Date written: May 13th, 2007
Scripture ref: 1 Kings 16:29-31
TITLE: Lessons from the life of Jezebel
PROPOSITION: In the life of Jezebel we find 1) Marriage 2) Persecution 3) Covetousness 4) Promised Death.
Objectives: That we would each be warned from the wicked life of Jezebel.
1. Read: 1 Kings 16:29-31
2. About the Text:
1) Perhaps the two most infamous characters of the Old Testament are Ahab and Jezebel.
2) We find in the passage just read our first introduction to Jezebel and it isn't in a good light.
3) Jezebel was the daughter of the king of the Sidonians
4) Sidon was on the North East coast of the Mediterranean.
5) They were a people known for their idolatrous practices that Jezebel brought with her to Israel.
6) These practices would create many problems for the nation in the coming twenty two years of Ahab's reign.
3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: In the life of Jezebel we find . . .
1. We've noted that Jezebel's marriage to Ahab was the first introduction to her life.
1) Jezebel brought her religion to her marriage.
2) She was a worshipper of the idol Baal.
3) Ahab inclined to her wishes in this regard and promoted the religion in Israel.
4) Deuteronomy 7:3-4 warned the children of Israel about this problem, "neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For he will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of Jehovah be kindled against you, and he will destroy thee quickly."
5) Solomon was taken with this problem in his life. 1 Kings 11:1-2 "Now king Solomon loved many foreign women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites; of the nations concerning which Jehovah said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go among them, neither shall they come among you; for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love."
6) Together, Ahab and Jezebel made life very difficult for those who wished to follow Jehovah.
7) Ahab's choice of a spouse was consequential for his and many other lives.
2. We must learn that the person we decide to marry will bring their religion to the marriage.
1) It is important that we decide to marry someone who will be faithful to God.
2) We are to seek God's kingdom first in our lives (Matthew 6:33) and this would be in regard to the choice we have for a spouse as well.
3) The person we marry will have a position of great influence over our lives.
4) They will have input on matters related to our money, our schedule, our children, our activities, and our worship.
5) It is the greatest place of influence that a person might have in another's life.
6) That influence can be either for good or for bad depending upon what kind of person we marry.
7) We would do well to marry a faithful Christian.
3. 1 Kings 21:25 summarizes the situation, "But there was none like unto Ahab, who did sell himself to do that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up."
1. Jezebel was not the one being persecuted, but the persecutor.
1) We read in 1 Kings 18:3-4 " Now Obadiah feared Jehovah greatly: for it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of Jehovah, that Obadiah took a hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water."
2) What was this "cutting off"? 1 Kings 18:13 "Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of Jehovah, how I hid a hundred men of Jehovah's prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water?"
3) Jezebel sought to systematically destroy God's prophets to the point that they had to go into hiding to escape her persecution.
4) She also sought the life of Elijah as well. 1 Kings 19:1-2 "And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel send a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to-morrow about this time."
2. Moreover, she gave refuge and safe haven to the priests and priestesses of Baal and Asherah, 800 total. 1 Kings 18:19 records Elijah's words. "Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the Asherah four hundred, that eat at Jezebel's table."
3. Jesus word's come to mind from Matthew 5:11-12 "Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you."
4. We learn that wherever there are competing religious ideologies, that God's people will more often than not be strongly persecuted.
1. Jezebel played a leading role in the acquisition of Naboth's vineyard (1 Kings 21).
1) We remember that Naboth wouldn't sell to Ahab because the vineyard was his inheritance.
2) But this didn't stop Jezebel.
3) She sent letters to the cities leaders urging them to frame Naboth for blasphemy and have him stoned.
4) The leaders did this.
5) She then informed her husband that Naboth was dead and urged him to take possession of the vineyard.
6) She coveted to the point of murder.
2. Covetousness is a terrible sin.
1) Exodus 20:17 says, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's."
2) Covetousness was listed as one of the reasons to withdraw fellowship by Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:10.
3) Paul also tells us that it is simply another form of idolatry (Colossians 3:5).
4) When we allow the desire of this world's possessions to take control over our lives, then there is no end to the evil that we would be willing to do. Such is the result of covetousness.
5) Hebrews 13:5 says, "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
IV. Promised Death
1. Jezebel had done such wickedness to God's people in her life, that God prophesied for her a terrible death.
1) In 1 Kings 21:23 we read, "And of Jezebel also spake Jehovah, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the rampart of Jezreel."
2) This prophecy was reiterated in 2 Kings 9:1-10 when Jehu was anointed King over Israel.
3) Jehu then began carrying out God's orders to kill all of Ahab's progeny as Elijah had prophesied would be done in 1 Kings 21 also.
4) When Jehu finally came to Jezebel's house, her own servants threw her out the window and he drove his chariot over her (2 Kings 9:33).
5) After he had lunch, he came back to bury her body, but the dogs had come and feasted on her corpse.
6) There was nothing left but her skull, hands, and feet.
7) This was the promised death that God had prophesied for her.
2. God takes seriously the persecutions placed upon his people.
1) We've been studying Matthew 18 in our Sunday morning Bible class.
2) The first part of the chapter talks about God's displeasure toward those who would cause his people to stumble.
3) So much so that Jesus says it is better that a mill stone be wrapped around someone's neck and they be cast into the sea instead of causing one of God's people to stumble.
4) In the life of Jezebel we see an Old Testament example of just what God does to such people.
5) Sin is offensive to God and God will reward such according to their works.
6) Jezebel was a wicked woman who did many wicked things and she reaped what she sowed (Galatians 6:7-8).
1. In the life of Jezebel we find . . .
4) Promised Death
2. Sadly, the Bible has absolutely nothing good to say about this woman.
3. Let us so live as to avoid the decisions and deeds of her life.