Last week my daily bible reading took me to 1 Kings and the story of Jezebel. I was reminded of a conversation with my father.
A Synopsis of Jezebel – see Biography for more info
Jezebel was a Phoenician princess in the 9th century who married Ahab, the prince of Israel. Eventually, they ruled as king and queen. Jezebel continued worship the nature god Baal. Her citizens and the Yahweh prophet Elijah despised such actions. Preparing herself to be murdered by General Jehu, she applied makeup and dressed in finery before she was thrown over her balcony and eaten by dogs.
One evening in my late teens, I was getting ready to go out with friends. I my dad looked up from the newspaper he was reading.
“Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.” He said with disappointment.
This line comes from Ecclesiastes 1:2. You can read the entire chapter here.
I stopped, looked at him and said, “That’s great dad. You’re comparing your daughter to a queen who was thrown out a window and eaten by dogs! Nice. “
He went back to reading his paper and I left to meet my friends.
There is a distinction between me and her royal highness, Queen Jezebel. While Queen Jezebel was an evil, murderous, idol worshipper and whore. I, on the other hand, was a virginal teenager with little life experience.
This conversation along with many others is not indicative of the love we had for each other. We were both products of a cult-like church that used shame to control it’s people. My father in turn would use shame to control his children. It rarely worked because he was a softy and his heart really wasn’t in it.
It’s been over 15 years since my dad died, but sometimes when I get dressed up and put on makeup and I can hear his voice, “Vanities, vanities, all is vanity.”