Jehu: Zeal For The Lord
“Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD.”
II Kings 10:16
- Having considered zeal for the Lord in our first assembly, let us consider an obvious example of it.
- By faith the elders obtained a good report, and their deeds give us great examples (Heb 11:1-2), for the “Hall of Faith” is a cloud of witnesses to our own races in following Jesus Christ (Heb 12:1-3).
- Good men and women, or their good deeds, are to be emulated and followed (I Cor 4:16; 11:1; II Cor 9:2; Phil 3:17; I Thess 1:6; II Thess 3:7; Jas 5:10-11; Heb 13:7; I Pet 3:6; etc.).
- We use Jehu to see an example of zeal and apply that zeal to errors in our lives, families, or church.
- While some commentators and expositors criticize Jehu for self-righteous pride and excessive zeal in exterminating Baal worship in the manner he did, we will accept the Lord’s judgment (II Kgs 10:30).
- His statement to Jehonadab (10:16) is no more than David (Ps 101:1-8) or Paul (I Cor 15:10), and there is nothing self-righteous or proud about any of them. Jehonadab, a godly man, accepted it.
- His deceit of Baal worshippers (10:18,25) is no more than Rahab (Jas 2:25), Samuel (I Sam 16:1-5), David (I Sam 21:13), Ehud (Judges 3:15-26), Micaiah (I Kgs 22:15,22), and Hushai (II Sam 7:7-13), among many others who deceived to save life or destroy wicked men who preferred lies.
The BACKGROUND OF JEHU presents the historical setting for his life.
- After Solomon’s apostasy, the nation was divided into two with separate kings and capitals.
- Rehoboam became king of Judah with his capital at Jerusalem (I Kings 12:18-19).
- Jeroboam became king of Israel with the capital later at Samaria (I Kings 16:24,28).
- While Jeroboam was wicked (I Kings 12:25-33), the dynasty of Omri was worse (16:25-28).
- Ahab, the son of Omri, married Jezebel and established Baal worship (I Kings 16:29-33).
- Ahab and Jezebel’s murder of Naboth led to their ordained judgment by God (I Kgs 21).
- Jehu was a captain of Israel’s army while Joram and Ahaziah were over the two nations.
- Jehoram, king of Israel, was Ahab’s son and followed his evil conduct (II Kgs 3:1-3).
- Ahaziah, king of Judah, was Ahab’s grandson and lived like him (II Kings 8:25-26).
- Ahaziah, being the son of Jehoram’s sister Athaliah, was the nephew of Jehoram.
- Both kings were together in Jezreel after a joint war against Syria (II Kgs 8:28-29).
- Due to the evil of Omri and Ahab, God dropped three ancestors of Christ’s line (Mat 1:8).
The CALLING OF JEHU covers his appointment as King by Elisha (9:1-13).
- The son of the prophet was brave, as this deed was an act of sedition and treason (9:2-3).
- Jehu showed humility by ignoring the address and not boasting of his anointment (9:5,11).
- Yet, the Lord providentially blessed the commission with the loyalty of other captains (9:13).
The SLAYING OF TWO KINGS is Jehu’s first operation of zeal (9:14-29).
- Unlike Gideon, Jehu did not need any fleece to confirm God’s orders (Judges 6:18,27,36-40)!
- He immediately issued an order to keep any news of his revolt from reaching Jezreel, for God had providentially brought both kings into one city for Jehu (9:15-16; II Chron 22:7).
- It is here that we learn of his reputation for enthusiasm and zeal in driving a chariot (9:20).
- His blunt and direct answer to Jehoram fully explained his motive and intentions (9:22).
- Observe that Jehu (1) did the execution himself and (2) did it with his full strength (9:24).
- He is careful to execute the judgment exactly as God had required of Ahab’s sons (9:25-26).
The SLAYING OF JEZEBEL is Jehu’s second operation of zeal (9:30-37).
- He passed Samson and Solomon and others in resisting a woman’s manipulation (9:30-31).
- She used facial makeup and an ornamental headdress to awe Jehu by her royal appearance.
- He ignored her use of history to dissuade him by the fate of Zimri’s revolt (I Kgs 16:12,18).
- Without hesitation, he sought aid in quickly ridding the kingdom of this woman (9:32).
- He shows personal hatred for her wickedness (9:33) and total obedience to God’s will (9:34).
- He relates his work again to the direct and specific directions of God’s prophet (9:10,35-37).
The SLAYING OF TWO FAMILIES is his third operation of zeal (10:1-17).
- He showed great political wisdom in creating a state of fear among his enemies (10:1-4).
- He does not allow for much delay in seeking the final destruction of Ahab’s house (10:6).
- It is hard for us to imagine the general terror of seeing two piles of 35 heads in public (10:8).
- He again showed political wisdom by shifting blame away from those in Jezreel and implicating the rulers of Samaria, which gave further impetus to his national purge (10:9).
- Jehu also destroyed Ahaziah’s brothers, who were traveling to a family reunion (10:12-14).
- Note that Jehu was committed to zeal and a lover of good men (10:15-16 cp Jeremiah 35).
- Jehonadab came to meet him, and they confirmed their mutual respect and agreement.
- Rather than talk about zeal, Jehu proceeded to show Jehonadab is service to Jehovah.
- Two godly men can provoke one another to zeal i.e. Jonathan and David and others.
The RUIN OF BAAL WORSHIP is his fourth operation of zeal (10:18-28).
- Jehu was not beyond lying and offering sacrifice to accomplish God’s purpose (10:18-19,25).
- He did his job thoroughly: all Baal worshippers came without true worshippers (10:20-24).
- He wisely brought forth vestments for the crowd to hinder their self-defense (10:22).
- He charged his men with death if they let one of the Baal worshippers escape (10:24).
- He offered a sacrifice to totally put the crowd at ease and make them feel secure (10:25).
- Jehu profaned Baal by making his temple a draught house – public toilet (10:27; Mat 15:17).
The END OF JEHU is God’s praise of his deeds and his last end (10:29-36).
- God said Jehu did well in doing what was right in His eyes and in His heart, and He gave him a large reward for doing so, putting his sons to the fourth generation on the throne (10:30).
- He showed weakness by not continuing in the law of the Lord with all his heart, and hypocrisy by exterminating one form of idolatry but retaining another form (10:29,31).
- Jehu is often charged from Hosea 1:4 with having done God’s will with ambitious greed.
- God’s instruments of judgment may not deal right in giving punishment, but God will specify the sin for the warning of others in similar situations (II Chr 28:9-11).
- God had a response against Saul and the sons of Zebedee (II Sam 21:1-2; Luke 9:51-56).
- God clearly commended him for his actions, so the judgment is for his hypocrisy (10:29).
The LESSONS OF JEHU are to learn the right things from his zeal and life.
- His zeal, initiative, precise obedience, love of good men, and hatred of evil are to be praised.
- But his lack of continuing in obedience leaves him not much better than the house of Ahab.
- Zealous affection is a good thing, if it continues always, not just under scrutiny (Gal 4:18).
- Note John 8:31-32; Acts 13:43; 14:22; Rom 2:7; 11:22; Col 1:23; I Tim 2:15; 4:16; Jas 1:25.
- God is calling you today … what do you have in your life that needs to be a draught house?