You will destroy the house of Ahab your master, and you will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all of the servants of Yahweh, from the hand of Jezebel.” (2 Kings 9:7, LEB)

A young prophet to Jehu, a general who will shortly afterward lead a coup against the Omri Dynasty which will see Jehu kill the king, Joram, and command the execution [by tossing out a window onto the pavement below] Jezebel, wife of Ahab and mother of King Joram.

What is worth noting here is the immediate reversal of fortune in the narrative.  Until this point, other than the setback at Mt. Carmel, Jezebel reigns supreme.  She has for all intents and purposes wiped out the worship of Yahweh in Israel; Elijah, her great antagonist is dead [or so she thinks, he has been carried alive into heaven], and she is the great power behind the throne, even though she is not the king herself.

Then in the space of a day, her son is murdered and Jehu is made king.  She is thrown out the castle window to her death, and dogs eat her body so that only her skull and hands and feet are left.  Indeed, her death could not have been more ignominious:

So the dead body of Jezebel became dung on the surface spread on the field in the plot of ground of Jezreel, so one cannot say, “This is Jezebel.”” (2 Kings 9:37, LEB)

This is the biblical pattern of those who oppose the Lord and his work.  From Pharaoh, to Jezebel, to Haman, those who present an existential threat to the followers of the Lord are vanquished in a startlingly short period when to all appearances they stand supreme over their sphere of influence.

Matthew Henry captures the essence of what happened to Jezebel: “There is not a surer presage of ruin, than an unhumbled heart under humbling providences.”

God is a God of perfect justice, which I rejoice in when it comes to those who oppose his plan, but am not so happy about when it comes to my own life.  This is the glory of the cross: that God demonstrated perfect justice and perfect love, but the cross is not for the unhumbled heart.

Advertisements