[…] while the Ahab spirit is passive and submissive, it also manipulates others in its unique way to achieve its own goals. […] The Ahab spirit is a controller and a manipulator too, it just doesn’t appear that way so much.
The Free from Ahab miniseries
Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Today it’s time for Part 2 of Free from Ahab, my miniseries on the demonic Ahab spirit.
Today we’ll be taking a basic look at who Ahab was, and what the Ahab spirit acts like now. If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you may remember much of this info from Part 6 of the Cast Down Jezebel miniseries about the Jezebel spirit. Well, the information hasn’t changed since I posted that, of course. So today’s post is a re-post of that, with a few sections being updated and a conclusion section to wrap it all up.
In two weeks (I’m on vacation next week) I’ll have a post going into more detail about the dysfunctional Jezebel-Ahab relationship. How it (dys)functions, and why this match from hell so often forms.
But first, let’s take a look at who King Ahab was and how the demonic spirit named after him manifests.
Who Was King Ahab?
Let’s start with a refresher on who King Ahab was. Ahab was a king of Israel, and the most evil king they ever had—1 Kings 16 famously says of him:
(32) He made an altar for Baal in the Baal temple he had constructed in Samaria. (33) Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to anger the LORD, the God of Israel, than any of Israel’s kings who preceded him.1 Kings 16:32-33 (CEB)
This happened because Ahab married a woman from one of the pagan nations called out by God in Deuteronomy 7:3-4. Ahab married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, the king of the Sidonians. She turned his heart towards Baal and Astarte (the pagan gods of the Canaanite Sidonians) like God said would happen. Jezebel then used her power as queen of Israel to spread Baal and Astarte worship throughout the country. Ahab allowed this as king. Ahab cooperated with the idolatry.
It was only a matter of time before Jezebel would spread pagan worship throughout Israel, happened, because in Ahab, Jezebel had found an easy target for her natural talents of seduction, manipulation, and control.
Ahab’s passivity to his wife allowed corruption to grow unchecked and spread far and wide. As Steve Sampson puts it in his book on Ahab, Discerning and Defeating the Ahab Spirit: “[…] Ahab perpetuated his disobedience [marrying a pagan] by never standing up to Jezebel. Instead, he abdicated to her his God-given authority as king (and husband).” This is the main dynamic between Ahab and Jezebel, even today. A person with an Ahab spirit is passive and submissive to a person with a Jezebel spirit.
With a depressed personality and spirit, the Ahab is easily manipulated by the Jezebel. Seeking its love and acceptance, the Ahab will do whatever the Jezebel wants and give it everything.
Abdicating Power and Authority
Ahab is Jezebel’s enabler, its most important one. Ahab will usually have something Jezebel needs, something Jezebel can exploit or steal. This is why the Ahab spirit and the person carrying it hold a special place of importance in Jezebel’s entourage. One of the most important things Ahab gives up is its authority, as Steve Sampson says above. Jezebel was able to spread her idolatry much further by exploiting her position while Ahab did nothing to stop her.
Jezebel uses Ahab to further its own goals. Ahab will go along with this for a few reasons:
- Ahab seeks Jezebel’s love and approval
- Ahab is passive and carries a spirit of passivity
- Ahab is emotionally wounded and insecure, so its lack of self-confidence makes Ahab use Jezebel and others to fight its battles
- Ahab cannot assertively confront people in general, and uses passive means to achieve its own goals
That final item is an important aspect of Ahab’s personality. Ahab is more than the spirit of the “beta male” or something like that. ‘Beta males’ are total followers without much of an agenda. Ahab does have an agenda and plots of its own, and it will work towards those, but using passive means. As Steve Sampson says:
Ahabs can be just as selfish, controlling, and even manipulative because they give their power away in order to get love in return. Ahab himself did things for Jezebel in order to get what he wanted.Steve Sampson, Discerning and Defeating the Ahab Spirit, Page 30
Ahab does not only use Jezebel to get what it wants either. Ahab is a political creature, building alliances to increase its reach and network of people who might help it. Jennifer LeClaire explains:
The Ahab spirit is a cowering spirit. It will not take a forthright stand for what it believes but will use dishonesty, manipulation, and political alliances to get what it wants. […] Ahab is certainly a master of manipulation in his own right.Jennifer LeClaire, Jezebel’s Puppets, Pages 80-81
Two manipulators. The Ahab spirit is also a master of manipulation, like Jezebel. The manipulation looks different, but that’s all. The Ahab spirit will manipulate stronger parties to do its dirty work for it, so it can get what it wants while also keeping its hands clean.
Covetous, Conniving, Murderous
Ahab and Jezebel are made for each other, since Ahab is as evil as its counterpart. There’s a famous incident in 1 Kings 21 that shows King Ahab and Queen Jezebel’s evil better than any other.
On Ahab’s part, this story shows that Ahab is: Covetous, passive, scheming, and evil (murderous). I will explain this after the story.
I’ll summarize the story of 1 Kings 21:1-16. Then I’ll post a link to Bible Gateway for you to read the whole thing if you like.
A man named Naboth had a vineyard in Jezreel next to Ahab’s palace. Ahab asked to buy it in exchange for a better vineyard or its price in silver. Naboth wouldn’t sell, because the vineyard was his inheritance from his family. Ahab became depressed at this, as verse 4 tells us. Then Jezebel comes in and takes control of the situation. She says, “what are you laying around for?” She mocked Ahab for being the king of Israel and being depressed about being refused the vineyard. She said she would get it herself. She wrote letters, sealed with Ahab’s seal, to the elders of Naboth’s village. She instructed the elders to have men bring false accusations of blasphemy against Naboth, and then have him stoned to death. This happened in verse 13. When the filthy deed was done, Jezebel told Ahab that she got the vineyard for him.
Here’s the full story of 1 Kings 21 (CEB) on Bible Gateway. Choose the Bible version you want to read with the menu at the upper right.
Let’s look at how this story shows the four traits of Ahab I mentioned: Covetous, passive, scheming, and evil (murderous)
- Covetous: Ahab desperately wanted something he couldn’t have
- Passive: Ahab allowed someone else to handle the problem, to fight his battle
- Scheming: Ahab knew that Jezebel would handle it, and he could get what he wanted (accomplish his goals) through her
- Evil: Ahab didn’t care that one of his own subjects had been murdered; he was happy about the vineyard and came out of his depression instead!
Like Ahab wanted that vineyard, the Ahab spirit wants what it can’t have. Focusing on or fantasizing about whatever (or whoever) they can’t have allows the Ahab spirit to grow stronger in someone. Coveting is a major part of Ahab’s emotionally unstable personality. Jonas Clark explains:
Ahab has a coveting spirit and falls into a state of deep depression if he doesn’t get his way. Those with the Ahab spirit suffer with an ongoing struggle with depression. […] Jezebel’s influence on Ahab intensifies his ungodly lust for the possessions of others.Jonas Clark, Jezebel, Seducing Goddess of War, Page 126
For this reason, the Ahab spirit is very enticed by pornography. Pornography breeds attraction to women who aren’t your wife (covetous) and an obsession with sex. The Ahab spirit is a perverse spirit and is attracted by pornography because of it. Viewing pornography is a great way to attract an Ahab spirit into yourself. Pornography is demonic in general and attracts demons, and the Ahab spirit is one of the stronger demons it lures.
The Ahab spirit uses others in its own passive ways. It gathers “yes-men” around it for encouragement and a self-esteem boost since Ahab is emotionally unstable. Its goal is to get others to fight its battles and also get what it wants. Note that Ahab allowing Jezebel to take the vineyard let Ahab get what he wanted while ‘keeping his hands clean,’ although his hands weren’t clean before God. The LORD says as much in 1 Kings 21:19: “[…] This is what the LORD says: So, you’ve murdered and are now taking ownership, are you? Then tell him: This is what the LORD says: In the same place where the dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, they will lick up your own blood.”
Note that God said nothing about Jezebel here. If you hand over your authority to Jezebel like Ahab did, God holds YOU responsible for what it does!
Finally, Ahab is evil. He didn’t care that one of his own subjects had been murdered, all he was thinking about was the vineyard which he happily took ownership of. On top of that is the fact that he tolerated Jezebel, and allowed her to spread her idolatry throughout the land. Never tolerate Jezebel, never cooperate in its sin. Enabling the Jezebel spirit is evil in and of itself.
Anyway, these are the reasons why I say that the Ahab spirit is not like the spirit of a “beta male” or something like that. First there’s the fundamental concept of demonic spirits having no gender. An Ahab spirit can enter a passive, emotionally damaged woman as easily as it can enter such a man. Yes betas are passive, but Ahab is different. Ahab had his own agenda and was using Jezebel in his own way to get what he wanted. Ahab also had no problem doing his royal duties when he had no other choice, such as when he shook off his depression to fight against the Syrians.
It’s important to understand that while the Ahab spirit is passive and submissive, it also manipulates others in its unique way to achieve its own goals. Its own covetous, sinful goals. The Ahab spirit is a controller and a manipulator too, it just doesn’t appear that way so much.
Passivity Is Slavery
Being afflicted by an Ahab spirit is slavery. You will be trapped in passivity, unable to stand up for yourself against others. Someone with a Jezebel spirit will be able to expertly manipulate you. And the Ahab spirit afflicting you will make you hand over everything you have to the Jezebel—money, resources, authority, power, you name it.
Having very little power of your own, you will resort to manipulating others who are stronger than you to achieve your goals. These goals will be sinful and evil, because of the corrupting influence of the Ahab spirit within you. The Ahab spirit is a covetous spirit that enjoys sin just for the sake of enjoying forbidden fruits. This is getting trapped in a downward spiral of sin, and going along with it the whole way. Being too passive to stand up for yourself and break free from it.
It won’t feel good while this is going on either, because the emotionally damaged and unstable Ahab spirit will afflict you with depression and passive, pent-up rage.
This is no way to live, and it’s not what God intended for anybody. The key to throwing off the passive Ahab spirit is learning to live assertively. That’s a topic for a later post.
In two weeks (I’m on vacation next week), we’ll look at how the Ahab and Jezebel spirits work together. We’ll examine the Jezebel-Ahab relationship, and try to understand why these unholy relationships so often form. This dynamic is important to understand, because the Ahab spirit rarely operates solo.
Stay tuned to learn more in two weeks!
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Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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