The story of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel is truly an important warning to us all. It is not just one isolated story, but a warning against a pattern of sinful behavior illustrated several times in the Bible. There are two elements involved in this pattern, and they work together to wreak havoc in the church, even today!
First, there is Ahab, an evil and weak king of Israel, who marries a pagan woman named Jezebel. Ahab is described as doing more to provoke the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than any of the other kings to date! After he marries Jezebel, he forsakes God and is influenced by Jezebel to worship the pagan idol Baal. And Queen Jezebel brought this into Israel, thanks to her husband’s weak character. Jezebel was a master manipulator. She preyed on her husband’s weaknesses, and used his power for evil purposes. This is how Jezebel works. Alone, she has no power except sexual favors, so she finds a weak partner who has power, and offers those favors to begin to set her hook into her victim. Then she begins to manipulate the situations she encounters to bring about her desired result.
You see this same principle at work again in the story of Herodias and Herod in Mark 6:17-28: Herod had sent soldiers to arrest and imprison John the Baptist because he kept saying it was wrong for the king to marry Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. Herodias wanted John killed in revenge, but without Herod’s approval she was powerless. Herodias’s chance finally came. It was Herod’s birthday and he gave a party for his palace aides, army officers, and the leading citizens of Galilee. Then Herodias’s daughter came in and danced before them and greatly pleased them all. “Ask me for anything you like,” the king vowed, “even half of my kingdom, and I will give it to you!” She went out and consulted her mother, who told her, “Ask for John the Baptist’s head!” So she hurried back to the king and told him, “I want the head of John the Baptist—right now—on a tray!”
Herodias uses her own daughter to get Herod worked up enough to promise her anything, up to half of his kingdom, and then she makes sure that her daughter asks for the head of John the Baptist. Herodias was operating in the “Jezebel spirit” and was manipulating everyone.
But one thing is brought to light here in both stories – the Jezebel spirit cannot work alone! She must find herself an Ahab so that she can “hi-jack” his power to get her desired deeds accomplished. Is this principle still at work in the church today? From my own observations, I say “Yes”! How many ministries have been lost from sexual scandal or wandering off of the path to Christ and misdirected towards the idols of the culture or the world? We all need to go before the Lord and ask Him to show us if there is any of Jezebel or Ahab in us! Let Him free you from any little bit of Jezebel or any touch of Ahab. (LELIA MCGREGOR)