God is not the author of any man’s sin,
but even by that which men do from bad principles,
He serves His own purposes and takes vengeance on those who have defied Him.
II Kings 1
1 And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab’s children, saying,
2 Now as soon as this letter cometh to you, seeing your master’s sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour;
3 Look even out the best and meetest of your master’s sons, and set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.
4 But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?
5 And he that was over the house, and he that was over the city, the elders also, and the bringers up of the children, sent to Jehu, saying, We are thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou that which is good in thine eyes.
6 Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master’s sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king’s sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up.
7 And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king’s sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel.
8 ¶ And there came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king’s sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning.
9 And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye be righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these?
10 Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spake concerning the house of Ahab: for the LORD hath done that which he spake by his servant Elijah.
11 So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
12 ¶ And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. And as he was at the shearing house in the way,
13 Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are ye? And they answered, We are the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen.
14 And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, even two and forty men; neither left he any of them.
15 ¶ And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot.
16 And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot.
17 And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the LORD, which he spake to Elijah.
18 ¶ And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.
19 Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtilty, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal.
20 And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it.
21 And Jehu sent through all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was full from one end to another.
22 And he said unto him that was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments.
23 And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but the worshippers of Baal only.
24 And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed fourscore men without, and said, If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the life of him.
25 And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in, and slay them; let none come forth. And they smote them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal.
26 And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them.
27 And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day.
28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.
29 ¶ Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Beth-el, and that were in Dan.
30 And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.
31 But 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.
32 ¶ In those days the LORD began to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel;
33 From Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan.
34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, and all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
35 And Jehu slept with his fathers: and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his stead.
36 And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty and eight years.
II Kings 1 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Kings 10:1-11 – The Doom of the House of Ahab.
What an iconoclast was this Jehu! Before his strong hand the whole structure of Baal-worship received its death-blow. And as we meet Elijah’s name in this chapter, connecting him with these events, we turn back to the story of Horeb, with its solemn words: “And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay” (1 Kings 19:17). God has many nets, and if the fish escape one set of meshes, they will be caught by another; – none shall finally escape (v. 10). “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).
It is a searching thought! Because men escape one judgment, they count themselves immune; but it is not so. He that escapes Hazael shall meet Jehu. “As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him” (Amos 5:19). “There shall fall unto the earth nothing…which the LORD spoke” (v. 10). “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3), and trifle with such a God, whose love is as searching as his chastening wrath? (Jeremiah 16:16-17)
2 Kings 10:12-24 – Wiping Out Baal-Worship.
For the well-being of the race it is sometimes necessary to cut off evil-doers, lest they spread such a contagion of evil as to involve the whole body politic. The actual brethren of Ahaziah were slain by the Arabians (2 Chronicles 22:1). Jehu’s work seems to have been complemented by an invasion of the Bedouins: the men mentioned here were probably cousins or acquaintances. “Brethren” is a wide word, covering many degrees of blood-relationship.
Jehonadab was head of a remarkable tribe, and himself a man of unusual strength of character. The influence of his example and precepts left its mark on following generations (1 Chronicles 2:55; Jeremiah 35). Jehu evidently respected Jehonadab’s good opinion, and was careful to advertise his own zeal for Jehovah. But the really good man has no need to parade his excellencies; and certainly Jehu could not count that his manner of going to work would be acceptable to the Most High. He might have achieved the same results by less objectionable methods. We must, of course, remember that this Baal-worship was very licentious, and that every Israelite who entered that temple did so in direct defiance of repeated warnings from Elijah and others.
2 Kings 10:25-36 – Jehu’s Own Failure.
Jehu was earnest enough in up-rooting all traces of Baal-worship, but he permitted the worship of the calve and was careless in the matter of personal religion (v. 31). How much easier it is to see and rebuke the sins of others, than to take heed to our own ways! It is comparatively easy to detect and destroy the sinner, without personally yielding to the claims of God ourselves. The judge who administers the law may be a transgressor of it, and all the more keen in inflicting penalty as if to satisfy his own uneasy conscience. And we who utter God’s solemn warnings against sin must not yield in thought to the sins that we denounce in act.
The Israelites were short in their duty to God, and God cut them short in territory, in wealth, and in power. Hazael thus fulfilled Elisha’s anticipations (2 Kings 8:12). Those eastern tribes that were attracted by the fatness of the land and settle there first, were the first to suffer. Those who choose for this life only, are the first to deteriorate and perish. It was so with Lot!
2 Kings 10:31—Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel.
Jehu was the Cromwell of his time. He swept away the symbols of idolatry with ruthless destruction. Nothing could withstand his iconoclastic enthusiasm. But he failed to keep his own heart, and therefore his dynasty lasted for but one generation. It is a deep lesson for us all.
We may keep other people’s vineyards, and neglect our own. We may give good advice to our friends, but fall into the very faults against which we warn them. We may pose as infallible guides, but fall into the crevasses and precipices from which we had carefully warned our companions. Jehu avenged the idolatries of Ahab, but he departed not from Jeroboam’s calves.
Before you rebuke another, be sure that you are free from the faults that you detect in him. When you hear of the failings of some erring brother, ask yourself whether you are perfectly free from them. And never attempt to cast out the mote from your neighbor’s eye till you are sure that the beam has been taken from your own.
Take heed to your heart. Its complexion colors all the issues of life. Do not be content to be strong against evil; be eagerly ambitious of good. It is easier to be vehement against the abominations of others than to judge and put away your own secret sins. But while we keep our heart with all diligence, we cannot afford to be independent of the keeping power of God. We must yield ourselves to Him, reserving nothing. The King must have all. The light of His face must fill every nook and corner of the soul. And every power that opposes itself to His dominion, must be dragged beyond the barriers and ruthlessly slain.