Open Your Bible
1 Kings 16:29-33, 1 Kings 18:1-6, 1 Kings 19:1-5, 1 Kings 21:1-27, Matthew 7:15-20
BY Guest Writer
When I was a kid, my mother cautioned me, “Whatever you do, don’t turn into a pushy broad.” I assured her she had nothing to worry about. No way did I want to become the kind of woman who shoved people around, barked out orders, or made demands.
Then I grew up and became a pushy broad. Not in public, of course. Just at home with my darling husband, Bill. “Clean that up.” “Move that over.” “Carry that out.” My honey-do list in the early years of our marriage was endless, and my patience short.
Now, reading the words Jezebel said to her hubby, Ahab—“Is this how you act as king over Israel?” (1 Kings 21:7 NIV)—I gotta admit, I’m hearing my voice.
Like, when Bill was unemployed just two months after we married, and I walked through the door saying, “Have you made any calls? Gone on any appointments? Is this what being the head of our household means to you?”
Right. Way too much like Jezebel. Not at all like Jesus.
Good thing God doesn’t give up on us. When we open His Word, He opens our hearts, washes us clean, and makes us new. Even pushy broads like me (you too?) can experience the power of God’s loving-kindness, which recreates us in the image of His Son and brings forth fruit worthy of His name.
Jezebel, though, never sought God’s love. She was all about Baal, the false god her father worshiped. A bad branch on a bad tree bears bad fruit, guaranteed.
When the Bible tells us, “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him,” Jezebel had them all: “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV)
Can we find a glimmer of light in this sordid story? Some shimmering truth that shows us God is still at work in the lives of His people, then and now?
Take a look at Jezebel’s husband, who tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes. We definitely see some repentance going on there, even after this man did more to make God angry than all the kings of Israel who came before him (1 Kings 21:27, 16:33).
When the Lord saw the changed attitude of Ahab’s heart, demonstrated by his actions, He said to the prophet Elijah, “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me?” (I Kings 21:29 NIV). God was merciful to Ahab and postponed His wrath, all because Ahab sought His forgiveness. Despite the king’s many sins, his humility bore healthy fruit.
Sisters, God stands ready to shower His mercy on us as well. Not because of our goodness, but because of His goodness. Not because of our on-again, off-again obedience, but because of His never-ending, ever-redeeming love.
“You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.”
-Psalm 86:5 NIV
Liz Curtis Higgs has one goal: to help women embrace the grace of God with joy and abandon. She’s the author of 32 books with 4.5 million copies in print, including Bad Girls of the Bible and It’s Good to Be Queen. Her new book, It’s Good to Be Queen: Becoming as Bold, Gracious, and Wise as the Queen of Sheba, releases July 21.