Thursday, January 12, 2012
Casting Down Jezebel
Casting Down Jezebel
Yahweh has given to the body of Christ a pattern to follow when Jezebel seeks to assert herself and to rule in the midst of His people. The solution is to cast her down.
Jezebel Being Cast Down
Let us look once more at Jehu’s response to Jezebel.
II Kings 9:30-33
And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and adorned her head, and looked out at a window. And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, “Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?” And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. He said, "Throw her down." So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her under foot.
One thing that stands out to me in this passage is that Jehu did not speak a single word to Jezebel. Jezebel tried to engage Jehu in conversation. With her words she described Jehu as the one who was in rebellion, acting to usurp authority. She compared Jehu to Zimri. Zimri was a servant of Elah, son of Baasha, an earlier king of Israel. He had command of half of Elah’s chariots. Zimri conspired against Elah and slew him, an act which Yahweh gave Zimri no commandment to do. Although Zimri’s actions fulfilled a prophecy against the household of Baasha, the motive in Zimri’s heart was not the same as Jehu’s. Zimri sought only to wrest control of the kingdom for himself, while Jehu was anointed by a prophet sent by Elijah, and he was given commandment by the prophet to destroy the house of Ahab and Jezebel. Following are Jehu’s words of commissioning.
II Kings 9:6-10
“Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘I have anointed you king over the people of Yahweh, even over Israel. You shall strike the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of Yahweh, at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish, and I will cut off from Ahab every male person both bond and free in Israel. I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and none shall bury her.’”
Jehu accepted this commission, and set his heart to fulfill it with zeal. As he was on the way to remove Ahab’s son from the throne, Jehu encountered the godly man Jonadab and said to him, “Come with me and see my zeal for Yahweh" (2 Kings 10:16). Yahweh attested to the fact that Jehu had done well in carrying out His commands.
II Kings 10:30
Yahweh said to Jehu, "Because you have done well in executing what is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in My heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel."
Jezebel’s words were not right when she compared Jehu to Zimri. It is possible for men to perform outwardly identical acts, yet one man be approved by God and the other man condemned. From outward appearances, Zimri and Jehu did similar works. Of Zimri we read.
I Kings 16:10-13
Then Zimri went in and struck [Elah, son of Baasha] and put him to death in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and became king in his place. It came about when he became king, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he killed all the household of Baasha; he did not leave a single male, neither of his relatives nor of his friends. Thus Zimri destroyed all the household of Baasha, according to the word of Yahweh, which He spoke against Baasha through Jehu the prophet, for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son, which they sinned and which they made Israel sin, provoking Yahweh God of Israel to anger with their idols.
Zimri slew an idolatrous king, and so did Jehu. Zimri destroyed the entire household of the king, as well as the close friends of the king, and so did Jehu. Outwardly their works were the same. They both slew kings that had defiled the land and people of Yahweh through idolatry. Yahweh had prophesied that both kings and their households would be destroyed, yet Zimri did not perform his acts out of obedience to a command of God, nor was he zealous for Yahweh. Zimri’s actions were selfishly motivated. His actions were those of a covetous and rebellious man who sought to elevate himself.
Zimri ruled only seven days after slaying Elah, son of Baasha. Omri, another army commander raised a force against him. When Zimri saw he was defeated he entered into the king’s house and set it afire with himself inside. He perished by his own hand in the fire, a fitting tribute to one who had acted by his own hand to usurp the position of the king.
There was much cunning in Jezebel’s words to Jehu as she called down to him from the tower. She sought to sow doubt not only in Jehu’s heart, but in the hearts of his followers. Certainly they all knew the history of Zimri, and the results of his treason. It seems remarkable to me that Jehu did not refute the words of Jezebel. He offered no defense. Jehu spoke not a single word to the daughter of Ethbaal. His only command was to cast her down.
There is wisdom in this. Jezebel will not be persuaded by any arguments. Rebellion is thoroughly rooted in her nature. Like the fool of whom King Solomon spoke, there is no profit in arguing with Jezebel, or speaking a word to her.
Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him.
The Jezebel spirit cannot be reasoned with. It will never repent of its attitudes and actions. We see this truth declared even in the New Testament.
“But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.”
The Jezebel spirit will not respond to the words of God or man. She remains defiant in her idolatry, immorality, and usurpation to the very end. There is only one effective course of action. Cast her down. Do not waste words. Actions alone will suffice.
You may well ask, “How does this truth apply to the Christian woman today?” Every woman must confront this spirit at some time. The spirit of Jezebel is part of that sinful nature passed onto all the descendants of Adam. What should a woman do when she finds this spirit of rebellion, of idolatry, of selfishness, and usurpation seeking to assert itself in her life? There will be no profit in conversing with this spirit. Her arguments are endless, and full of cunning. The best course of action is to take these thoughts captive, and to cast down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
II Corinthians 10:4-6
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ...
Sisters in Christ, when this Jezebel spirit makes its voice heard in your heart, cast down her arguments. Abase those high and exalted attitudes that seek to assert themselves. Adopt that humble mind that was observed in Yahshua. Accept the role of the servant. Humble yourself before God and man, and in due time Yahweh will exalt you.
The world, and a large portion of the church, have embraced the mind of Jezebel. Women are declared to be equal to men in every way. The thought of the woman being subject to man is offensive, and derided with every imaginable argument. On every hand you will encounter those in the world who seek to take you captive to the attitude and actions of Jezebel. The philosophy of the independent woman has saturated society. Its advocates are everywhere. It is a mere remnant who have not fallen for the deceptive allure of this self-exalting spirit.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
Jezebel exalted herself. She took to herself a role God had not assigned to the woman. Consequently, Yahweh judged her severely. Her fall was calamitous. Her shame is beyond compare. She ended up as dung upon the face of the earth. Her reputation is one of divine reproach.
In contrast, the Son of God emptied Himself of the glory that was His. He willingly stepped down from His position in the heavens. Yahshua accepted a position of a servant, ever living to do the Father’s will. Christ even washed the feet of the men whom He had created.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Yahshua: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name...
The humble spirit of Christ is exceedingly pleasing to the Father. There are great contrasts to the death of Jezebel and that of Christ. Jezebel was cast down in her death. Christ was lifted up. It was not possible to cast Christ down, for He had adopted the lowest position possible.
We see another contrast after the deaths of Jezebel and Christ. When Jehu gave the command to bury Jezebel, there was nothing left to bury. The dogs had eaten her. Jezebel had lived in sensual ease and luxury during her life. Though Jehu would have shown her some honor in her death, God did not permit it. There was nothing left to bury. By contrast, Christ lived a life of humility and service. Although He was crucified, not a bone of His body was broken and He was buried in a rich man’s tomb. “Precious in the sight of Yahweh is the death of His godly ones” (Psalm 116:15). Those who would be honored by God must humble themselves.
The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom, and before honor comes humility.
The world, and the sinful nature expressed in the passions and desires of the flesh, wage war with the Spirit of Christ. We will be ruled by one or the other. The empty deception and philosophy of this world says that it is right to assert oneself. The mantra of Satan is “Look out for number one.” In contrast, Christ told His disciples they must hate their own lives, and die to the desires of their own souls. Yahshua declared, “The greatest in the kingdom of God is the servant of all.”
Those who are ruled by the prideful spirit of this fallen world system will be abased in the end. Being a daughter of God will avail the Christian woman nothing if they have manifested the spirit of Jezebel. A notable truth is revealed in the details following Jezebel’s death.
II Kings 9:34-35
[Jehu] said, "See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king's daughter." They went to bury her, but they found nothing more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands.
Women in the body of Christ are likewise the daughters of a King. Yet, there will be no honor for those who exalt themselves in this life. Yahweh will abase the proud.
For Yahweh of hosts will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty and against everyone who is lifted up, that he may be abased.
Jezebel had her day of reckoning, and so too will all who follow in her steps. The Spirit and the Word testify that if we will humble ourselves then God will not have to humble us. It is wisdom to seek the low place, rather than to choose honor and position for ourselves. In the Gospels we read a parable through which Christ declared this truth.
"When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher'; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Christ was not delivering a sermon on social etiquette here. His subject was not how to behave at parties. Rather, He was presenting a teaching on the proper attitude to manifest throughout one’s life. Take the lowest place. Do not seek to elevate yourself. Live humbly at all times.
There is great application of this teaching to the life of the Christian woman. The world would tell you to always seek the highest possible seat. Take honor unto yourself. This is the attitude of Jezebel, the spirit of self-exaltation. In stark contrast Christ speaks the very opposite. Take a lower place than you think you deserve. Be content with abasement and humility. This finds great favor with Yahweh, and in His time He will exalt you. Many years ago, a very godly woman named Hannah spoke the following words.
I Samuel 2:7-8
Yahweh makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honor...
Adopting a servile role before man appears as an evil thing to many women, even those who are Christians. The rebellion and pride of this fallen world system has infected all mankind. Those who are truly disciples of Christ, following the pattern of His life, are a mere remnant in the earth.
What God requires of the woman is not unique to her. Everything in the creation is under authority. There is a realm of service, subjection, and obedience, appointed to every created being. The apostle Paul shows us the pattern in his letter to the Christians in Corinth.
I Corinthians 11:3
But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of woman, and God is the head of Christ.
Not even Christ lived to please Himself. He lived to do the will of the Father. He shows us by His example what perfection looks like, demonstrating by His words and actions what is pleasing to the Father.
"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
Pay particular attention to the words “I have come down from heaven.” Christ descended. He had an exalted position, rightfully attained, and He relinquished it when the Father asked Him to do so. In another Scripture we read, “No man takes My life from Me, but I lay it down of My own initiative” (John 10:18). We must lay down our lives before we can take them up again in resurrection life. Humility comes before honor.
It is said of Christ that “He humbled Himself... even to death on a cross.” To humble oneself means “to go lower.” The word humble shares a similar root with the word humus, which is a word for the soil of the ground. To humble oneself literally means to prostrate oneself upon the ground. This is what Christ did. He laid aside His glory in the heavens and descended to Earth. He took upon the form of a bondservant. He was meek and lowly. So too must all those be who would receive praise and honor from God the Father.
Sisters in Christ, if you find yourself in an exalted place at this hour, you must cast yourself down without delay. Follow in the steps of Christ. Empty yourself, and become one who washes the feet of your husband and of others. This is what the godly women of old have done.
I Samuel 25:40-41
When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, "David has sent us to you to take you as his wife." She arose and bowed with her face to the ground and said, "Behold, your maidservant is a maid to wash the feet of my lord's servants."
This is also the pattern that Christ’s apostles set before the women of the church.
I Timothy 5:9-10
A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work.
When the Jezebel spirit urges you to rise up, don’t argue with her. Silence Jezebel by your actions. Cast yourself down. Wash the feet of others. Take the lower position. In doing so you will prove the truth of the adage that states, “Actions speak louder than words.” The Jezebel spirit will flee in the presence of such humble service.
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