The Power of Influence
Scripture: 1 Kings 20:23-22:9, 2 Chronicles 18:1-8
"No one else so completely sold himself to what was evil in the LORD's sight as Ahab did under the influence of his wife Jezebel." 1 Kings 21:25 (NLT)
It is appalling to watch Jezebel’s influence at work. Her very name means impure, which implies volumes about her character. Impure means not morally pure or proper; unchaste or obscene; contaminating in nature. Never have I seen a definition so befitting of a person. If you recall, she caused trouble in 1 Kings 19:1-4. Then, she threatened the life of Elijah, scaring the man to the point where he fled town. This woman was a bad influence!
The word influence in our key verse intrigues me. The NASB translates it as incited. “Jezebel his wife incited him.” When you replace influence with incited, the picture of Jezebel comes into full view. As a woman, I would hope that I influence people in a positive way; but, I would not like to think I incite people. The Hebrew definition expands the meaning with a whole list of potent adjectives: to allure, instigate, entice. What a list!
Ahab fell prey to his wife's magnetism so much so that he did more evil than any other person in the Lord’s sight. Now that is some strong control to have over another person! Scripture suggests that Jezebel incited and allured others as well. She instigated and carried out a plan to kill an innocent man. Her husband demonstrated his weakness and displayed her power by not reprimanding or even questioning her actions.
Through Jezebel, we clearly see what not to do. So, what should a woman do with her influence?
- Incite: excite, motivate and encourage others in their walk with the Lord.
- Allure: lead, draw, and inspire others to dig deeper into the Word of God.
- Instigate: promote, ignite, and inflame in others a love for God and His Word.
- Entice: invite, attract, and turn on others to a personal relationship with the Lord.
Women can use their sway for good or for evil. Let's commit to influencing others toward a godly life and use "our ways" in the right way.