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I Am Micaiah's Wife

With the famine, and resulting food shortage, I looked for a different way to the caves to bring food to my husband. I don’t know how Obadiah was feeding the hundred prophets that he hides there.

It’s been three years since the rains have come. How much longer would the Lord keep back the rain?

I wiped my face with my cloak. Even before the darkness left the sky, the air was hot. I looked back at the city, feeling the eyes of the Queen upon me. I shrink involuntarily.

My husband had reminded me that the Lord is in control. But he hides or the Queen would have his head. What did our great King Solomon say, something about “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Well, my heart is weary of waiting for good.

How did our people get into this mess?

Our nation took eyes off the Lord. When the previous king built altars on the high places, my husband said that it was the beginning of the end. Our temple was for worshiping the One and only God. No other altars were needed.

The king made an alliance with Phoenicia. He gave his son the daughter of the Phoenicia’s king.

And so, the princess became queen. She did not request of the king, she ruled the king.

The first thing she did was make altars in the high places where she herself went to speak to the gods. She ate with the priests, instructing them on how to worship.

The people spoke of how spiritual she was, how the gods would be satisfied by her sacrifices.

I cringed. God was pleased when sacrifices were done in His temple by men who had been anointed and instructed to do so.

How can God be pleased, when He wasn’t even obeyed?

Each day my husband came home troubled. Until one day, he didn’t return at all. I worried, until a lad bumped me in the market and whispered that my husband had been taken by the prophet Obadiah to the caves.

Just in time, for word reached me that the Queen had killed all the priests of the Most High God.

I had reached the meeting place where I would leave the food for the next messenger to take to the cave. I wished that I could speak to Micaiah. I needed his reassurance that all was well.

I left the basket and picked up a similar basket left under the tree. I looked quickly to see if any message was included. My husband sent me a sign that all was well. Before the drought, he’d put a desert flower at the bottom. I had carried that bloom around in my tunic’s pocket until it crumbled. It reassured me that he was well, and God was watching out for both of us, and our nation.

Now with the drought, nothing grew. I looked anyway. A dead twig lay under the linen napkin. I lifted it out and held it to my breast. Yes, my husband knew how to give comfort, even while he hid for his life.

Before entering the city, the sun had risen to heat the land again. I glanced at the high hills surrounding Samaria where the king had made his dwelling. A group had gathered at the top of the mountain.

More sacrifices for rain, no doubt.

I paused to study the group. It seemed that all the priests of the Queen were present, and many watchers. The King was there.

Today, the voice of one of the prophets came clearly down the hillside. “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him, but if Baal, follow him.” That sounded like Elijah. Had he come out of hiding?

I made my way up the mountain to watch from edges of the crowd.

Elijah stood before the king.

I looked for the Queen.

She was not there.

I breathed better and listened.

Elijah spoke, “I alone am left a prophet of the Lord.”

I leaned against the boulder behind me. Did he know something that I didn’t? Had they found my husband? I clutched the twig in my hand until it snapped.

Elijah commanded, “Choose one of the oxen for your priests. Cut it up. Place it on the altar, but put no fire under it. I will do the same. Then call on your god, and I will call on the Lord. The God who answers by fire, He is God.”

The people answered, “That is good.”

The priests of Baal chose the ox and prepared the altar.

The sun rose as they called on their god to send the fire.

They leaped around the altar.

When the sun was directly overhead, we still waited.

Elijah scoffed at their dancing. “Call louder. Maybe your god is busy or asleep.”

They called louder, cutting themselves with their swords. Blood gushed from their arms and legs. They pled with their gods to answer. It was pitiful to watch grown men weep and beg. I hated to watch, but stayed until time for evening sacrifices. None would be at the temple; not since the Lord’s priests had hidden from the Queen.

Finally, Elijah called the people. He took twelve stones, on for each tribe from the sons of Jacob, and repaired the altar. He dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold two measures of seed. He arranged the wood and cut the ox.

Then he commanded four pitchers of water to be poured on the altar.

I gasped. Four pitchers would have been my ration for four days in the drought.

They did.

The ground licked the water like pouring into a bucket without a bottom.

He commanded, “Do it again.”

Then again, a third time.

After the time the third time, the trench held the water and filled it.

Elijah raised his arms toward heaven, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that I am Your servant. I have done these things at Your Word, so this people will know that You are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.”

Before he finished, fire came from heaven.

The light burned my eyes.

It consumed the ox, the wood, the stones and the water.

I leaned against the boulder behind me. Would it continue to lick up the dirt at my feet?

Elijah stepped forward and pointed to the people. “Seize the prophets of Baal. Let none escape.”

I didn’t stay to watch, but I left with my heart singing. Elijah still lived and had made a stand for the Lord. Maybe my husband could come home soon.

It rained that night. I could not help but wonder if Elijah’s presence and his talk with the King had anything to do with it.  I watched the rain fall. It was a welcome sight. I could not help but hope this was a sign that hope was coming.

I stepped over puddles and through the rain-soaked path to the cave in the morning. My prayer, that my husband would be able to come home soon, was ever in my heart.

When I reached the place where I exchanged baskets, I looked out of habit to see if my husband sent a message. My heart soared. He had placed a vessel of water at the bottom. Water, indeed. We could still hope.

That day I heard the soldiers marching through the street. They barged into my house. I stood against the wall, watching them ruin my house. “Who do you seek?”

“The Queen demands the head of Elijah.”

The Queen again. The King allowed the false priests to be killed by Elijah’s command and now all must pay. I only hoped that Elijah had fled fast enough.

When the King of Aram besieged our city. I couldn’t leave to give my husband food. I worried whether he’d been found with so many soldiers wandering the wilderness.

The entire city waited, as if without breath, to see what would happen.

One night when a hand touched my shoulder, I almost screamed.

“Shhh. It is I.” My husband had returned.

I jumped to hug him.

He held me tightly for a long time. Then pushed away. “I’ve a message for the King.”

I didn’t want to know. The strength left me. “What will you tell him?”

“We’ll win. The Lord will show the king that He is the Lord.”

I nodded, unable to speak of the dangers that he faced by entering the palace with the Queen.

“I’ll return.” He said before he left under the cover of darkness.

The King gathered his young men and marched out at noon to find the king of Aramean with the thirty-two kings drunk. Our king sent them running.

Other battles followed. It seemed that the king was gone on many battles as the queen remained at home, continuing her worship. And my husband stayed in hiding.

The army return from battle. Their victory song resounding through the streets. The king rode in on his chariot. He did not look happy.

As I watched out my window, someone startled me by touching my shoulder. I gasped.

My husband leaned on me, clutching his sides.

“Micaiah, what happened? Sit down.” I led him to our bed, where I helped him lie down. I gave him a drink and began to dress his wound.

Micaiah told his story. “The king won the battle. He captured the king of Aramean. He begged for his life, promising land that should have been our kings anyway.”

I inspected his wound. It wasn’t deep, but it had bled much.

“Why were you fighting?” I interjected.

My husband ignored my question. “Our king allowed him to live.”

I interrupted, “After all these battles?”

Micaiah gasped as I poured wine over the wound. He caught his breath before continuing. “The Lord wasn’t pleased. I asked another prophet to wound me.”

I glared at him.

“It is what the Lord told me. When he didn’t wound me, I had to tell him ‘because you haven’t listened to the Lord’s voice, as soon as you leave here, a lion will kill you.” He shook his head. “We are held to a different standard than the king, I guess.” He wiped his face, the sweat had gathered on his forehead.

I wrapped his wound tightly. The ground licked the water like pouring into a bucket without a bottom.

It was the wound that bothered him as much as one of the prophets who did not listen to the Lord.

“I asked another man to strike me. He wounded me. I then waited for the King.”

“Did he recognize you?”

He shook his head. “I disguised myself with a bandage over my head. I told him. ‘An officier brought a captive to me, ‘Guard this man; if he’s missing, your life shall be for his life.’ Oh King, while I was protecting another, the man escaped.’ I looked with dejection at the king.”

“How did he answer?”

Micaiah smiled. “He responded as I knew he would. ’You’ve judged yourself.’ Then I took off my disguise. The King recognized me. I told him, ‘Because you let the king go, whom the Lord wanted destroyed, your life shall be given for his life and your people for his people.”

I nodded. “I saw him return. His soldiers sang of victory, but the king was not happy.” I wiped his forehead. “Now, rest before you leave again.”

The king’s sullen and vexed mood kept the queen busy and didn’t pursue finding my husband. I was relieved, it gave time for my husband’s wounds to heal.

I was coming back from market when I saw the king enter Naboth’s courtyard. I paused. Why he would visit him? I stood outside the wall, straining to hear.

The king did not linger over greetings. “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden.”

Naboth answered the king without hesitation, “The Lord forbid me, if I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”

The King pressed Naboth, I’ll give you a better vineyard.”

By the pause, I knew that the king had been declined. “Name your price. I’ll give you money.”

Naboth sounded apologetic, “O King, it is my inheritance.”

I stepped back into the shadows of a tree by the wall as the King stormed out of Naboth’s courtyard.

I didn’t envy Naboth, but he had done what is right. His land was his inheritance. The king had no right to have it.

It wasn’t long before I heard that Naboth had been stoned to death. “What did Naboth do?”

Micaiah shook his head. “The Queen invited Naboth to eat at her table. Two worthless men accused Naboth of cursing God and the king.”

I gasped. “He did no such thing.” Then I related what I had heard over Naboth’s wall.

My husband paced. “The King stayed within the Law. But when he allows the Queen to ignore the Lord’s Law, he has sold himself to do evil. The Lord cannot bless. I fear for our people, when our king allows the queen lives by her own laws.”

Later, my husband retold how Elijah had declared judgment on the king. He paced before me.

I paused from kneading the dough. “What will happen?”

“The King repented. The Lord showed mercy. He won’t remove his throne until his sons take the throne.”

“Will the Queen allow the king’s sons to rule?”

My husband shook his head. “Elijah declared a special judgment for the Queen.”

I looked up from forming the flatbread. “What?”

“The Lord promised that the dogs and birds would eat her.”

I couldn’t even look at my flatbread. “How awful.”

My husband shrugged. “She has made Israel detestable before the Lord. She rules the people. She rules the king. She has led the people to worship idols. Men fear her more than any king.

“I think the king would have listened to the Lord, if it hadn’t been for her.”

Life was quiet for a time, until one day, a messenger came for my husband. My heart beat in my throat. “What does the King want?”

The messenger said, “He seeks counsel for war.”

As I waited for my husband to return, I couldn’t concentrate on anything. My husband would speak the truth and anger the king. He always did. Would he anger the king too much this time?

When I heard a knock at my door, I felt the dread seep into my toes and crawl up my legs. I could hardly move to answer the door. “What did Micaiah tell him?”

He shrugged. “The King would win.”

“Micaiah said that!” I couldn’t believe that he would agree with the false prophets.

“The king didn’t believe him. The King yelled at him. ‘How many times must I tell you to speak nothing but the truth?’”

“So what did he say?”

“We would be defeated. His people would be scattered to the mountains. The king wouldn’t return from battle.”

I gasped. “What did the King do?”

“He turned to the King of Judah. ‘Didn’t I tell you that he would tell me no good thing?”

The messenger paused, “Micaiah than raised his voice for all to hear. ‘Hear the word of the Lord. The Lord sat on His throne and all the host of heaven stood by Him. And He heard them ask, ‘Who will entice the King into battle, so that the King could fall by the sword?’ A discussion took place. Finally, the Lord put a deceiving spirit in the king’s prophets to convince him to battle. But the Lord proclaimed disaster against the king.”

One of the king’s false prophets, Zedekiah, struck Micaiah. “How did the Lord pass me and tell you these words?”

“Micaiah faced Zedekiah, ‘When you hide in an inner room, you will know that my words are true.”

The king stood and commanded. “Put Micaiah in prison. Feed him bread and water until I return safely.”

Micaiah responded. “If you return safely, then the Lord hasn’t spoken by me.”

I put my head in my hands and wept. My husband would stay in the dungeon. He would only speak God’s words. I wouldn’t want him to speak anything but the truth…but why must the truth require such consequences?

When the soldiers came home from battle, I heard no victory song. They trudged through the streets, their heads bowed, their tunics torn in mourning. The king had disguised himself as a common charioteer to prevent disaster. A stray arrow wounded him. He died.

And Micaiah remained in the dungeon.

The people mourned for the King. And his son Jehoram (Joram) took his place. But the Queen still ruled the worship and controlled which prophets the king heard.

Another prophet’s wife told me that Elisha had sent his servant to anoint Jehu, commander of the army, to be the king. Soon more death would come.

The king warred against Aram, if only his father had killed the king of Aram when he could have….

King Joram came back wounded.

Jehu approached the city.

The king met him in his chariot.

Jehu shot him in his heart and commanded his officer, “Throw him in the field of Naboth. The Lord promised to repay the blood of Naboth with the blood of the sons’ of King Ahab.”

The officer obeyed.

I happened to be returning from gathering herbs from the desert. I watched Jehu enter the field of Naboth, he look up at the palace window of the king.

The Queen sat by the window watching. She wore her queenly robe and dressed of royalty. She stared down at him.

Her look made me shiver. She dared him to do something to her. She lived her life as if the Lord’s Law did not affect her. She mocked the Lord’s chosen prophets. She raised herself up to spit in the Lord’s face. She spoke, accusingly, “Is it well, zimri, your master’s murderer?”

I could not breathe. I didn’t want to see the Lord’s judgement on such a one. Yet I could not move.

Jehu asked, “Who is on my side?”

Two officials looked down from another window.

Jehu nodded, still watching her. “Throw her down.”

They did.

I will long remember her scream before she hit the ground.

Blood splattered on the wall, and splashed on Jehu’s horses.

He ran over her with his horse.

He entered the palace, as one in command.

I still couldn’t move. The stray dogs of the city slunk up to her bones and carried them away. They licked her blood off the wall and fought over what remained.

When I finally could move, all that remained of the Queen was her skull, her feet and her hands.

I went home, unable to take the memories out of my mind.

Judgement had come, not just to our Queen, but to our nation. By usurping her husband’s leadership, she brought our nation to ruin.

Women today know the name Jezebel as a wicked woman, but do they know her wickedness was from not allowing her husband to lead? Do women today fear their own consequences for ruling their own husbands?

 

But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I have her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. Rev 2:20-23

SOURCES
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jezebel

http://spiritualjezebelstopped.blogspot.com/
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Ahab.html
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0015_0_15101.html
“Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.” See I Kings 16-21, I Kings 9, Revelation 2:20



Did you see Jezebel differently? How?

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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