If Jesus came to visit our churches, I would like you to consider how many women and young girls He would find in our church that are Abigails and not Jezebels.
Just stop for a minute and count!
Is the answer, no Jezebels and all Abigails?
I pray that this is the answer that we, as a Christian organisation who believe in upholding ALL the standards of God, should be able to give to such a question.
By the way, who were Abigail and Jezebel? Well, Abigail was a woman who lived in the time of David and who was the ultimate example of a Christian woman. Wise, understanding, humble, godly, meek and respectful, Abigail was truly an incredible woman.
Jezebel, on the other hand, was the exact opposite. Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab in the time of Elijah the prophet of God.
Jezebel was cruel, wicked, evil, hated the followers of God and was completely ungodly. She was the ultimate example of a woman who refused to accept God.
You can read all about her and her wicked deeds and acts in the Bible 1 and 2 Kings and also in the book Prophets and Kings, starting in chapter 8.
So in summary we have:
- Abigail — Example of a completely moral woman, who loved and honoured God.
- Jezebel — Example of a completely immoral woman who did not love and honour God.
To be like Jezebel is definitely not desirable; yet without knowing it we can be like her.
How is that?
Do we say, “We are not like Jezebel. We don’t commit murder. We don’t openly defy God and try to kill His leaders and the ministers of the church or worship idols.”
Ah! But let us look at what happens when we turn our eyes and mind away from God. Who is the first person we look at when we turn away from God?
That’s right. We begin to look at and study ourselves.
We look in the mirror and this is what we say:“Ugh! I have a few freckles on my skin.”
“Oh no! I am getting grey/white hairs in my hair and I’m only 28!”
“My eyelashes are too light.”
“My eyes are pale and don’t stand out.”
A cosmetic catalogue is put into our letter boxes and we flick through it “just to have a look.” We see beautiful women posing attractively, advertising make-up, hair dye and jewellery.
“Oh look at the girl’s skin,” we say. “Maybe I’ll just buy one of those foundation creams and if I just put it on lightly to cover my freckles, no one will notice.”
“Ooh look at that woman’s hair! Maybe if I buy just one packet to dye my grey hairs because I am SO young, and it’s not fair that I should look old when I am not.”
Ladies, do you know who we are imitating when we succumb to these temptations? Is it Abigail? Truthfully?
No, of course not. Do you honestly think that Abigail, who trusted in God and lived a godly life would have needed to wear all this?
If you have a look in the book SDA Bible Comments, Vol. 2 you will find that Abigail was a woman after the order of Christ. She didn’t need to wear all this “goo.” Her face radiated the love of Jesus which would have given her a much more attractive appearance than artificial make-up.
Just imagine that being said of us. “We are women after the order of Christ.” What an honour! But instead, sad to say, we have to admit the awful truth that we are actually imitating that horrible woman, Jezebel. Do you know that she is the first and only woman mentioned in the Bible who wore make-up. When we put this stuff on our faces, change the colour of our hair or our nails, we are being exactly like Jezebel and we are actually telling God that we are dissatisfied with His creation, and are defying Him by trying to change the way He made us. Isn’t that just awful? It makes me shudder to think what God must be thinking of our poor little efforts to “improve” His wonderful creation.
Wearing make-up does not just consist of wearing foundation, eyeliner or eye lash tint. Make-up includes everything that you put on yourself to cover up what you don’t like about yourself. Yes it includes dying of the hair (even if it is “natural” dye), eye enhancer, creams to cover freckles (even if it is so called “natural”), lipstick, nail polish and jewellery.
Let’s face it. Do we really want to imitate Jezebel? Do we really want to copy someone who is known as a murderess, a woman who defied God?
Do you know that in Revelation 2:20, God is speaking a message to the church of Thyatira and He had something against that church. Do you know what it was?
It was because in that church they allowed women like Jezebel to be a part of their congregation. It seemed that these women were not just lay members, they actually had positions in the church. These women worked for the church and were given positions and instead of being a good example such as Abigail was, these women were influencing the younger girls in the wrong way as well as setting stumbling blocks in the paths of new comers.
The sad fact is, that message is for our church today — the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement! Isn’t it shameful to think that in our organisation we need to have a message like that given to us? But God never writes or gives us messages just for the sake of it.
Especially the older women
You don’t realise how much of an influence you exert over the younger ones. Even though it may not seem like it, unfortunately, they do watch and imitate everything you do. If they see you dying your hair or wearing make-up, even though it might only be a tiny bit and hardly noticeable and you get away with it, your girls are watching you. And do you know that when there is no difference between you and other mums in the world soon there will be no difference between your girls and the girls of the world. But, just remember, GOD KNOWS.
So now, let us imagine something really wonderful. Let us imagine that we are all Abigails. Our eyes are continually looking upward to God and away from ourselves. When we look in the mirror in the morning, instead of saying, “Oh no, my hair is grey; I look so old,” we will smile and say, “Today I am going to put on meekness. Maybe I’ll add to it a calm and quiet spirit, and I think I’ll mix a little wisdom in along with some kind words and actions. Today my make-up artist is going to be Christ.”
And just imagine that when we walk into church and greet ALL the women, their faces are clean and natural, their hair its natural colour, their nails free from colour and polish.
“Whose adorning is that which Is the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit” just like the holy women of old. And do you know what? We women can be like that. Because Christ promised us that with His help we can do, how much? Just a little bit? He actually promises us that with His help we can do anything! How wonderful is that.
So women, young ladies and girls, let us take our banner which is sagging heavily and hold it straight and high for the Lord. It takes two hands to hold it high and it is impossible to hold it with one hand while the other is weighed down carrying all our cosmetics.
Remember that no sacrifice is too great for Jesus and that we want it to be said of us, we are women after the order of Christ, not of the world.
Just think how much better it would be for the ministers and Bible workers to be able to concentrate on saving souls from perishing in the world, and bringing them into the safety of His church, instead of having to spend precious time keeping worldliness out of the church.
It is interesting to note what the end results were for these two women.
Abigail ended up becoming the wife of one of the most famous kings of Israel, a man after God’s own heart. (1 Samuel 25:39-42).
Jezebel ended up becoming food for some dogs. (2 Kings 9:30, 35-37).
Abigail’s story had a happy ending.
Jezebel’s story had a dreadful ending.
Which ending do we want?
I encourage each and every woman, young lady and girl, to search their heart; ask Jesus to come in and clean every bit of Jezebel out and help us to be more like the truly beautiful woman as was Abigail of old.
Then when Jesus comes He will find in our churches no Jezebels.
May God bless you all.
- The Review and Herald, October 8, 1867
- Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4b p.69.