Jehu: Zeal For The Lord



“Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD.”

II Kings 10:16


  1. Having considered zeal for the Lord in our first assembly, let us consider an obvious example of it.
  2. 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).
  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.).
  4. We use Jehu to see an example of zeal and apply that zeal to errors in our lives, families, or church.
  5. 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).
    1. 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.
    2. 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.

  1. After Solomon’s apostasy, the nation was divided into two with separate kings and capitals.
    1. Rehoboam became king of Judah with his capital at Jerusalem (I Kings 12:18-19).
    2. Jeroboam became king of Israel with the capital later at Samaria (I Kings 16:24,28).
  2. While Jeroboam was wicked (I Kings 12:25-33), the dynasty of Omri was worse (16:25-28).
    1. Ahab, the son of Omri, married Jezebel and established Baal worship (I Kings 16:29-33).
    2. Ahab and Jezebel’s murder of Naboth led to their ordained judgment by God (I Kgs 21).
    3. Jehu was a captain of Israel’s army while Joram and Ahaziah were over the two nations.
      1. Jehoram, king of Israel, was Ahab’s son and followed his evil conduct (II Kgs 3:1-3).
      2. Ahaziah, king of Judah, was Ahab’s grandson and lived like him (II Kings 8:25-26).
      3. Ahaziah, being the son of Jehoram’s sister Athaliah, was the nephew of Jehoram.
      4. Both kings were together in Jezreel after a joint war against Syria (II Kgs 8:28-29).
    4. 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).

  1. The son of the prophet was brave, as this deed was an act of sedition and treason (9:2-3).
  2. Jehu showed humility by ignoring the address and not boasting of his anointment (9:5,11).
  3. 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).

  1. Unlike Gideon, Jehu did not need any fleece to confirm God’s orders (Judges 6:18,27,36-40)!
  2. 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).
  3. It is here that we learn of his reputation for enthusiasm and zeal in driving a chariot (9:20).
  4. His blunt and direct answer to Jehoram fully explained his motive and intentions (9:22).
  5. Observe that Jehu (1) did the execution himself and (2) did it with his full strength (9:24).
  6. 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).

  1. He passed Samson and Solomon and others in resisting a woman’s manipulation (9:30-31).
  2. She used facial makeup and an ornamental headdress to awe Jehu by her royal appearance.
  3. He ignored her use of history to dissuade him by the fate of Zimri’s revolt (I Kgs 16:12,18).
  4. Without hesitation, he sought aid in quickly ridding the kingdom of this woman (9:32).
  5. He shows personal hatred for her wickedness (9:33) and total obedience to God’s will (9:34).
  6. 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).

  1. He showed great political wisdom in creating a state of fear among his enemies (10:1-4).
  2. He does not allow for much delay in seeking the final destruction of Ahab’s house (10:6).
  3. It is hard for us to imagine the general terror of seeing two piles of 35 heads in public (10:8).
  4. 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).
  5. Jehu also destroyed Ahaziah’s brothers, who were traveling to a family reunion (10:12-14).
  6. Note that Jehu was committed to zeal and a lover of good men (10:15-16 cp Jeremiah 35).
    1. Jehonadab came to meet him, and they confirmed their mutual respect and agreement.
    2. Rather than talk about zeal, Jehu proceeded to show Jehonadab is service to Jehovah.
    3. 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).

  1. Jehu was not beyond lying and offering sacrifice to accomplish God’s purpose (10:18-19,25).
  2. He did his job thoroughly: all Baal worshippers came without true worshippers (10:20-24).
    1. He wisely brought forth vestments for the crowd to hinder their self-defense (10:22).
    2. He charged his men with death if they let one of the Baal worshippers escape (10:24).
    3. He offered a sacrifice to totally put the crowd at ease and make them feel secure (10:25).
  3. 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).

  1. 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).
  2. 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).
  3. Jehu is often charged from Hosea 1:4 with having done God’s will with ambitious greed.
    1. 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).
    2. God had a response against Saul and the sons of Zebedee (II Sam 21:1-2; Luke 9:51-56).
    3. 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.

  1. His zeal, initiative, precise obedience, love of good men, and hatred of evil are to be praised.
  2. But his lack of continuing in obedience leaves him not much better than the house of Ahab.
  3. Zealous affection is a good thing, if it continues always, not just under scrutiny (Gal 4:18).
  4. 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.
  5. God is calling you today … what do you have in your life that needs to be a draught house?