Who are the women you look up to – are they leaders, maybe an actress, a politician or a speaker? (There are Bible teachers that I have to say inspire me and they are Priscilla Shirer and Beth Moore.) Can I assume that none of us listed Jezebel – right?!?!? There isn’t a woman more famed as evil in all of scripture. But like her or not, Jezebel was a Biblical Woman of Influence and there is a lot that we can learn from her – even if it is a list of What Not To Do.
Who was this infamous Biblical woman of influence?
Like many of us, Jezebel was a wife, mother and grandmother. She was a leader in her own right before she ever took on any of those roles. Jezebel was a daddy’s girl who had hopes and dreams. She was ambitious and knew how to motivate the results she wanted. We see the side of her that was ruthless and monstrous but do you think she started out that way? She would have just been a girl, a woman first.
What went wrong to create the evil nature we know grew in Jezebel?
Jezebel allowed her flesh to rule her. She held herself back from no pleasure and in her ambitious pursuits, she trampled every relationship in her life. Some of the character traits she allowed to rule her are:
- Stubbornness (2 Kings 9:29-37).
- A refusal to learn from her mistakes- or accept that she could be wrong (1 Kings 19:1-3).
- The tenancy to step in to lead where it was not her place (1 Kings 21).
- Refusing to forgive or extend grace (1 Kings 21:11-14).
- Self Indulgence – putting her preferences above the needs of those around her – that influenced her husband and a nation for generations. (1 Kings 16:29-33).
Many of the qualities we see in the life of Jezebel are common – I possess them to a lesser extent (do you?). Is is possible for me to become evil like Jezebel?
I have been guilty of allowing these common fleshly character traits drive my choices and affect my relationships in the past.
But there is hope! Today we will pick apart these 5 characteristics and set safe guards to be sure we do not become Jezebel.Like it or not, Jezebel was a Biblical woman of Influence. Her evil nature unleashed chaos and we have to be careful that we aren't embracing 5 attributes of Jezebel. Click To Tweet
5 Ways to Be Sure You Are Not like Jezebel
1. Stubbornness (2 Kings 9:29-37)
Do you have a Stubborn side? I do. What can that look like in the relationships in your life?
2 Kings 9: 30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window.
This Biblical Woman of Influence had a stubborn streak we can only imagine. She was so stubborn she refused to die looking anything less than regal. Can you relate? I can…
There are so many situations in life that are completely out of my control. I tend to dig my heels in where I have control. I try to have my say so even when it is out of my control.
How can we recognize this characteristic in ourselves and give it to God to change?
Stubbornness is not a rare trait. The people of God are often accused of being stubborn (or stiff necked). We prefer life to go our way – living on our own terms.
One way to combat stubbornness is given in Jeremiah 5:25-24
But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; They have turned aside and departed. ‘They do not say in their heart, “Let us now fear the Lord our God, Who gives rain in its season,
God longs for us to turn our hearts back to Him, to Fear the Lord and to love God will all our heart, mind and soul. He wants us to live life with those main priorities.
Rarely goes away without a close community of god-fearing girlfriends to speak truth in our lives. Living in Community will allow us to see where we need God’s help to grow.
2. Refuse to learn from mistakes (or accept she could be wrong) (1 Kings 19:1-3)
This characteristic naturally flows out of #1 stubbornness. It can be hard to recognize this in ourselves so again to guard against growing into a Jezebel, we need a real community to help us see our mess.
I can most relate to this one in the area of my marriage. It wasn’t until we were at rock bottom that I heard God clearly trying show me I had not been the perfect wife… and instead of focusing on all my husband’s mistakes, I needed to own my part and allow God to change me. Ugh… change me first. That was the hard part. It has been an incredible, yet hard, journey and it is my privilege to continue to walk it out. We literally went from on the road to divorce to a Marriage filled with Hope and Joy
3. The tendency to step in to lead where it was not her place (1 Kings 21).
This passage shows us how Jezebel stepped into a situation her husband should have easily been able to handle. Instead of leaving the situation alone, she stepped in and handled things in an underhanded manipulative way (all under the name of the king). An innocent man died and the citizens were further lured into sin….all because of her.
How can we guard against this characteristic?
It is critical we understand who God sees as the leader in our lives (in our homes, churches, businesses, etc.). There are times it is expected that we will step in and step up to help out. But there are also times we step in where we should not and mess things up…
- At Home: Hang with me for a second. It took a long time to reconcile this one personally. You see I never thought my husband could lead. It took years for God to show me that God could teach him to lead if I would just step out of His way. When I stepped back from leading in our home – God stepped in and now my husband is leading.
- I still want to lead. There are things I could do much faster and better than my husband. But as I let him lead – he learns the faster better ways – ways he would never learn if I stepped in and stole the learning opportunity.
- And don’t even get me started on business things… as a workaholic, I can’t begin to tell you how many jams I got my boss out of. I jumped in to handle many things that should have fallen on his shoulders (he certainly got the credit for it). And by stepping in, he didn’t learn to do it himself. He learned he could step on me – and never reward that hard work with a raise or promotion (which is why I was doing it all.)
4. Refusing to forgive or extend grace (1 Kings 21:11-14).
Let’s stay in the story of the Field of Naboth. No one won in this story as Jezebel stepped in to lead. You see, God saw the entire thing. And God held the King responsible though he didn’t do anything.
We get to see a side of King Ahab here that is able to humble himself and repent… My mind races to imagine how his life would have turned out if his wife tried to influence him for good instead of the evil she pursued.
His wife did not repent, forgive or extend grace – though she was the real cultrate. When confronted by God we only see Ahab’s heart turned. And God honored this in him.
How do we guard against a hard heart?
Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our heart. We can be selective in our closest friends and avoid those who have these predominate character traits.
Matthew 24:12 warns of a time when we will be a wicked society (welcome to the 21st century) and our hearts will grow cold. We have to guard against the temptation to justify our sin. Call sin – sin – and confess it to God immediately.
5. Self Indulgence
Jezebel was a Biblical Woman of Influence who put her preferences above the needs of those around her. She influenced her husband, her children, her grandchildren and an entire nation for generations. (1 Kings 16:29-33).
As she came into power by marrying a King of Israel, she destroyed the temple, built temples to her gods and served as His Priestess in them (earning the name Whore of Israel). She turned an entire nation further away from God and His blessings.
Her actions caused her entire family (all but 1 grand son) to be killed. (A list to run down the Kings of Israel/Judah)
The Influence tainted generations speeding their destruction and captivity. But there is Hope! Notice that Joash (the great grandson of Jezebel) was redeemed.
God can take the tattered pieces of a life influenced by evil and restore it – filling it with Hope and Joy!
If we are teachable, God change us! When we surround ourselves with godly women and stay in the word, He will keep our hearts soft! We can avoid allowing these character traits to turn us into women like Jezebel.
Do you struggle with any of these 5 common character traits? I do. What action can you take today to be sure you do not become like Jezebel?
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- 5 Ways to Be Sure You Are Not like Jezebel - May 7, 2018