Did sell himself to work wickedness - He hired himself to the devil for this very purpose, that he might work wickedness. This was to be his employment, and at this he labored.
In the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up - A good wife is from the Lord; a bad wife is from the devil: Jezebel was of this kind; and she has had many successors.
God never designed that one man's mind or judgment should be a controlling power. Whenever He has had a special work to be done, He has always had men ready to meet the demand. In every age, when the divine voice has asked, Who will go for us? the response has come, “Here am I, send me.” In ancient times the Lord had connected with His work men of varied talents. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses with his meekness and wisdom, and Joshua with his varied capabilities were all enlisted in God's service. The music of Miriam, the courage and piety of Deborah, the filial affection of Ruth, the obedience and faithfulness of Samuel—all were needed. Elijah with his stern traits of character, God used at His appointed time to execute judgment upon Jezebel. RC 319.2Read in context »
Two years before the death of Asa, Ahab began to rule in the kingdom of Israel. From the beginning his reign was marked by a strange and terrible apostasy. His father, Omri, the founder of Samaria, had “wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that were before him” (1 Kings 16:25); but the sins of Ahab were even greater. He “did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him,” acting “as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.” Verses 33, 31. Not content with encouraging the forms of religious service followed at Bethel and Dan, he boldly led the people into the grossest heathenism, by setting aside the worship of Jehovah for Baal worship. PK 114.1
Taking to wife Jezebel, “the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians” and high priest of Baal, Ahab “served Baal, and worshiped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria.” Verses 31, 32. PK 114.2
Not only did Ahab introduce Baal worship at the capital city, but under the leadership of Jezebel he erected heathen altars in many “high places,” where in the shelter of surrounding groves the priests and others connected with this seductive form of idolatry exerted their baleful influence, until well-nigh all Israel were following after Baal. “There was none like unto Ahab,” who “did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.” 1 Kings 21:25, 26. PK 114.3Read in context »
The evil influence that Jezebel had exercised from the first over Ahab continued during the later years of his life and bore fruit in deeds of shame and violence such as have seldom been equaled in sacred history. “There was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.” PK 204.1Read in context »