2 Kings 9:14-29 – Now…Today…We Have To Work For It!

Posted: July 3, 2019 in 99-Uncategorized

2 Kings 9:14-29

Jehu Kills Joram and Ahaziah

One of the things that we hear often from Christians in this day and age is how this nation is not “what it used to be”! The culture seems to be running in the opposite direction from God’s Word. Christians shake their heads as to what happened. Only a certain few churches are growing. Thousands of churches are stagnant even though our nation’s population increases at a rate of 2% per year. Even scarier is the fact that approximately 5,000 churches close their door permanently each year since the beginning of the century. Look around within the walls of most traditional churches and churches are aging and I am not talking about the buildings. What happened? We blame it on the culture. But we, the church, Christians, used to be the dominating influence on the culture in America. What happened?

Plain and simple. We have never had to work for it – making sure that our churches are healthy and growing. Back in the day when we were the dominating influence on the culture, we didn’t have to do anything. Church was just part of everyday life. If you DIDN’T belong to a church of some sort, people though something was wrong with you. We didn’t have to do anything. Pastors and parishioners alike. People were just there when the doors opened. So when the culture began to drift away from a church-dominated culture, we did not and often still do not know what to do but continue to do nothing.

We gotta work for it now. We no longer can say I wish people would come to my church but yet still sit on the church steps and do nothing. We gotta work for it. We can’t wish. We gotta work for it. Otherwise, the culture will continue to drift away from God. Complaints about where the culture is headed cannot be our action plan. We gotta work for it.

That’s what I thought of this morning as I read through this passage about God executing his justice on evil kings. My thought was “what would have happened if these two kings of what was supposed to be godly countries would have influenced their cultures on the road back to God?” Maybe their outcomes would have been different. What if they had been willing to take a lead role in influencing their culture back to God. We will never know because they did nothing and their were the leaders of their countries! That’s what I thought of and how we as Christians can no longer sit by and just expect the culture to come to us. Let’s look at this passage, 2 Kings 9:14-29, with that idea in mind:

14 So Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi, led a conspiracy against King Joram. (Now Joram had been with the army at Ramoth-gilead, defending Israel against the forces of King Hazael of Aram. 15 But King Joram[a] was wounded in the fighting and returned to Jezreel to recover from his wounds.) So Jehu told the men with him, “If you want me to be king, don’t let anyone leave town and go to Jezreel to report what we have done.”

16 Then Jehu got into a chariot and rode to Jezreel to find King Joram, who was lying there wounded. King Ahaziah of Judah was there, too, for he had gone to visit him. 17 The watchman on the tower of Jezreel saw Jehu and his company approaching, so he shouted to Joram, “I see a company of troops coming!”

“Send out a rider to ask if they are coming in peace,” King Joram ordered.

18 So a horseman went out to meet Jehu and said, “The king wants to know if you are coming in peace.”

Jehu replied, “What do you know about peace? Fall in behind me!”

The watchman called out to the king, “The messenger has met them, but he’s not returning.”

19 So the king sent out a second horseman. He rode up to them and said, “The king wants to know if you come in peace.”

Again Jehu answered, “What do you know about peace? Fall in behind me!”

20 The watchman exclaimed, “The messenger has met them, but he isn’t returning either! It must be Jehu son of Nimshi, for he’s driving like a madman.”

21 “Quick! Get my chariot ready!” King Joram commanded.

Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah rode out in their chariots to meet Jehu. They met him at the plot of land that had belonged to Naboth of Jezreel. 22 King Joram demanded, “Do you come in peace, Jehu?”

Jehu replied, “How can there be peace as long as the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother, Jezebel, are all around us?”

23 Then King Joram turned the horses around[b] and fled, shouting to King Ahaziah, “Treason, Ahaziah!” 24 But Jehu drew his bow and shot Joram between the shoulders. The arrow pierced his heart, and he sank down dead in his chariot.

25 Jehu said to Bidkar, his officer, “Throw him into the plot of land that belonged to Naboth of Jezreel. Do you remember when you and I were riding along behind his father, Ahab? The Lord pronounced this message against him: 26 ‘I solemnly swear that I will repay him here on this plot of land, says the Lord, for the murder of Naboth and his sons that I saw yesterday.’ So throw him out on Naboth’s property, just as the Lord said.”

27 When King Ahaziah of Judah saw what was happening, he fled along the road to Beth-haggan. Jehu rode after him, shouting, “Shoot him, too!” So they shot Ahaziah[c] in his chariot at the Ascent of Gur, near Ibleam. He was able to go on as far as Megiddo, but he died there. 28 His servants took him by chariot to Jerusalem, where they buried him with his ancestors in the City of David. 29 Ahaziah had become king over Judah in the eleventh year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab.

In this passage, we see that the kings that had been the latest in the line of kings that had participated in the straying of Israel and Judah from the Lord. Each of these kings participated and did not stop their nation’s descent into idolatry and evil. They joined in the wickedness and evil of their predecessors. They suffered the consequences of their evil. What can we learn from this? We, as the people, of God must, at times, stand up against evil rather than go along with it. Our silence can allow evil to flourish and continue and deepen. How far Israel and Judah had fallen because the anointed leaders simply went along! How far Israel and Judah had fallen because the anointed leaders were either just as the wicked as the people they led or they simply went along and didn’t wanna work for it. Either way the result is the same.

That’s the thing that I think we can bring forward to the 21st century from this passage and use as a challenge to us as modern-day Christ followers. Are we willing to work for it to change our culture? We have had it easy for so long in America as Christians. The church was a dominating influence in our culture for so long. We didn’t really have to do anything. Churches just grew. Everyone in the culture circled around a church somewhere. Church was intertwined with culture. That is no longer true.

Now, we must work for it. Are we ready for the struggle? Do we want to impact the culture for Christ and change things? We will have to work for it now.

First, we must see ourselves, not just our pastors, as ministers of reconciliation. We must be unafraid to share what the gospel has done in our lives with those in our lives that do not know Christ. That means we need to step outside our Christian circles and make friends with the unchurched. Their eternity is at stake and they don’t even know it. We each have our circles of influence that go far beyond what our pastors can do alone. We are all a kingdom of priests, as the Apostle Peter tells us, so we must see it as our daily job to seize opportunities to share the gospel. We are provided divine appointments by the Lord each day. Let’s not miss them. It is only through our active sharing of the gospel, each and every one of us, can we expect to influence the culture away from its current path. One person at a time by each one of us.

Second, we must be willing to take public leadership roles so that we can influence public policy. If we are to change the culture, we must be willing to make the sacrifices to lead it in the right direction. Sure, its going to be tough because of laws that prevent us from openly sharing our faith in public positions but there is nothing that says we cannot demonstrate our Christian values in the choices that we make as public leaders.

Third, we must be willing to meet the world where it’s at right now. What worked for churches 60 years ago is no longer relevant to a culture that has changed drastically since then. Our gospel message should not and will not ever change. The Bible is timeless and eternal and its message is true 60 years ago and will be 6000 years from now. However, the methods by which we engage people with the gospel is and should be different in 2019 than it was in 1969 or 1959 or even as short a time a go as 1989. Let us begin to be imaginative about how we engage the culture around us as churches. Let us be willing also to allocate resources based on our willingness to reach the souls of the unsaved. Changing the course of the eternity of the unsaved is what it’s all about.

Are you and I? Are we? Are we ready to roll up our sleeves and work for it? That’s the challenge that comes out of this passage for me. Am I ready to do the hard work to reach unsaved souls and change the culture?

Amen and Amen.

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