Jezebel, the historic Phoenician princess and widow of Ahab, dressed in her finery and makeup, hoping to seduce the new king. Instead, she was tossed out the window and eaten by wild dogs. To the bitter end, she defied man, society, and God. She lived without remorse.
. . . Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.
This is the face of evil.
Despite everything Jezebel had done or said or connived, she believed there was always another loophole, another power play, another option. She was proud, confident, and self-absorbed. Nothing broke her resolve. She had a heart of stone and was unmoved by the needs or sorrows of others.
And yet, she was also beautiful.
As my children came into their teens and were exposed to all the anti-drug, smoking, drinking, and unprotected sex instruction in school while knowing kids around them (both younger and older) who were already indulging in one or more of these entertainments, there was always one piece of information that wasn’t given by the well-meaning instructors.
In the beginning, most of these vices are fun. Is that blasphemous? Well, it’s true. Why would people do them if it wasn’t fun. That’s the point! And for this very reason, the appeal of drugs and alcohol and free-range can be overwhelming. For me it was important to warn them of this important detail. The trick for young people (or any people for that matter) is to realize that it’s not the acts themselves but the over-indulgence in them: too much of a good thing. Each one of these vices begs for more. And with that seduction, begins the spiral.
Jezebel symbolizes them all, no less than our “other” enemy, captured in scripture as Satan, also an “angel of light” not as some pitchforked fanged creature at all. Who would be enticed by that?
I see myself captured in the smallest of Jezebel ways. It’s usually a way of thinking like “oh, I can have this, I deserve it, I worked hard today;” or, “It’s a holiday, I can treat myself;” or, “It’s just one . . .” And on and on an on go the justifications for indulgence.
And unfortunately, anything less than indulgence is considered deprivation. To stop eating large portions, excessive sweets, highly caffeinated drinks, beer or wine, is considered a “diet” and “doing without.” But honestly, if we lived in a third world country, the concept would be absurd, where a clean cup of water is a luxury and more than one meal a day, a blessing.
Jezebel is still busy in Western culture.