“I have given her (Jezebel) time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.” Revelation 2:21
Jezebel in the Old Testament was a particularly evil woman. She killed the Lord’s prophets (1 Kings 18:4). In the letter to the church at Thyatira, we are told there was someone leading the church astray who is referred to as Jezebel (Revelation 2). This probably wasn’t their real name but rather a description of their behaviour. Interestingly enough the Lord says, “I have given her time to repent”. Even someone as evil as Jezebel is given time to repent. However, if she doesn’t repent consequences will follow.
From a human perspective, we often struggle to know how to respond to a “Jezebel”. Sometimes we give them no time to repent or we give them too much time and never call them to account. At such times, more than ever, we rely on God’s guidance and direction.
Yet, perhaps the main point here is how amazingly gracious God is. We see it over and over again in the Bible, even in the Old Testament. God said he wouldn’t destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if he could find a mere ten righteous people (Genesis 18:32). God sent Jonah to Nineveh, a brutal and violent people, saying “should I not have concern for the great city Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people” (Jonah 4:11). And most shockingly of all, the story of Hosea. God told Hosea to buy back his prostitute wife to be a living example to Israel of how much God loves his people. Do we really appreciate the depths of God’s forgiveness to those who seek it?
God always gives us time to repent, then he waits for us to respond.