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Bible Pathways 05/04/2002

May 04

Read 2 Kings 9 -- 10

In Today's Reading:

Jehu anointed King of Israel; Jehu kills Joram (Jehoram) and Ahaziah; Jezebel killed; Ahab's family killed; Baal worshipers executed.

Verse for Today:

Jehu took no heed to walk in the Law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin (2 Kings 10:31).

The Northern Kingdom of Israel zealously promoted Baal worship, which had been initiated by Jezebel, the wife of Ahab. Baal worship had also become popular in the Southern Kingdom of Judah due to its king, who had married Jezebel's evil daughter Athaliah. Their son Ahaziah was just as wicked.

During this time of critical spiritual decline, the Lord was preparing Jehu, the military commander of the armies of the Northern Kingdom, as His instrument of judgment. God revealed to Elijah that Jehu would become King of Israel (1 Kings 19:16). Perhaps 20 years passed before the Lord directed Elisha to send a young prophet east of the Jordan River to Ramoth-gilead where Jehu was stationed with his army. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the Lord, even over Israel. And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets. . . . For the whole house of Ahab shall perish (2 Kings 9:6-8).

King Joram (Jehoram) a son of Ahab and Jezebel had been wounded in battle by the Syrians (2 Kings 8:28; 9:15-16) and was recovering from his wounds in Jezreel. Joram's nephew Ahaziah, King of Judah, went up to see him. At this time, Jehu told his fellow officers that he had been anointed King of Israel by a prophet of God. They immediately proclaimed him king. He then crossed the Jordan and furiously drove his chariot to Jezreel. Jehu first executed Joram (Jehoram), King of Israel, and then Ahaziah, King of Judah. Then Jehu had Jezebel thrown out of a window and he trampled her with his horse. And, as had been foretold by Elijah, the dogs ate her body (9:33-37).

Jehu zealously executed all the priests and followers of Baal in the Northern Kingdom. He also executed all the family of Ahab in Samaria (10:16-28). However, Athaliah (1 Kings 21:17-24), the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, continued to zealously promote Baal worship in Judah. A failure of Jehu was that he did not abolish the golden calf worship at Bethel. He had bragged to Jehonadab: Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord (2 Kings 10:16). But Jehu's zeal for the Lord was just enough to achieve his own selfish ends. There was much that appeared to be right about Jehu and his 28-year reign over Israel (10:36); but there was also much that was wrong. This illustrates that it is possible for one who was never truly in submission to Christ as Lord of his life to be used by God. Hypocrites serve the Lord, but only for their self-interests.

The Lord God is a Sun (to enlighten) and Shield (to protect): the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly (Psalms 84:11).

Christ Revealed:

Through Elisha who sent one of the sons of the prophets with oil to anoint Jehu (2 Kings 9:1-6). Oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit, and the Lord sent the Holy Spirit to anoint believers (John 14:16=17; 16:13; Acts 1:8; compare 1 Samuel 16:13).

Word Studies:

9:23 treachery = treason; 9:30 tired her head = adorned her hair; 10:3 Look even out the best and meetest = Select the best and most capable; 10:27 draught house = public toilet.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. Jim Greenwood (PA) · Pray for one another · Country: Costa Rica (4 million) in Central America · Major languages: Spanish and English · Religious freedom is increasing · 90% Roman Catholic; 6% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Keep your mind on the Lord and trust Him; He will give you peace (Isaiah 26:3).

Optional Reading: Romans 7

Memory Verse for the Week: Jeremiah 15:16

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