These two are the epitome of what not to do in a marriage. King Ahab followed his father’s footsteps in doing “evil in the sight of the Lord.” (1 Kings 16:30)
Ahab marries Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians.
Ahab and Jezebel worship Baal and build an altar for him. “Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.” (1 Kings 16:33)
Their worshiping of idols confused the people of Israel on who to worship, God or the idols.
Jezebel adds murder to her list of sins by persecuting followers of the Lord and murdering His prophets. Thankfully, Obadiah saved one hundred prophets.
Elijah confronts Ahab, challenging him to abandon the commandments of the Lord, and tells him to meet on Mount Carmel to see whose God is real. The Baal followers build a fire, cut up a bull, and wait for Baal to bring the flames. Of course, no fire comes.
Elijah mocks them, builds an altar with twelve stones, puts a bull on top, adds water, and calls upon the Lord. The Lord responds by sending fire and consuming the burnt offering, the wood, stones, dust, and water. Elijah has the prophets of Baal killed, which doesn’t bode well with Jezebel when she finds out. She threatens to kill Elijah.
Next, you have Naboth’s vineyard situation. Ahab covets (never a good habit) Naboth’s vineyard and tries to buy the land, but Naboth will not sell his father’s land. Ahab comes home sulking because he did not get his way. Jezebel doesn’t like seeing her husband pouting and forges letters on Ahab’s behalf, arranging for Naboth to be murdered.
Ahab and Jezebel break most of the ten commandments. They spend most of their life not worshiping the Lord. Ahab is spared when he humbles himself before the Lord, but disaster still comes upon his house.
In addition to their obvious larger sins, the learning for us today is to support our spouses and attempt to keep them from sinning. We want to encourage them in the Lord’s ways. Jezebel has sneaky, manipulative ways to her actions. We want to be honest and work together with our spouses, preventing each other from sinning.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Peter Dennis