Have you ever heard someone tell someone else to stop being a Jezebel? If so, then you know that wasn’t a compliment.
The name Jezebel has been associated with conniving, evil, or bad reputation. No one wants to be called a Jezebel, and definitely, no one would call their daughter that name.
Thousands of years after Jezebel existed in this world, she’s still considered the epitome of evil. Preachers don’t usually discuss the story of Jezebel, but there are many lessons we can all learn from the Bible, be it from good or evil people. The Bible uses examples to teach you what’s right and what’s wrong.
Who was Jezebel in the Bible?
Jezebel was a princess. According to 1 Kings 16:31, she was the daughter of a Phoenician king named Ethbaal. She then got married to Ahab, the seventh king of Israel. Jezebel influenced her husband, King Ahab, on so many things, including convincing him to worship Baal, an idol, and abandon God.
Because of her conniving and wicked ways, she came to be known as a very evil woman. In 1 Kings 18-21, Jezebel shows her true colors by using her position to influence, murder, steal, and even persecute the prophets of God. She used her charm to convince, connive, and influence King Ahab so she could get her way. For more on the story of Jezebel, you can check out Never Thirsty.
While Jezebel isn’t the right person to emulate, her story still has some vital lessons you can learn from. Here are some of the lessons you can learn from Jezebel in the Bible.
1. Don’t waste your good qualities doing only evil
There’s something good in evil, and there’s some bad in the best of people. What was good or bad about Jezebel? The bad list may be longer, but she did have some good qualities, although she used them for her evil ways.
Queen Jezebel was smart, but she used her intelligence to concoct her evil schemes. She was courageous and bold, but used these qualities to bully and intimidate her subjects. She also had strong leadership characteristics, but used this to control and influence her husband, the King, to do her bidding. Jezebel was assertive, but exploited this quality to make people worship idols and turn away from God.
If God has blessed you with good qualities, use them to glorify His name and not do evil.
2. Don’t misuse power
Queen Jezebel used her influence and power to do anything she wanted. She even got away with murder and other evil things. According to 1 Kings 21:5-16, Naboth had a vineyard, which was next to the palace. Jezebel envied Naboth and wanted the vineyard for herself. When she went to ask Naboth to sell the vineyard to her, he refused because it was an inheritance from his father.
The queen was so determined to acquire the vineyard that she began plotting against Naboth. She wrote letters to the elders with false accusations against Naboth. She also committed forgery and identity theft using King Ahab’s seal on the letters she used to accuse Naboth falsely. She even convinced false witnesses to testify that Naboth had cursed God and the King. This got the King very mad, and he ordered the death of Naboth.
Naboth was then killed. King Ahab got possession of the vineyard, and Jezebel once again got her way. In 1 Kings 21:15, Jezebel told her husband, “Take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite that he had refused to sell to you; he’s no longer alive, but dead.” When Ahab heard about Naboth’s death, he got up and took possession of the vineyard.
Jezebel used her influential position to destroy anyone who opposed her. God’s prophets were also intimidated and afraid of Jezebel. They had a reason to be; she had ordered for all of them to be killed.
From this story, you learn that you shouldn’t use your power to oppress and do wrong to your subjects. As a leader, you can lead by example and be fair and just to the people who look up to you. This applies to today’s leaders who use their authority to commit crime, corruption, and steal from the people. If they borrow a leaf from Jezebel’s story, we all know it didn’t end well for her.
3. Serve only one God
When Jezebel got married to King Ahab, she influenced him to abandon the worship of Yahweh and promote the worship of idols Asherah and Baal. King Ahab took his wife’s advice, and even made the people worship Asherah and Baal and decline God.
During King Ahab’s reign, the seventh King of Israel, the worship of God became almost non-existent. Altars built and dedicated to the worship of God were destroyed and replaced with temples and altars dedicated to idol worship.
Jezebel even used money from the Royal provisions to fund Asherah and Baal’s prophets during a severe famine in Samaria. She plotted to kill the prophets of God, and there only remained a few, including Prophet Elijah, who had to flee for his life.
This reminds us that there’s only one living God, and all praise and glory should be to him. When Jezebel turned against God, her death was gruesome, just as Elijah had prophesied it. She only lived ten years after Ahab had died in a battle. King Jehu, who took after Ahab, ordered Jezebel’s court members to throw her out of her window.
King Jehu ordered her body to be taken for burial. After all, she was a princess and a king’s wife. When the servants went to honor the King’s request, they discovered only her skull. Stray dogs had consumed the rest of her flesh, just as prophet Elijah had prophesied earlier.
Jezebel experienced a gruesome death because she transgressed against God and her evil deeds against the people of God.