King Ahab and Jezebel, Part 2
In the first part of this short series, we introduced the situation that ultimately leads up to Elijah and the contest on Mt. Carmel between the prophets of Baal and God Himself. We spoke of some of the history that eventually led to Ahab becoming king over Israel. Ahab’s reign as king can literally be summed up in one verse found in 1 Kings 16:30.
And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him.
Notice the verse tells us that Ahab was so bad that what he did was far above all those together who came before him as kings. That’s saying a great deal. We have politicians alive today who seem to have no qualms about doing anything that is illegal, but Ahab is proof that this type of person is not unique to modern history. Corruption, greed, and abject evil have its roots in the pages of history from long ago.
Pastor and author Richard Strauss has this to say about Ahab.
He had the dubious distinction of being the most wicked king who reigned over Israel up until his day. We expect almost anything from a man that degenerate, and are not surprised to read, ‘And it came about, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he married Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went to serve Baal and worshiped him’ (1 Kings. 16:31).
For Ahab, doing what was evil for his own selfish gain was par for the course. Whatever self-aggrandizing methods he could use to further his own political career were by no means beneath him. Marrying Jezebel was likely done to create some form of an alliance between Israel’s northern kingdom (over which Ahab ruled), and the Phoenicians (Sidonians in the text).
With the ever-present menace of Syria and the growing threat of Assyria, Ahab decided that he needed an alliance with this neighboring nation, so he made a treaty with the king of Phoenicia and sealed it by marrying his daughter. That is how Jezebel happened to move to Samaria, the capital of Israel, and there is only one way to describe it — a whirlwind hit Israel.
This, too often, is what it was about for the many kings of Israel’s northern kingdom, and at times, for the southern kingdom of Judah as well. Instead of trusting the Lord to protect and lead, too many kings took it upon themselves to enter into alliances with other nations by marrying king’s or dignitary’s daughters, which they felt would safeguard them against attack from that other nation. It also put them in the position of another nation having their back in case an attack came from another region. Surely, we can see how this lack of faith by Ahab and other kings created issues for God-fearing Israelites living in Israel (and Judah).
Once Jezebel married Ahab and relocated to Samaria, things there began to change drastically and not for the better. In today’s terms, this would be like a Christian marrying a devout Muslim. While Muslims might believe they worship the same deity that Christians worship, we know from Scripture that this is not true. Muslims have a form of worship and those Muslims who are dedicated to Allah live their lives according to his perceived rules. True Christians live their lives according to the biblical standards within God’s Word and for any true Christian to enter into a marriage with a true Muslim is simply asking for trouble.
In Ahab’s case, he didn’t care as the text tells us, because of his political ambitions. He married Jezebel and let her worry about the worship of deities because it was not important to him. To Jezebel, the worship of her deities was taken very seriously.
Jezebel had grown up steeped in the worship of Baal and his female consort, Astarte (or Ashtoreth). Baal was considered to be the god of the land. He owned it, they said, and he controlled its weather and the increase of its crops and cattle. Ashtoreth was considered to be the mother-goddess of fertility.
It may have been that King Ahab, to keep up appearances, continued in some form of outward display of worship of Jehovah. Certainly, but there was virtually nothing sincere about what he attempted to outwardly portray. This is all too common among leaders today (political and sometimes even religious), who go through the motions of worship – usually for photo ops – but in reality, it means little to nothing to them. It’s all for show and that was certainly the case with King Ahab.
It wasn’t long before Jezebel began to make her mark on Israel through her insistence on having her way when it came to the worship of Baal. Satan often does this by using people with overpowering personalities to foist his will on humanity. Think of the many dictators this world has seen and experienced throughout history that bear this out.
Jezebel was fanatical about her religion. The worship of Jehovah must have seemed dull and commonplace by comparison, and she was determined to change it. She was a headstrong, self-willed, domineering woman, and with a moral weakling for a husband, she had little trouble getting her way. She got him to build a house for Baal beside the palace in Samaria, as well as an “Ashtoreth,” that is, an idol of the fertility goddess.
It is important to remember that from the beginning, Satan had it out for Israel. He did his level best to cut that nation down before it was even formed when the young patriarchs tried to kill the youngest son, Joseph (from Genesis 37 to 50). It is likely that Satan understood that this peculiar nation, specifically created by God Himself like no other nation before or since, would ultimately have supreme importance in God’s plan. Satan also understood from Genesis 3 that a Redeemer would eventually come to free people from his (Satan’s) grasp. Of course we know this occurred with Jesus, who sprang from the root of Jesse (Romans 15:12), and from the Tribe of Judah. It goes without saying that once Satan grasped the reality of Israel’s purpose, he would do everything to stop it. Though he tried on many occasions to destroy Israel (and Jesus), he ultimately failed, this even in spite of those who would use their free will to side with him against Jehovah.
Such was King Ahab, who possibly without realizing it (but being just as culpable), ended up sided with Satan, and because of the overbearing personality of Jezebel, Ahab continually opposed God’s purposes. Because of this and as is usually the case, Jezebel didn’t stop at simply ensuring that the worship of Baal was established throughout Israel. Eventually, she wanted to completely stamp out the worship of Jehovah.
This is what is happening today, by the way in America. It is happening with the left and incredibly, they are using Islam to help accomplish their goals. It seems totally incongruous until one stops to consider that both the left and Islam are completely opposed to Christianity as their common goal, even though the left is also opposed to much of Islam but refuses to admit it and ignores the atrocities committed by those within Islam.
I tend to roll my eyes whenever I see one of those bumper stickers that spells out the word “coexist.” While it seems like something most would want, the folks who sport those on the back of their cars are simply proving how little they understand each of those religions represented. For instance, if they really understood Christianity, they would know that there is no God but Jehovah as the main tenet. Islam says the same thing except instead of Jehovah, they say “Allah.” While Muslims may argue that the word “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for “god,” don’t be fooled because that is the name they use when they pray to their false god.
Nonetheless, the tenets of Christianity and Islam are not compatible. They cannot co-exist. One must take over and push out the other. Now, while Christians can put up with other false religions and not necessarily want them eradicated (we know that when Jesus physically returns, He will take care of that), people from Islam only appear to be so generous in the beginning. Then, when they have large enough numbers of other Muslims that make up a community of Islamic believers, they will start to make demands. Christians don’t necessarily do this, but are willing to allow others room to worship and believe they should be left alone as well.
In King Ahab and Jezebel’s case, once Jezebel demanded and got her way regarding her worship of Baal, she then set out to remove all memory of worship of Jehovah from the Land. She did this by bringing “…450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Ashtoreth from Phoenicia, housed them in the palace, and fed them in royal style. Their duties would have been to promote the worship of Baal and Ashtoreth throughout the land.” This became the politically correct way of looking at religion under King Ahab. He, as king, held the authority and used that authority to push Jehovah to the side, allowing Jezebel to have her way. Political correctness forced people to decide.
As you might imagine, this became very difficult for Jehovah’s prophets, some compromised their faith, giving into the treachery of Jezebel under King Ahab’s authority. Others sought refuge in a cave and were secretly fed by one of God’s prophets, Obadiah. As we learn though, only Elijah was willing to go head-to-head with the prophets of Baal to determine who was greater, Baal or Jehovah.
As Christians, even though we see what is happening in society and we can do our best (using every legal means, including voting to stem the tide), we should also be prepared that things may not go our way. As things potentially worsen, will you compromise your faith?
We’ll continue this next time as we zero in on King Ahab, Jezebel, Elijah, and the contest that brought clarity to the situation and suicidal thoughts to Elijah! Join me then.
Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Emotional virtue, eternity, Islam, Islamofascism, israel, Judaism, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Radical Islam, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: 1 kings 16, 1 kings 21, ashteroth, baal, elijah, israel, jezebel, judah, king ahab, mt. carmel, prophets of baal, samaria.