Against the Grain – Bad Girls of the Bible

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Jezebel is probably the ultimate Bad Girl of the Bible. When I think of her, the image that pops up is Cruella de Vil. Both women were powerful, rich, beautiful, and willing to destroy anything that stood in the way of what they wanted. Who thinks making a coat out of puppies is OK? The same type of woman who thinks it’s OK to sacrifice a child to a pagan god. The type of woman who has an innocent man killed because her husband is pouting about not getting what he wants.

Contrast this with another woman I have been reading about lately, Corrie ten Boom, the antithesis of Jezebel. She lived a quiet life with her father and older sister in Holland in the 1930s. She worked at her father’s watch shop and helped people with developmental disabilities. When WWII broke out, she helped run an underground network to relocate Jewish people fleeing for their lives. She and her entire family were arrested. Eventually, she and her sister, Betsie, were transferred to the lice and flea-infested Ravensbruck concentration camp where they spent their time in a living hell, ministering to the women in the camp. While there, Corrie learned to “thank God for the fleas.

Last weekend, our guest speaker, Amy Seiffert, shared that our influences promote worship. Jezebel was influenced by all life could offer. She had everything she wanted, and yet when all was said and done, her eunuchs threw her from her tower for her body to be trampled by horses and eaten by animals (2 Kings 9:32-37).

Corrie, on the other hand, lived a seemingly insignificant life until she was past middle age. She faithfully served those whom she encountered on a daily basis and stood up for God’s people even when those around her bowed to the culture around them. She endured hate and torture yet remained faithful to her God and what he called her to do. She lived to pass on forgiveness to those who tortured her and hope to those ravaged by war. She died peacefully at 91 in her sleep. She is still impacting lives today through the words of her book, The Hiding Place.

What are you worshipping?

What influences your daily life right now?

What will your life be like tomorrow based on your influences today?

The world will tell you that you need to fight for your rights, that you deserve to live a good life, and that it doesn’t matter who you have to destroy to get there. We live in a culture of self-worship. A world where children are an inconvenience and helping those in need comes only after we take care of ourselves. Bloggers, social media voices, and media moguls all encourage us to take care of number one.

But that’s not what Jesus calls us to do. Jesus calls us to be humble, to put the needs of others before our own.

Matthew 19:28-30
28 Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.

What are the influences in your life today? What voices are you listening to on a daily basis that shape your view of how you should be living? What will your tomorrow look like based on who you are listening to today?

Next Steps:
Make a list of your influences. After you have your list, think through what messages they are sending you and what direction your life will go if you continue to follow them.

Heavenly Father, thank you for providing examples in the Bible of the good and the bad. Thank you for showing me your truths through the lives of real people so that I can learn from them and change my life to better reflect your promises. Forgive me for blindly following the voices of our culture, and help me to stand up for what is right and true. Give me the courage to shut off the voices leading me away from you and to embrace a counter-cultural lifestyle. Thank you for your strength to persevere through trials, and thank you for promising that my suffering in this life is not in vain. Amen.

This post was written by Julie Mabus. Julie has a passion for thinking about big ideas, art, reading, and seeing God reveal himself through creation. She is married and is homeschooling her five young children.

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1 reply
  1. Julie Estep
    Julie Estep says:

    Spot on Julie! Sometimes I struggle watching the “haves” while feeling like a “have not”. In my innermost being I am happy for them and know that God is providing everything I need and more! My reassurance comes from reading the LIO and study and music and prayer and worship! Thank you for writing today!

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