The Old Testament can be perplexing to most people and even to Christians that have studied the Bible. It’s a complex work of narrative, poetry, and symbolism that sometimes makes us scratch our heads and wonder what this means. I recently listened to a podcast by Wrath & Grace called “Redemption is R Rated”. I highly recommend this if you’ve never listened or thought through some of the implications of a “sanitary” Bible and the raw and gritty truths of what Scripture teaches us.
This post wants to focus on the narrative of a particular story about a king named Jehu. It was going well for Jehu, he was taking care of business, so to speak, and tearing down the idols of Baal and apparently, he had honorable intentions.
He was a clever guy and he gathered all the worshipers and servants of the false god and gathered them up to destroy them. This was God’s design to purify His people. These accounts can be sensitive to our modern ears but that’s for another day.
He was zealous for the work of God. Or so it seemed…
And the Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.” But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin. 2 Kings 10:30-31
Commentor A.L. Gordon remarks:
For what is here recorded of Jehu, we may draw another valuable lesson. We see a man zealous in the cause of religion, pursuing the enemies of God, and made the instrument of fulfilling upon them his righteous purposes. But how manifest in all his doings is the influence of a self-seeking, an ostentatious, and a worldly spirit, and how great reason is there for believing that, while accomplishing the designs of God, he himself would yet be a castaway!
What a tragedy. Jehu had a great opportunity to fulfill God’s plan and to set himself up as a great king but yet the trappings of the world pulled him away. We can also see that God was faithful to Jehu’s progeny. Isn’t that interesting? Because of Jehu’s obedience in destroying the worshipers of Baal, the Lord blessed his family but yet the true affections of Jehu’s heart were not drawn to the Lord.
Perhaps we can apply this to our own lives and also to those around us in our religious circles and communities. We should examine the lives of those that are in leadership to see that they are holding to a pattern of sound leadership and not straying from the path of true devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, what a fearful thing for those that don’t.