Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 5/4/2001

May 4

Read II Kings 9 -- 10

After Ahab's death, his son Ahaziah reigned over Israel for two years, followed by the 12-year reign of Ahaziah's brother, Jehoram (also known as Joram). These two kings of the Northern Kingdom zealously promoted Baal worship, which had been initiated by their mother Jezebel. Baal worship had also become popular in the Southern Kingdom of Judah due to its king, who was also named Jehoram. He reigned eight years following the death of his godly father King Jehoshaphat. Jehoram, King of the Southern Kingdom, had married Jezebel's daughter Athaliah and their son Ahaziah was equally wicked as his parents.

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 had revealed to Elijah that Jehu would become King of Israel (I 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. The prophet anointed Jehu as King of Israel and the God-appointed executioner of Israel's evil King Jehoram and all the descendants of Ahab.

King Joram (Jehoram) of the Northern Kingdom had been wounded in battle by the Syrians (II Kings 8:28; 9:15-16) and was recovering from his wounds in Jezreel. Joram's (Jehoram) 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 drove his chariots furiously 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 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 (II Kings 10:16-28). He also executed all the family of Ahab in Samaria except Athaliah (I Kings 21:17-24), the daughter of Jezebel, who promoted Baal worship in Judah. Jehu's most sinful failure 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 (II Kings 10:16). But Jehu's zeal for the Lord was just enough to achieve his own selfish ends. Jehu took no heed to walk in the Law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart: for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin (10:31-32). There was much that appeared to be right about Jehu and his 28-year reign over Israel; but there was also much that was wrong. This illustrates that it is possible for one to be used by God and yet never be in submission to Christ as Lord of one's life. Hypocrites serve the Lord for their own 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 (II Kings 9:1-6). Oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit, and the Lord sent the Holy Spirit to anoint the Church (Acts 1:8; compare I Sam. 16:13).

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


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Optional Reading: Romans 7

Memory Verse for the Week: James 5:16

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