priests had been put to death, she did not repent. Despite the LORD God being proven God, she still clung to her wicked ways and she breathed murderous threats toward Elijah (1 Kings 19:2
). Eventually, Elijah predicted that she would be eaten by dogs. And so it was. In 2 Kings 9:30-37
, we read that she was thrown from a second story window by her own officials, run over by horses and a chariot, and her body was eaten by dogs. A disgraceful end to a disgraceful woman.
The WORD about women in the story of Jezebel is that the LORD demands our wholehearted worship. We should have no other gods except for Him. Let’s repent today and put God back in the proper place of authority over our lives. ReflectExamine your heart and priorities today. Is there anything else in your life that takes the rightful place of God? Do you have any sins you need to confess and repent of?PrayLORD, I know that you alone are God and yet so often, I do not love you with my whole heart. Give me an undivided heart for You, Lord and help me to walk in obedience. Amen.