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Spirit of Jezebel

Spirit of Jezebel

What is the spirit of Jezebel? Can you define it?

1 Kings 16-21

2 Kings 9

Revelation 2:20

Jezebel was a Sidonian princess who married Ahab, a Jewish king, and lured him into the worship of Baal. The Jews were forbidden from marrying into other cultures for this very reason. In fact, the New Testament refers to it as being “unequally yoked”. A phrase that depicts two oxen pulling against one another in two different directions. Eventually the struggle results in one submitting to the other and pursuing after the same thing.

Jezebel is highly religious in her pursuit of Baal, a god sought after for obtaining blessings and favor in this life. Ahab, is devoted to Jezebel and pursues her in the worship of the things of this life. Jezebel is also fiercely protective of Ahab, so long as his eyes stay fixed on her. In one story she even has a land owner killed because he refused to sell his land to Ahab for a garden.

Her devotion to Ahab is not based on agape love (seeking his highest good, which by all accounts would be a relationship with God) but rather a storge love (a selfish love, a love that loves because of how it makes me feel). This type of worldly love seeks company in damnation. It draws comfort from fellowship with those of like pursuits and will even manipulate those unequally yoked into bondage with them.

Revelation analogously describes Jezebel as a woman who “calls herself a prophetess”, again, highlighting her religious nature. But Jesus rebukes the church of Thyatira for its passivity in allowing her to assert authority. As a result she begins seducing the servants of God into sexual immorality (spiritual adultery).

The same characteristics are present in Jezebel and Ahab, in both Old Testament and New Testament passages. These characteristics are sometimes referred to as “the spirit of”… as in “the spirit of Jezebel” or “the spirit of Ahab”

These “spirits” do not describe an actual spirit per se, but rather a spiritual condition or attitude that exists within individuals.

The Spirit of Jezebel is that of a religious but rebellious woman, loyal to this world and her husband in a worldly sense, but seeking to control him through manipulation and seduction, to pursue after the things of the flesh.

The Spirit of Ahab is that of a religious but passive man, submitting to the will of his wife, whose heart is divided between the Jezebel woman he is unequally yoked to, and a God he knows of, but is not fully devoted to.

These conditions exist anytime a series of God’s commands are neglected and repentance doesn’t take place.

Unequally yoked:

2 Corinthians 6:14 (ESV) Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

As described above, the danger of being unequally yoked occurs when one desiring to follow God is forced into tension between, the one who merely professes such and God Himself. This tension is powerful enough to tear a heart in two. Thus God forbids this practice out of love for the believer, to spare them the pain and temptation of this overwhelming condition. This command, like all of His commands, are based on His grace. The question is do we trust Him enough to steer clear of such? Or do we run headlong into such pursuits crying out “MY WILL, NOT THY WILL”, only to suffer the consequences of our actions?

Idolatry (spiritual adultery):

Luke 14:26 (ESV) “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

The idea of idolatry is not merely an inanimate object that we ascribe deity to but also includes any one or any thing that seeks to share or displace Christ as first in our hearts. Jesus was very clear on this issue. We cannot even start the journey of following Him if we do not have this resolved in our hearts first.

Any spouse who demands or desires to be first in our heart, when Jesus Himself said we cannot follow Him in this condition, reveals that they have not yet met Christ, because they’re asking us to commit idolatry and spiritual adultery.

But oftentimes we disregard Jesus’s statement and move ahead into religious exploits anyway, only to find ourselves tested by God. Those tests always… ALWAYS, come in the form of trials that expose our idolatrous hearts by revealing in fact that our hearts are divided between two loves. Once again, this is a grace allowing us to see our condition and thus repent. But many will harden their hearts to this revelation and fall away as Jesus said: “But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. (Luke 8:13).

Wives Submission:

Ephesians 5:22-23 (ESV) 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

The idea of wives submitting is culturally controversial. But we have to understand that that’s it. It’s culturally such. Many cultures still see this as a form of respect and trust. In fact our relationship with Christ is described as a marriage in which WE are the bride. The idea of submitting to Christ is us understanding that He is Lord. He is seeking our highest good. He is worthy of our submission because we trust Him. If a wife cannot say this about a prospective suitor, then she has no business marrying him. But many will still marry, typically for fleshly reasons: looks, money, status, etc… and many still will seek to usurp their husband’s headship through manipulation and seduction, to bring him into submission. Sadly still, we oftentimes as the bride of Christ do the same when we seek to usurp His authority and headship over us. Thus revealing that our hearts don’t truly belong to Him.

Husbands Headship and Love:

Ephesians 5:25-26 (ESV) 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,

One of the most destructive sayings ever uttered is: “happy wife, happy life”. The phrase itself implies that a husband’s primary role is to seek his wife’s happiness. It carries the idea that the husband needs to submit to his wife’s wishes to attain a happy life. But that’s not what we see here (or anywhere in scripture). The husband is ordered to love (agape, to seek her highest good, to do what’s best for her) his wife.

This is not submission or placing her worldly happiness as the pinnacle of his pursuits. On the contrary Paul says that he’s to love his wife AS CHRIST LOVES THE CHURCH… does Christ submit to our whims? Does He seek our happiness above our best interest? No! And we see that in this very passage… Christ sanctifies His bride, we are to do the same. A husband’s wife is his first disciple. He seeks to lead and guide spiritually. To protect both physically and spiritually from the lust of flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1 John 2). This is not an option but a command. Husbands MUST do this or risk falling into spiritual adultery by placing the cares of his wife above that of Christ (Luke 14:26).

When unequal relationships are entered into. When mixed loyalties exist. When rebellion is present in the form of wives asserting headship through manipulation or seduction and husbands relinquishing headship through passivity and an unwillingness to endure the trial of a rebellious wife… then the conditions are present for the spirit of Jezebel and the spirit of Ahab to take hold.

It’s worth noting that God sent Elijah, a prophet, to preach and expose this condition. Only to have Jezebel and Ahab hunt him down and make multiple attempts on his life. The ultimate determination of where our hearts truly lie though is not whether we have fallen short, but rather how we respond to the fact that we fallen short…

John 3:19-21 (ESV) 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

The Holy Spirit shines a light on our deeds… how do we respond? Harden our hearts and hide our deeds in darkness? Or step away from those deeds in repentance and come into the light?

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