We've been hearing this week about a woman named Jezebel from our reading from the First Book of Kings from the Hebrew Scriptures. She was the wife of Ahab, the King of the northern kingdom of Israel in the 9th century BC. She was not a saint, not even a nice lady. In fact, because of her actions, her name became associated with women of shady character, and when you were called a Jezebel (no one does that these days), you were highly insulted.
The story in a nutshell is this: Ahab desired a prime piece of property owned by another. He offered to buy it, the owner rejected the offer, and Ahab was upset. Jezebel went to work. She conspired against the landowner, had him put to death, his property seized and turned over to the king, who knew very little about the affair, until God revealed the truth and threatened punishment. Ahab, we heard today, repented of the evil and injustice that transpired, and God relented from punishing him. Jezebel, on the other hand, did not.
A Jezebel is a woman who is seen as an evil person, a schemer, shameless, an immoral person (sexually or in other ways), manipulative, and like the original, encouraging of idolatry (seeking other gods to commit to). Pray God that you are never called a "Jezebel". If so, a thorough examination of conscience would be in order, along with a strong movement toward repentance.
Who says that the bible is boring? There are lessons to be learned. A key one involves the mercy that God granted to Ahab upon his expression of sorry and repentance. As I mentioned this morning, our God is not vengeful, but merciful and forgiving, because our God is a God of love.