2 KINGS 10, 2 TIMOTHY 1, HOSEA 2, PSALM 119:97-120

2 Kings 10:10
"Know then that there shall fall to the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spoke concerning the house of Ahab, for the LORD has done what he said by his servant Elijah."

Jehu is one of the many individuals in the Old Testament I find intriguing. God anointed him king of Israel in 2 Kings 9:6. He is one of three kings (Saul - 1 Samuel 15:1; David - 1 Samuel 16:3, 12-13) in the history of Israel, whom the LORD anointed as king. Two other men, Solomon (1 Chronicles 22:9-10) and Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:31) were given the kingdom by God explicitly but were not anointed as Saul, David, and Jehu.

Scripture introduces Jehu in 1 Kings 19:16-17 when the LORD tells Elijah to anoint him king over Israel. There is no record of Elijah fulfilling that assignment, but Elisha, sent a son of the prophets, to anoint him in 2 Kings 9:1-6. Through this prophet, God told Jehu he would avenge the prophets killed by Jezebel while destroying the house of Ahab.

Jehu takes this command of the LORD seriously. He immediately set out for Jezreel to kill the current king of Israel, Joram, who is Ahab's son. At Jezreel, Jehu kills not only Joram but Ahaziah, the current king of Judah. Interestingly, Ahaziah was Ahab's grandson. Ahaziah's mother was one of Ahab's daughters, Athaliah. Jehu followed up by having Jezebel killed, all of Ahab's relatives, important officials, personal friends, and priests. He also destroyed 42 relatives of Ahaziah who had come to visit Jezebel. Additionally, he had the leaders of Samaria decapitate seventy sons of Ahab. There was not one survivor.

After eliminating the house of Ahab, Jehu turned to the worshipers of Baal. Through deception, he gathered all the priest and worshipers of Baal together, and after removing any servants of the LORD killed everyone in Israel who worshiped Baal. He then destroyed the house of Baal, making it into a latrine. He eliminated every trace of Baal worship in Israel.

Jehu knew the LORD's instruction and acted accordingly. To fulfill His pronouncement against Ahab, Jehu had Joram's body placed in Naboth's vineyard. In 2 Kings 10:16 Jehu told Jehonadab, "Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD." However, like the Jews in Romans 10:2, Jehu's zeal was misdirected, “I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal." (NLT)

Despite all of Jehu's actions, his enthusiasm for the Lord's instruction did not include the one thing the LORD held against all the kings of Israel. Just like Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, Jehu made Israel sin because he did not remove the golden calves in Bethel and Dan. Like Aaron in Exodus 32, Jeroboam sculpted golden calves for the people of Israel to worship (1 Kings 12:28).

A comparison of these two similar events will help us understand Jehu's real zeal. In Exodus 32:26, after Moses confronts the people because of their worship of the golden calf, he stands at the gate of the camp and says, "Who is on the LORD's side? Come to me." Twice, Jehu called people to choose sides: when he had Jezebel thrown out of the window and when he asked the leaders of Samaria to behead Ahab's sons. In both situations, Jehu's question was "Are you on my side." Unlike Moses, Jehu was concerned about his power and reputation, not the LORD's.

Almighty God, throughout history You have raised up men and women to accomplish Your plan and purpose. Some, like Moses, have sought to fulfill Your will for Your glory. Men, like Jehu, desire to achieve what You instruct for their fame and power. Forgive me for being like Jehu by thinking my obedience will produce my elevation instead of wanting Your praise, glory, honor, and power to be recognized. Holy Spirit, please teach me to see my God and Father as worthy of all honor; not trying to gain any for myself.