In Revelation, Jesus introduces the “woman Jezebel.” The Lord is using a name from the Old Testament to describe this woman’s character.
The original Jezebel was introduced in the book of 1 Kings as the wife of King Ahab. She had profound influence, and used it for evil. She quickly became the most feared person in Israel.
The Bible records several incidents that made her infamous for evil deeds ranging from false accusations, to murder, to mass murder, to forgery. However, history has shown that the name Jezebel is now primarily synonymous with sexual immorality. And from that one association come all the other evils that plagued Israel during her reign. She derived her power from her sexuality and then used it to dominate, control, manipulate, and murder.
The result of her seduction was murder on a large scale. She massacred the prophets of the Lord and even struck fear into the heart of Elijah, one of the most powerful prophets ever to walk the earth. In response, she incited the full wrath of God for her complete rebellion.
How does this relate to sexual immorality today? Jezebel hasn’t changed. Her spirit has the same goal: seduce you, then reduce you. If you are a child of God, she especially hates you and your family. Believe me, she’s not your friend.
You say to yourself, “Hold on a minute, Doug. I’m not that bad. I only looked at a few photos. I am not as bad as other guys.” Really? Do you think it matters if you look once or 20 times?
Let me ask you a question. Do you know why heroin dealers give out free samples to newcomers? Because they know if the person gets just one taste, they will beg for more. Then he will have a customer for life. Do you want to become a lifelong customer? If you think you can control lust, you are deceived. The opposite is true, and unless you can see this, it will only increase its hold on you.
In the Book of Revelation, Jezebel was most likely some kind of Sunday school teacher or cell group leader in the church. It seems as if she was a Christian, not some cultural “rock star” perverting the people—she was in the church. She taught duplicity and compromise, a “Jesus and immorality” gospel.
Her doctrine said you could be a Christian, sleep around and do whatever you wanted to sexually. She certainly taught that individuals were in charge of their sexuality, not God, and they were free to do as they pleased. However, it appears as if this Jezebel was still in the early stages of her teaching. Since the Lord knows there is only one end to this kind of sin—destruction—he offered an olive branch. “I have given her time to repent of her sexual immorality, but she did not repent” (Rev. 2:21).
This verse demonstrates the incredible patience of Jesus. Jesus gives her time to repent. Wow. The truth is, He does the same thing with us, offering us time to repent. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin repeatedly in the hopes that we will turn away.
A sign of the Lord’s mercy in our lives is the allotment of time to make a change. He doesn’t come in with a heavy hand and demand we stop, rather He comes gently and gives us room. This approach doesn’t last forever, of course, but isn’t our God’s generosity a beautiful thing? He is extending that same grace to you today. If you will be honest with yourself, seek help and get clean, God’s blessing will return in a great way to your life.
However, in this woman’s case, her heart was unwilling to repent. She was saying in her heart, “No thanks; I’ll do what I want.”
Here is what I have discovered about unwillingness. If we refuse to change, after repeated conviction of the Holy Spirit, our heart becomes hardened. We are now walking in the opposite direction of God.
Because He is our “Father,” He will let us drift for a while before he takes action. By that time, His actions may include temporary pain or humiliation in order to get our attention. In all of this, His real goal is to bring us home so we can be long-term friends.
I am glad God is patient with each of us and walks alongside of us even in the sexual areas of our life. I am also glad, as a Father, He is willing to bring us to a place of willingness again so we can repent of our deception.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books, including Clean. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on hisFacebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.