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Tag Archives: Queen Jezebel

S.A.N.S. Episode 148: This Fragile Breath

When I first started teaching Bible to high school students at Red Lion Christian Academy, Todd Agnew released today’s featured song. Whenever This Fragile Breath came on our local Christian radio station, I couldn’t get enough of this song which combines a great beat with biblical lyrics. As this song nears the end, I’m always touched by the extended chorus of “Speak to me; Speak to me please.”

And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice, 1 Kings 19:11.

The context of the passage above occurs as Elijah is battling depression. After receiving a death threat from Queen Jezebel, Elijah stops eating and begins to mope. Whenever I go through difficult periods in life, I’m oblivious to what God is trying to teach me. Sometimes it takes experiencing a natural disaster to open our ears to hearing God’s still small voice. May listening to this classic song draw you closer to God.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 98: The Sound

Today’s song comes from another bargain bin, forgotten and rejected by conservative Christian radio stations. Forever Seems Forever from Pompano Beach, Florida, formed in 1998 as a band that combines classic rock with a modern flavor. Using my theory that groups with an interesting album cover often produces quality music was once again correct with four quality tunes highlighted by the Sound.

And He said, Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord. And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice, 1 Kings 19:11-12.

In the passage above, Elijah is depressed after receiving death threats from Queen Jezebel. Like anyone struggling with depression, Elijah withdrew from people and stopped eating. This is the context where God sends a tornado, earthquake, and fire as Elijah observes from a distance. As each natural disaster is followed by another, this sound gets Elijah’s attention so he’s alert when God’s whispers to him. I hope you enjoy the Sound.

by Jay Mankus

Overcoming a Nervous Breakdown

The definition of a nervous breakdown is a period of mental illness resulting from severe depression, stress, or anxiety. This condition manifests itself primarily as severe stress-induced depression, anxiety or dissociation in a previously functioning individual. If these symptoms continue without any sort of intervention, the afflicted are no longer able to function on a day-to-day basis until this disorder is cured.  During a long cross country practice in high school, I had my own breakdown while running up a hill.

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done and how he had slain all the prophets [of Baal] with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow. Then he was afraid and arose and went for his life and came to Beersheba of Judah [over eighty miles, and out of Jezebel’s realm] and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a lone broom or juniper tree and asked that he might die. He said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am no better than my fathers, 1 Kings 19:1-4.

A mental breakdown is defined by its temporary nature, often closely tied to psychological burnout, severe overwork, sleep deprivation and similar stressors. In the passage above, an Old Testament prophet wasn’t prepared for the revenge sought by Queen Jezebel. After defeating the prophets of Asherah and Baal on Mount Carmel, Elijah may have become over confident, 1 Kings 18:38-40. If I successfully called fire to come down from heaven following a prayer like Elijah, I would feel invincible.

As he lay asleep under the broom or juniper tree, behold, an angel touched him and said to him, Arise and eat. He looked, and behold, there was a cake baked on the coals, and a bottle of water at his head. And he ate and drank and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came the second time and touched him and said, Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you. So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and nights to Horeb, the mount of God, 1 Kings 19:5-8.

Unfortunately, only God knows the future. Thus, when your suffer a surprising defeat, shocking failure or a humiliating lose, it takes time to recover. If a life is lost or a job terminated, the recovery time is often extended to months and years to feel normal again. This is when you need to retreat like Elijah to quiet place, to be still before God, 1 Kings 19:11-13. While the healing process will vary, this is the first step toward overcoming a nervous breakdown.

by Jay Mankus

Re-examining the Anointing of Jehu

Sometimes the message that God is trying to communicate to you doesn’t make sense initially. Take the prophet Elisha for example, who is about to retire, but is called by God to anoint a new king . The passage below details instructions given to Elisha to follow. The first two verses seem clear, but the end of verse three raises some concern. “Why is God telling me to run? What is going to happen immediately following my anointing for me to flee?”

And Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets and said to him, Gird up your loins, take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead. When you arrive, look there for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi; and go in and have him arise from among his brethren and lead him to an inner chamber. Then take the cruse of oil and pour it on his head and say, Thus says the Lord: I have anointed you king over Israel. Then open the door and flee; do not tarry, 2 Kings 9:1-3.

During the anointing of Jehu, Elisha reveals several accomplishments that this new king will fulfill during his reign. One of these promises is to overthrow queen Jezebel. Perhaps inspired by this prophecy, Jehu doesn’t waste anytime. The passage below details Jehu’s encounter with Jezebel. Jehu’s call to action was simple, “who is on God’s side?” Two of the three body guards of Jezebel, knowing of her evil deeds, took Jehu’s advice, throwing Jezebel off a balcony, falling to her death.

Now when Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and beautified her head and looked out of [an upper] window. 31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, [Have you come in] peace, you Zimri, who slew his master? 32 Jehu lifted up his face to the window and said, Who is on my side? Who? And two or three eunuchs looked out at him. 33 And he said, Throw her down! So they threw her down, and some of her blood splattered on the wall and on the horses, and he drove over her, 2 Kings 9:30-33.

While the example I have chosen is extreme, procrastination is a major factor that prevents many individuals from achieving their full potential. A sense of urgency is rarely demonstrated. People pften fall into the trap, “I have plenty of time to do this or that.” Yet, as each passing day goes by without acting, time becomes your enemy. As I re-examine the anointing of Jehu, the call for action should be for today, not tomorrow. Don’t second guess yourself. Rather, seize the day just as King Jehu was a man of action.

by Jay Mankus

The Great Mirage

Based upon my recent studies, it appears that several leaders went through desert periods in their lives.  Moses wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, teased by a promise he never experienced, Deuteronomy 34:1-4.  After being anointed by Samuel as the next king of Israel, David was forced to flee to the Cave of Adullam in 1 Samuel 22:1-2, running for his life from king Saul. Prophets weren’t even immune as Elijah hid from Jezebel once news spread of her death threat on his life, 1 Kings 19:1-2.

The great mirage in life is that other people have it better than you.  Your mind convinces you that no one understands, no one knows the pain you bear and the suffering you have endured.  While undergoing a desolate time, in an arid and barren wasteland, Satan deceives us into believing this lie.  Meanwhile, false hope serves as an hallucination, an optical illusion that leaves you in worst shape, doubting God’s presence and power.  When your expectations are shattered, a delusional spirit toys with you until you become numb, dis-heartened and pessimistic.

The only way to escape this mirage is by reflecting upon the reason you have entered this place.  John the Baptist went into a desert region to fulfill God’s will, Mark 1:4.  Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to fast and pray for his 3 year ministry on earth, Mark 1:12-13.  Once your mind shifts from why me God to what are you preparing for me next, this great mirage can transform into a promised land.  May God unveil the truth of the Bible, 2 Corinthians 4:4, so that you can be set free from the disappointment of the great mirage.

by Jay Mankus

From a Mountain Top to the Valley of Despair

Throughout the course of history, unusual events have occurred which defy the laws of gravity.  Skeptics argue that reality has been embellished, like a fishing story, changing each time it is told.  Meanwhile, just when it appears you understand the mind of God, a twist of fate leaves you dumbfounded, unable to comprehend why something happened.

On top of Mount Carmel, like a classic western movie, Elijah challenges King Ahab’s prophets to a duel.  However, guns are replaced by fire, with the winner burning up the hopes of the loser’s god.  According to 1 Kings 18:36-39, Elijah was victorious as the Lord God answered his prayer, sending fire from heaven to consume a sacrifice soaked in water.  Unfortunately, this mountain top experience was short lived.

When a king is publicly embarrassed, it usually doesn’t go well for the man that brought him disgrace.  Being a poor loser, King Ahab complains to his wife, the most wicked woman in the kingdom, 1 Kings 19:1.  Not ready to accept defeat, Queen Jezebel fires back with a death threat, vowing to send a hitman to kill Elijah, 1 Kings 19:2.  Forgetting the power of God, Elijah ran down the mountain into a valley of despair, wanting to die than face this trial, 1 Kings 19:3-4.

The average person lives in this valley, where heartbreak, pain and setbacks are a daily occurrence.  A spirit of depression hovers over this valley, like a stationary dark cloud, waiting for winds of change.  However, the forecast for change looks bleak, leaving a state of hopelessness in your heart.

Dr. Love sends a messenger with a recipe for healing in 1 Kings 19:5-9.  Thinking out of the box, God sends an angel to fulfill this subscription of sleep.  Although Solomon urges people to avoid slumber in Proverbs, sometimes the best thing for depression is rest.  Getting up twice to eat, the food draws Elijah back into a deep sleep.  Once revitalized, its time to go back up the mountain.

Whether you are presently on the mountain top, half way or in the valley, God’s voice is only a whisper away, 1 Kings 19:10-13.  However, we need to get our lives straightened out before you can have full reception, Isaiah 1:15.  If you follow the directions in Isaiah 1:16-17, there is a wonderful promise of hope.  Don’t delay in fulfilling; Come reason with God today so you can rise on wings like eagles to the peak, Isaiah 40:31.

by Jay Mankus

Give Me A Clue Lord

Sometimes I feel as if life is an endless game show filled with segments of CharadesHangman and Wheel of Fortune.  Like a Nickelodeon late night rerun, I have moments where I feel as if I am acting out life just as God intended.  Unfortunately, there are other choices, decisions and errors I make which put me one step closer to game over.  Or there are days like today in which I am compelled to buy a vowel so I can begin to solve the puzzle staring at me.  In other words, give me a clue Lord.

The prophet Elijah had similar feelings in 1 Kings 19:10.  After receiving a death threat from Queen Jezebel, Elijah literally runs for his life without crying out to the Lord in prayer.  While on the run, Elijah begins to feel all alone, as if there is no one else on earth who understands what he is going through.  In this desperate state, the Lord gives Elijah a series of clues to bring him back on track, 1 Kings 19:11-13.

Besides fasting, prayer and reading the Bible, there is one clue most believers fail to notice or recognize, the whisper of God.  No, I am not talking about The Sixth Sense scene when Cole says, “I see dead people!”  Rather, I am referring to God’s still small voice, similar to a sheep being able to recognize their shepherd’s voice, John 10:4-5.  If you are paying attention to your surroundings, alert and sober, you will be more likely to discern what God wants you to do, respond or say, leading to more clues.

Like the search in the first National Treasure film, your quest for life’s answers can lead you on a wild goose chase.  In fact, those around you may even try to convince you to quit, giving up before you obtain your dream.  Nonetheless, this is when you have to dig down deep, cling to what you know is right and follow the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25.  There will be distractions along the way, Matthew 7:13-14, but if you fully obey God’s commands, these clues will lead you to a promised land, Deuteronomy 28:1-2.

by Jay Mankus

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