Sunday, January 16, 2011

You think You had a Bad Day? Elijah, Jezebel, and a Reality Check

I don't recall hearing much about Jezebel recently. Apart from that reading back in June, anyway.

Maybe it's because Jezebel's character and career aren't a very good fit for either America's dominant culture, or the 'nice' versions of Christianity. Mind you, that's not even my opinion. I think it's likely: but it's still speculation.

Jezebel was the wife of Ahab - and was assertive. A bit like the fictional Lady Macbeth: the one who did finger-painting on the walls of her castle with other people's blood.

Not that being forceful is a bad thing by itself, like Deborah when she was judging Israel. (Judges 4:4-5) Come to think of it, we don't talk much about Jael, who nailed that fellow's head to the floor, either. (Judges 5) And that's another topic.

Anyway, Jezebel didn't stop with boosting her husband's business interests with a surreptitious execution. She had a shot at converting Israel to the worship of Baal.

In retrospect, that was a bad idea. (2 Kings 9:32-37)

Before Jezebel's abrupt fall from power - literally - she had Elijah on the run. Here's part of what the prophet had to say, after he'd prayed for death. And been told to eat a good meal, instead.
"...He [Elijah] replied, 'I have been most zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. But the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to the sword. I alone am left, and they seek to take my life.' "
(1 Kings 19:14)
Sounds pretty hopeless, doesn't it?

Turns out, Elijah didn't have all the facts. From where he stood, things looked about as bad as it gets.

God gave Elijah the names of three others he had assignments for - and assured Elijah that there were 7,000 who hadn't gone over to Baal.

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From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.