Thursday, June 21, 2012

Jehu and the Worshipers of Baal

This morning as I am peeling through 2 Kings 10 I see almost an unreal account of the life of Jehu and I am reminded of how serious God takes idol worship.  

[18] Then Jehu assembled all the people and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him much. [19] Now therefore call to me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests. Let none be missing, for I have a great sacrifice to offer to Baal. Whoever is missing shall not live.” But Jehu did it with cunning in order to destroy the worshipers of Baal. [20] And Jehu ordered, “Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal.” So they proclaimed it. [21] And Jehu sent throughout all Israel, and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. And they entered the house of Baal, and the house of Baal was filled from one end to the other. [22] He said to him who was in charge of the wardrobe, “Bring out the vestments for all the worshipers of Baal.” So he brought out the vestments for them. [23] Then Jehu went into the house of Baal with Jehonadab the son of Rechab, and he said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search, and see that there is no servant of the LORD here among you, but only the worshipers of Baal.” [24] Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings.
Now Jehu had stationed eighty men outside and said, “The man who allows any of those whom I give into your hands to escape shall forfeit his life.” [25] So as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guard and to the officers, “Go in and strike them down; let not a man escape.” So when they put them to the sword, the guard and the officers cast them out and went into the inner room of the house of Baal, [26] and they brought out the pillar that was in the house of Baal and burned it. [27] And they demolished the pillar of Baal, and demolished the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day.  (2 Kings 10:18-27 ESV)

Here are some observations and applications from the text.

First, Jehu is zealous for the Lord...or is he?
Many believe that Jehu was out for selfish gain.  "The end justified the means in Jehu’s mind, so he felt no qualms of conscience when he deliberately lied to the people and claimed to be more ardent in his worship of Baal than was Ahab. He was joined in this plot by Jehonadab, a dedicated Jew who was anxious to rid the land of idolatry.
Warren W. Wiersbe, Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1993), 2 Ki 9:14–10:28.
One could make an argument for either case, but I do believe that Jehu had selfish motives and that bearing false witness NEVER pleases the Lord.  (That is an entire different topic for another day)

Matthew Henry also comments on this account in scripture.   [16] And he said, (Jehu) “Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD.” (2 Kings 10:16 ESV) This is commonly taken as not well said by Jehu, and as giving cause to suspect that his heart was not right with God in what he did, and that the zeal he pretended for the Lord was really zeal for himself and his own advancement. 
Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible : Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996), 2 Ki 10:15–28.

Do you perform seeking advancement?  Working hard is not a bad thing, but are you doing your work to glorify the Lord?

Second, what are our heart motives?
Obviously Jehu had some issues with his heart as we all do.  This challenged me to think about my heart motives.  For example, why do I do the things that I do?  Is my motivation the genuine concern for the lost or the brethren?  Perhaps we look at this story in this light, the end justifies the means?  The truth is that what we do and how we accomplish things in life speaks volumes about our relationship with the Lord.

When we serve and worship God, what are our motives?

Lastly, I am personally challenged to rid my life of idols and to be challenged by close friends concerning my priorities.  Idol worship, specifically Baal worship, was rampant in Israel in this day.  This was an attempt to not only end the influence Ahab had, but to begin to rid the land of idol worshipers as defined by the mosaic law.  "The human heart is a factory of idols." (John Calvin)

I want to battle against idols in my own life and I want to lead my family to prioritize our lives around the example we see from the Word of God!  

[4] “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. [5] You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. [6] And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. [7] You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  (Deuteronomy 6:4-7 ESV)


Father God, I thank you for another day.  I thank you for my salvation and because of your great love for me, God help me to love others.  Help me to lead my family well, continue to convict my heart as I falter in this area of my life.  Help me to fight against apathy.  Help me to be content.  Remind me that at the end of my time on this earth the things that matter most - my relationship with You and love for your Word, the love and investment in my wife, my family and my ministry will be the things that will last.  Help me to lead and leave a legacy of my love for you in the lives of my wife, children, the brethren and the lost for your ultimate glory. God, I desire the ultimate level of obedience in my life.  May I suffer well for the sake of the gospel.  Amen

No comments:

Post a Comment