2 Kings 9-11
Be forewarned, today’s reading gets a little gory. Jehu is charged with wiping out the festering family of Ahab across Israel, and he does his job handily, even going above the call of duty. He not only kills the children of Ahab, but also anyone who serves them. One of Ahab’s most notorious endeavors was introducing Baal-worship to Israel, most famously remembered in the battle at Mount Carmel. Jehu doesn’t simply knock down the altars built to Baal, he goes as far as setting a trap to ambush every last Baal worshipper in Israel. God is pleased with Jehu for fulfilling the prophecies of Elijah, yet the line of Jehu, according to Hosea, is cursed for the massacre (Hosea 1:4). How could God be upset with someone for doing his bidding? Or for even doing more than what was required of him/her? We should always be careful when we are in a position of authority, entering social circles, or making a public declaration of God’s will that we are people above reproach and we are closely sticking to God’s script. Too often, Christians live out the most convenient version of their faith, editing or elaborating to their own tastes. If we are not seeking God fully, especially during the most critical times, we could make curseable, long-term missteps similar to the failings of Jehu.
A Proud Heart
“Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart.” – 2 Kings 10:31
Jehu was crowned King. That was kind of a big deal. This gave him the right to do pretty much anything he wanted to do politically, although not the permission to do so in the eyes of the Lord. It was most likely arrogance that caused him to stumble, to think he could carry out the specific sovereign will of God, yet not keep the moral will of God for his life. No matter what position we assume, we are never above God’s calling for our life, and we are to remain humble, obedient, and as a servant. Everything we have or will ever be belongs to God. Do not get caught up in the title, or the big thing that God has called you to do. Pride does indeed come before the fall, and just as what was intended for evil, God can use for good, what was intended for His glory, can becomes the shoplifted source of our own.
A Sly Mind
“But Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the servants of Baal.” – 2 Kings 10:19b
Jehu acts if he is ready to hand Israel over to Baal worship only to bait and destroy those who came out. While God certainly has no problem with Jehu ending Baal worship, God does take issues with the lie, and most concerningly, these deaths were not justified in the eyes of the Lord as they were called a “massacre” in later scriptures. Jehu used God as an excuse to rid himself of any political opposition that remained. When we think the end justifies the means, we live in a very dangerous territory. We lack principle or order; chaos and anarchy reign. Anything goes. We are essentially saying we know more than God, that the fruition of a thing cannot happen by following His law for our life (there’s a reason!). A simple measurement we can use – if we have to lie to get there, it’s not a God thing. Additionally, if our primary motive is for personal gain, we need to stop and deliberate with God because our mind has become infected with the intentions of our heart.
A Blind Eye
“So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan.” – 2 Kings 10:28,29
Jehu extinguished one specific area of sin while allowing another area, either by omission or encouragement, to continue. Idol worship was still happening in Israel, just the kind that was okay with Jehu. Christians are often guilty of making the same mistakes. We condemn homosexuality, yet remain silent as we watch couple friends divorce in the church. We are quick to call for the end of abortion, but don’t lift a finger to help a needy mother or harbor hate in our hearts, also known as murder according to Jesus. Christians will turn their back on someone who has been imprisoned for a crime, but allow all kinds of things on their screens because it is “entertainment”. Now, I am stereotyping, lumping every Christian into a single pot, but this, too often, is the criticism of those on the outside of our faith. We are hypocrites, specifically the type that are turning a blind eye out of convenience or to afford our own brand of vices, not the more generic kind we all are as sinners. Either remain silent or call it all out. Don’t turn a blind eye to any sin, especially if it lives inside you.
Examine your heart. Inspect your mind and motive. Watch with both eyes open. Be vigilant in these self-inspections to remain faithful to God.
Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Kings+9-11&version=NIV
Tomorrow’s reading will be 2 Kings 12-13 and 2 Chronicles 24 as we continue on the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan