1 Kings 21:11-29

Jezebel’s Plot

11 So the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters which she had sent them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people. 13 Then the two worthless men came in and sat before him; and the worthless men testified against him, even against Naboth, before the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him [g]to death with stones. 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.”

15 When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth, the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

17 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18 “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth where he has gone down to take possession of it. 19 You shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Have you murdered and also taken possession?”’ And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth the dogs will lick up your blood, even yours.”’”

20 Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” And he [h]answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the Lord. 21 Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, both bond and free in Israel; 22 and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and because you have made Israel sin. 23 Of Jezebel also has the Lord spoken, saying, ‘The dogs will eat Jezebel in the [i]district of Jezreel.’ 24 The one belonging to Ahab, who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and the one who dies in the field the birds of heaven will eat.”

25 Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the Lord, [j]because Jezebel his wife incited him. 26 He acted very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the Lord cast out before the sons of Israel.

27 It came about when Ahab heard these words, that he tore his clothes and put [k]on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about [l]despondently. 28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 “Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but I will bring the evil upon his house in his son’s days.”

Verse 25 is pivotal here. There was no one who sold himself to evil like Ahab! But there’s also a critical addendum, “because Jezebel…” But let’s talk about Ahab first, because this is pretty amazing.

Remember what verse 25 said? Well, it gets better in verse 26! But after Ahab was confronted by God (via Elijah), what is his reaction? Remember God knows the heart, and God tells Elijah “he has humbled himself….” This is the whole crux of what happens next. I don’t know if we can truly say he had repented (turned his back on sin and turned toward God), but God knew Ahab’s heart, and granted him grace.

So it is with us, no matter how far we might think we are from God, it is never too far. The only thing blocking our way is our own foolish, stubborn pride. If we can get past that, we can get back to God, just as Ahab humbled himself and found favor with God.

And oh Jezebel, the incitement of a wife who did not know her place. Or perhaps she did know it, all too well. Now, don’t take that and think I’m putting women down. A woman’s place is not “down”. It is to complete what her husband is not, and it is a place of great power. Only a foolish man does not heed the advice of his wife, and this is precisely what gives a woman, foolish or wise, her power (among other things).

So women, know the position God has placed you in, embrace it, use it for His glory, and to honor both you and your husband. Don’t take it for granted, you are not small, nor are you weak, you are exactly what God created you to be.

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