***Beauties, let me say now that this will probably be one of the longest posts ever written here on beautyforherashes. This is because once I started writing I had a hard time stopping! If you need to read half today and another half at a different time–feel free to do so! I just want you to get all of this information! 🙂 ***
In the media, women are often portrayed as selfish, vain, and consumed with having their own way no matter who is destroyed in the process. On TV shows like Real Housewives, Love & Hip Hop, and Bad Girls Club, you see extremely damaged women pitted against each other everyday. We’re led to believe that they are strong, largely independent, and sexy, all while being immoral. They exhibit signs of vanity, sleep with every attractive man they meet and they are condescending toward other women as well as men. These women have a Jezebel spirit.
While there is nothing wrong with being strong and independent or even sexy (gasp!), it becomes a problem when these are your priorities and your identity is not found in Christ. When you have the light of Jesus on the inside of you, that’s what will attract guys to you-not having cleavage down to your belly button or running around telling everyone how “independent” you are (if you truly are you won’t have to tell anyone, people will just know).
Jezebel is a real woman who was a Queen in the Bible. Her story can be found in 1 & 2 Kings. She was and still is the complete opposite of what a Proverbs 31 woman should be! Jezebel was manipulative, immoral, vain, unsupportive of her husband, and most important of all-she was not a follower of the Lord! She was in fact indirectly responsible for the deaths of many innocent Christians! We will look at both Jezebel and the Proverbs 31 woman! Let’s start with Jezebel:
Quick Facts on Jezebel:
-She was not a Hebrew (Israelite), but actually came from the land of Sidonia
-Her father was King Ethbaal
-She was not a Christian by any stretch of the imagination; she served Baal (who is the god of rain and often associated with sexual degradation and lewdness!!)
-Married King Ahab (son of King Omri) who was the ruler in Samaria over Northern Israel for 22 years
-She hung out with false prophets (people who did not follow nor serve God, yet prophesied and taught anyway)
The Bible says that Jezebel’s husband Ahab “did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him.” (1 King 16:30) God was incredibly displeased with both Ahab and Jezebel. Ahab had abandoned the Lord’s commands by allowing his wife to serve Baal and choosing to follow her in this sin. They were a wicked pair whose hearts were incredibly turned away from God. Two events in the bible really show what kind of woman Jezebel was:
1 Kings 18:16-40 and 1 Kings 19:1-3
God’s prophet Elijah challenged the followers of Baal to prove the power of their “god”. He told them to prepare an altar and that he would do the same thing. Whichever god answered with fire would be the true god. Of course Baal didn’t show up, but when Elijah prayed, OUR God sent a mighty fire and consumed the entire altar!! Elijah then had all of the followers of Baal killed! Here’s where Jezebel stepped in! After King Ahab told her all that had happened and how Elijah had had all of her prophets slaughtered, Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to tell him that she would have him killed “by this time tomorrow”. (1 Kings 19:2) What a bold promise! Jezebel was so devious and wicked (as well as full of herself) that she believed she could harm a prophet/servant of the Most High God!
1 Kings 21:1-16
Some time later, King Ahab decided that he wanted to have a vegetable garden right next door to the palace. The problem? The land belonged to a Jezreelite named Naboth who had a vineyard on the property. King Ahab went and asked Naboth if he could have the land. He offered to give him another vineyard or pay whatever it was worth. Instead of giving him the vineyard Naboth refused! So Ahab went home sulking like a little kid. His wife Jezebel saw him and asked him what was wrong. He told her all that had happened (in a whiney voice I imagine lol) and Jezebel being the woman she was said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite!” (I Kings 21:7) As conniving and underhanded as she was, Jezebel came up with an evil plan. She wrote letters pretending to be her husband and sent them to the elders who lived in Naboth’s city. The letters contained Naboth’s death sentence. Innocent Naboth was taken outside of the city and stoned to death! When Jezebel received word that this atrocity had been carried out, she told her husband that Naboth was dead and that the vineyard now belonged to him!
If you haven’t noticed, Jezebel was the kind of woman who would do whatever it took to have her way. She didn’t care if it didn’t honor God and she definitely didn’t care who was hurt in the process. She used people for her own gain and appears to have even taken the reins in her marriage. Let’s take a look at the Proverbs 31 woman who is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum!
Click here to read Proverbs 31:10-31.
Now you may think that the P31 Woman seems perfect in every way! She definitely has it going on! What makes her truly special in my eyes is that she is a servant to others. The P31 Woman figured out that by placing God first and foremost in her life she could be a blessing to her family and everyone else she came in contact with! She had a desire to be selfless and in turn received favor from God, love from her husband and respect and admiration from her children. Unlike Jezebel, might I add!
PROVERBS 31 WOMAN
|DEVIOUS/SCHEMING||Plans with purpose|
|Unsupportive of her husband||Uplifts and encourages her husband, understands that he is the head of their home and Christ is his head.|
|Vain/CONCEITED||Dresses nice and looks sharp, but her beauty comes from the light on the inside of her|
|Pagan (She didn’t worship God)||Is a woman of great faith and character, teaches her children to love and worship God as well|
My favorite line is Proverbs 31:30: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Jezebel was no doubt very beautiful and charming. I’m sure she had men just eating out of the palm of her hand! But at her death, no one remembered (or cared) about how gorgeous she was or how charming she could be. Only the P31 Woman will be remembered and honored because of her dedication to the Lord!
The primary goal of this post is to show you two different women who were after VERY different things. I believe that the P31 was honored in her death and that her works were remembered. As for Jezebel, her ending is much different. In 2 Kings 9:30, we see that she was killed by a man named Jehu who was King Ahab’s successor. When Jezebel received word that he was coming, she put on makeup and did her hair (crazy right!?) then sat in a window to wait for Jehu!! I think this really shows how adamant she was about serving no other god but Baal. It may sound super GROSS and I give you a full DISCLAIMER now, but the Bible says that after the servants pushed the Queen out of the window her blood splattered and that dogs licked it up! Ewwwwww. No one came to see about her and no one even buried her body (well what was left of it…..) Jezebel died and never gave her life to the Lord. Her refusal to honor and serve Jehovah ultimately led to her demise. That’s something to really think about!
I encourage you today to step back and evaluate yourself. Are you striving to be a woman of honor? Do you want to be a blessing and not a burden to those around you (friends, coworkers, classmates, future husband, future kids, etc.)? If your answer was ‘yes’, but you have begun to believe what the world says a woman is/should be, I want to encourage you today to stand firm!
Micah 7:18 lets us know “that God doesn’t stay angry forever, but delights to show us mercy”. So if your fear is that you’ve already done so much wrong and made God angry, know that He loves you unconditionally and is more than happy to redeem you and extend His grace and mercy to you!
If you feel convicted after reading today’s post, pray this prayer:
“Lord, forgive me for not striving to be the woman You want me to be. Clean out everything that is not like You and teach me to be a woman after your own heart. Thank you for never giving up on me! In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
The Jezebel vs. the Proverbs 31 Woman is the beginning of a series that I will continue! I plan to write about several more P31s and Jezebels from the Bible throughout the rest of January in celebration of the NEW YEAR! Let me know if you like the idea of this series or if this post struck a chord with you on the “Have Something to Say?” page!
It is my prayer that you will grow a little closer to the Father today than you did yesterday. I also pray that you have a safe and happy New Years with your loved ones.
Be Blessed Beauties!!
Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”