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2 Kings 9:30-37, Jezebel’s Violent Death

Saturday, November 11

Evil or Not Evil?

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

The horror-flick lover in me loves this story. The evil queen, Jezebel, finally got what she deserved. Some of her servants who stood against her threw her down off a tall building and she splatted on the ground. To make matters worse, horses trampled her and dogs ate what was left of her. A horrifying end to an evil reign.

Now, if you follow me, you know that I generally don't believe there are good people and bad people -- just people who make good decisions and bad ones. But stories like this make me wonder -- it is possible there might be people who are just plain evil? And if so, there are so many questions and so few answers. So maybe today, instead of coming to a conclusion about something, we simply sit with the unanswerable questions instead. Here are some of mine. Sit with them a while and let me know what you think.

What is evil?

  • Is evil sentient? (a being that can think for itself)
  • Is it is demonic entity that takes over an otherwise normal human being?
  • Is it a human so badly damaged that evil behavior is all they can do?

Is there evil in everyone?

  • If so, what determines how much is manifested in a person?
  • Upbringing?
  • Mental Illness?
  • Addiction?
  • Inherent qualities?
  • Possession?

Can evil be cured?

Is there a hell?

  • If so, who goes there? 
  • Who decides who goes there?
  • How much evil is evil enough to earn a spot in hell?
  • How much good is good enough to earn a home in heaven?

Is there a devil?

  • If so, what is the devil's role in our lives?
  • Can we blame all our bad decisions on the devil?
  • Does the devil have any power over us? How so?

If we believe the super-evil (Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer, Osama bin Laden) go to hell, and if evil lives on a spectrum (Hitler at the bottom, Mother Theresa at the top, and me somewhere in the middle), then where on the spectrum does God draw the line between evil-enough-for-hell and good-enough-for-heaven?

  • Which side of the line am I on?
  • How do I know?

Let me know what you think. Happy hauntings.

Narrative Lectionary Text: 2 Kings 9:30-37

When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; she painted her eyes, and adorned her head, and looked out of the window. As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?” He looked up to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked out at him. He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down; some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, which trampled on her. Then he went in and ate and drank; he said, “See to that cursed woman and bury her; for she is a king’s daughter.” But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. When they came back and told him, he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, ‘In the territory of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; the corpse of Jezebel shall be like dung on the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel.’”