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The Jezebel Spirit of Controlling and Manipulation

The Jezebel Spirit: Unveiling the Manipulative Force That Threatens Relationships 

WHO IS SHE?

Queen Jezebel was intense. According to Proverbs, she was the kind of lady who would have you set up camp on your roof or relocate to a remote desert to catch a breather. 

Proverbs 21:9: “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.”

Proverbs 21:19: “It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.”

How does a woman end up there? Does any woman really decide to become a Jezebel? 

This article delves into the Jezebel spirit, a term often used to describe a manipulative and controlling influence that can wreak havoc on relationships and communities. We explore the biblical roots, shedding light on the characteristics and tactics of the Jezebel spirit.

Additionally, we look for tips and strategies to recognize and overcome the Jezebel spirit and its influence. 

 

THE BIBLICAL HISTORY OF JEZEBEL

A PHOENICIAN PRINCESS BECAME ISRAEL’S QUEEN

Queen Jezebel was a Phoenician princess who married Ahab, King of Israel (871 – 852 BC). She is one of the most infamous figures in the Old Testament. She lends her name to the “Jezebel spirit”, a term that refers to specific characteristics. 

She gained infamy for her manipulative ways, and you could taste the deception in the air as she prepared for Jehu’s arrival.

2 Kings 9:13: “When Jezebel… heard that Jehu had come to Jezreel, she painted her eyelids and fixed her hair and sat at a window.”

Jezebel was into idolatry; she believed in false teachings and worshipped false gods. Furthermore, she deceived and led God’s people astray from their faith in the Hebrew God, Yahweh. She defied their monotheistic faith in God and relentlessly persuaded them to worship her foreign idols.

A Phoenician Princess Became Israel's Queen
A Phoenician Princess Became Israel's Queen

 

A MARRIAGE OF STRATEGIC ALLIANCE

This marriage of the King of Israel and the daughter of Ethbaal, the priest-king of Tyre and Sidon, was a strategic alliance with profound religious implications for Israel. Under Jezebel’s influence, King Ahab introduced Baal worship to the Israelites.

It caused significant conflict within the nation between those who were faithful to Yahweh and those who cowed down and worshipped Baal. We read about an important moment when King Ahab went to meet with Elijah, God’s prophet.

1 Kings 18:17-18: “Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?” “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals.”

 

BAAL WORSHIP AND ITS CONSEQUENCES 

The adoption of a foreign religion led Israel to participate in false worship and associated sacrificial practices, causing a significant departure from their faith in Yahweh.

It led to an exhilarating event on Mount Carmel: a stand-off between Elijah and all the prophets of Baal. This story reads better than any blockbuster movie, and you can find it in 1 Kings 18.

Elijah And The Baal Prophets on Mount Carmel
Elijah And The Baal Prophets on Mount Carmel

 

PLOTTING AND PLANNING WAS HER TRADEMARK

Jezebel did not take no for an answer. When her husband, King Ahab, sulked because he wanted land that belonged to a man named Naboth, she made a plan and had Naboth killed. 

1 Kings 21:7 “Jezebel his wife said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” 8So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, placed his seal on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him. 9In those letters, she wrote: Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 10But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”

 

THE END OF JEZEBEL’S REIGN

Following Ahab’s death in battle against the Syrians, Jezebel’s vulnerability increased, marking the onset of her downfall and eventually a gruesome death.

2 Kings 9:33 “Throw her down!” Jehu said. So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot.”

God’s prophecy about Jezebel was fulfilled as she was thrown from a window and trampled by horses. Her body was subsequently consumed by dogs.

The End of Jezebel
The End of Jezebel

 

IDENTIFYING THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE JEZEBEL SPIRIT

IN JESUS’ LETTER TO THYATIRA

While Jezebel made her mark in the Old Testament, this demonic spirit resurfaces in the New Testament. Jesus Christ addressed and confronted this issue in His letter to the Church of Thyatira.

Revelation 2 “20Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.”

From this passage and the rest of her story in the Old Testament, we can learn a lot about the defining characteristics of the Jezebel spirit:

  • She is in love with herself, boastful and proud 
  • Seeking to control and dominate
  • Acting religious, but there is no substance to it
  • Deceiving others to lead them away from faith in Christ
  • Unloving and unforgiving
  • Slandering and maligning others to promote herself
  • They have no regard for what is sacred
  • Manipulation is the tool to get what they want
  • Deception is a tool to get to her goal
  • Immorality

 

IN LOOKING AT THE ORIGINAL NARCISSIST

The Bible never calls Jezebel a narcissist. But, a simple comparison between the characteristics of Jezebel and that of a classic modern-day narcissist makes for an interesting study on this topic. 

  • Grandiosity: A sense of superiority or self-importance.
  • Need for admiration: Constantly seeking attention, praise, or admiration from others.
  • Lack of empathy: Difficulty understanding or caring about the feelings and experiences of others.
  • Sense of entitlement: Believing they deserve special treatment or privileges.
  • Exploitative behavior: Using others for personal gain without regard for their well-being.
  • Manipulative tendencies: Engaging in deceptive or controlling behavior to achieve their goals.
  • Arrogance: Displaying an attitude of superiority or disdain towards others.
  • Difficulty accepting criticism: Reacting negatively or defensively to feedback or criticism from others.
  • Envy: Feeling resentful or jealous of others’ success or possessions.
  • Preoccupation with appearance: Excessively focusing on physical appearance or image.
Modern Day Narcissist
Modern Day Narcissist

 

OPPRESSION OR POSSESSION?

OPPRESSION

Before we go any further, one has to address the issue, are these people possessed by a demonic power?

Paul mentions newborn believers who are “sealed with the Holy Spirit” when they embrace Christ. This assures us that no evil or demonic force can infiltrate a newly born soul and supplant the Holy Spirit. 

Ephesians 1: “13In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance.”

However, suppose we not only permit these evil spirits to fly over our heads but also entertain them, allowing them to nest in our hair. We might find ourselves eventually oppressed by them.

POSSESSION

Conversely, an individual who is not a newborn Christian and lacks the seal of the Holy Spirit leaves themselves vulnerable to demonic influence. And, in time, a hardening of heart. It happened to Pharaoh.

When God inflicted ten plagues upon Egypt, He awaited the Pharaoh’s repentance. Yet, it did not come, only his stubborn refusal. In fact, on seven occasions, we read, “and Pharaoh hardened his heart.” The subsequent mention states, “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.”

Similarly, those who persist in the way of Jezebel find their hearts hardened and, eventually, demonic possession, facing the inevitable repercussions.

 

THE MANIFESTATION OF THE JEZEBEL SPIRIT IN REAL LIFE 

While we have glimpsed Jezebel’s portrayal in the Bible, what might the Jezebel spirit look like when it manifests in contemporary existence?

RELATIONSHIPS AND FAMILY DYNAMICS

The Jezebel spirit can affect men and women but often finds home with women. Why? Because Jezebel is immoral, and she typically uses her sexuality to manipulate and control, deceiving and making believe she’s a place of safety and refuge as she bides her time.

She uses fakery and flattery to enter relationships and marriage, a stepping stone to her goal. There is nothing noble or sacred about it to her. She uses and abuses people to make her way into the limelight.

Queen Jezebel, renowned for her manipulative tactics, embodies these traits through her actions, such as orchestrating Naboth’s death and ordering the massacre of the Lord’s prophets.

A modern-day Jezebel’s behaviour also makes for toxic relationships and most often leads to broken families. When the time comes, she “moves on” because she perceives she “deserves better.” 

On her way out, she justifies her actions by launching smear campaigns to uphold her sanctified self-image.

 

FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES

The Jezebel spirit thrives on control and manipulation. She employs tactics like secrecy, feigned trustworthiness, and flattery to bend others to her will. She sows discord and distrust between friends and colleagues.

But it is more than just manipulation; it’s about deception, too. 

She will stop at nothing to turn the spotlight and adoration onto herself, even if it means tarnishing the reputations of others. No one is safe from her destructive tactics.

This modus operandi can cause deep divisions and destruction within relationships with friends and colleagues.

 

CHURCH AND COMMUNITIES

As in the past, the Jezebel spirit reserves a particular disdain for worshippers of God, often singling out religious communities and Church leadership for its nefarious schemes. 

It can present itself as a false prophet and false teaching in churches. Its presence within congregations often leads to strife and disunity, posing formidable obstacles to cohesion within a Church community.

This evil spirit opposes all that is holy. It seeks to undermine God’s teachings and sow opposition to biblical principles, often cloaking its agenda in virtuous rhetoric.

The Jezebel spirit’s influence extends beyond religious contexts, as it is believed to have broader societal impacts. Some argue that the spirit propagates ungodly behaviors and ideologies using media and entertainment. 

 

TIPS AND STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME THE JEZEBEL SPIRIT

Whether you’re giving out to others or the one at the receiving end, both need more of Jesus Christ.

RECOGNIZING AND RESISTING 

In His letter to the Church of Thyatira, the Lord Jesus stated, “I have given her time to repent… but she is unwilling.” (Revelation 2:21). This indicates a divine call for repentance. 

When we can still reflect and humbly call on Jesus’ name, God faithfully extends forgiveness and healing.

As saved sinners, we are susceptible to the temptations of our flesh. Whether one has succumbed to some or all of the characteristics associated with the Jezebel spirit or even been labelled a narcissist, God desires to free us from its grip.

 

RECOGNIZING AND GUARDING 

If you are the victim of a Jezebel spirit, God help you! (I am being facetious.) 

Remember and recall Jesus Christ’s warning: “I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel.” Often, it is impossible to reason with someone deceived and trapped by a demonic spirit; it could prove futile. 

Sadly, some people have been struggling for a long time and might need professional help. Breaking free can be exhausting because the Jezebel spirit will use all her skills to get you back under their thumb.

As Christians, it is not our responsibility to fix broken people. We can bring the gospel and pray for them, and God can do wonders.

Just realize there are times when it is best to leave and put a reasonable distance between yourself and these evil enmities.

Matthew 10:14: “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.”

 

SUMMARY

We’ve journeyed through the story of Queen Jezebel, explored the characteristics of the Jezebel spirit, and delved into its actual life manifestations. 

There is no need to fear the Jezebel spirit. Though we cannot stand against demonic spirits on our own, Jesus Christ has already overcome them, and in Him, we can reign over them. 

THE END.

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