“Confronting Jezebel” by Steve Sampson is a balanced discussion of a topic that I used to cringe about as a teen. Maybe it was just the circle that I grew up in, but back in the 90’s “Jezebel spirit” seemed to be a phrase that generally got thrown at any woman who was perceived as some kind of threat to the old established church order. Perhaps that’s why I couldn’t quite decide if I wanted to read this book or not. I am thankful that I did, however, as I appreciated not only Sampson’s balanced perspective – (a Jezebel can be either male or female) – but the helpful insights on how a Jezebel operates, how to avoid falling for his or her schemes, and how to confront a person who truly is a Jezebel.
Sampson did a great job using engaging stories that demonstrate how a Jezebel spirit can operate through people, in relationships, and within churches. He clearly delineated between a control freak and a Jezebel- those who struggle with wanting to be in control of their own life and have difficulty surrendering to God versus those who want to control other people’s lives, and its critical to keep this clarification in mind as you read, because you’ll find yourself thinking of every remotely controlling person you know (yourself included) and wondering if they’re perhaps a “Jezebel.” After reading this book I can definitively say I have had experience with at least two very real “Jezebels” (and unfortunately have seen firsthand the devastation they can cause) and this book did help me understand some of the methods that Jezebels use to control and manipulate others, and how I can protect myself from getting sucked into those traps. I also appreciated how Sampson challenged the reader at the end of each chapter to take time to pray and examine areas where he or she may be operating under a Jezebel spirit; that was helpful and needed, as it was all to easy to contemplate the traits of other people I knew without looking inward and assessing myself.
Be warned though, that there are a number of instances where the author took shortcuts in addressing theologically tricky issues or he simply avoided them altogether. For instance, while I don’t argue with the premise, I felt that Sampson failed to give a thorough explanation for how a true Christian can be completely carnally minded and vulnerable to demonic strongholds in her life (pg. 30). That’s a huge theological issue that deserves more than a casual paragraph. The reader should not be expected to just accept that it is so, on the contrary, the author should be expected to take the time to make the case for how a Christian can be born-again and yet be altogether spiritually blinded. Along these lines Sampson doesn’t address how a Christian can be completely controlled by a demonic spirit. When he points out that you can’t just cast out a Jezebel spirit, and that he’s rarely seen a person completely delivered from one (because it becomes so much a part of one’s personality), this leads to more questions, such as the discussion of what exactly the Jezebel spirit is. Is it a demon? A principality? What’s the difference between the two? These issues are not succinctly clarified. In chapter 3 Sampson essentially equates every form of immorality in our society today to the Jezebel spirit, with the result that the Jezebel spirit pretty much cancels out Satan and any other demonic influence. My final criticism is that Sampson has a habit of making a theological statement and then inserting a random scripture that is remotely related to his point – or he inserts the scripture as if it makes the point without further discussion. Yes, you could accuse me of being too nitpicky, but it felt arbitrary, as opposed to being a purposeful use of Scripture in context as a foundation for his argument. But let’s end on a positive. Should you read this book? Yes – and yes especially if, like me you grew up with the feeling that the church elders were whispering “Jezebel” behind the back of every woman who desired that God use them as more than a body on a pew. Its time for a healthier perspective of what this spirit really is. Yes too, if you are in the clutches of a manipulative user and you don’t know what to do. And yes, by all means yes, you should read this book of you know that you are the manipulative user and God is calling you to confront it and repent.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.