2 Kings 9:30-37 – Living In America: You Can’t Take It With You!

Posted: July 4, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 9:30-37

The Death of Jezebel

There’s an old saying that says, “You’ll never see a U-Haul trailer behind a hearse!”. And then there’s the classic saying, “You can’t take it with you!” Eternity is longer than the 70+ years we typically live on this side of eternity so then why do we act as if this is all there is? Why do we place so much emphasis on seeking things of this world on this side of eternity?

On this our country’s Independence Day, we celebrate our American way of life. We celebrate the supremacy of our nation on the world stage. We celebrate the American spirit that has forged this nation into the world power that it is from the infant nation that it was 243 years ago. We celebrate the material blessings that we have in this country compared to the rest of the world. We celebrate us and the things we see all around us in the United States. Do we celebrate our nation for the right reasons?

Compared to the rest of the world, we are extremely wealthy. We complain about the internet being down and how we can’t watch our five hundred channels of television. We are so blessed as a nation. But yet most of us look at what we have in this nation as if it has always been this way and that we deserve it. We spend our lives accumulating as much stuff as we can as if it were a competition. Whomever has the most toys at the end, wins! We spend our money on fine things. Fine homes. Fine cars. Multiple fine cares. Fine entertainment centers that we can control with the sound of our voices. We have to have storage buildings or storage units at storage facilities because we have too much stuff to fit in our houses. We have boats. We have jet skis. We have vacations at beach houses. We have air conditioning. We have heat. We have refrigerators full of food that 30% of which we will throw in the trash. We have snack foods. We have jogging shoes, tennis shoes, basketball shoes, and shoes for all other kinds of specific purposes. We spend money on all of these things as if we need them more than anything else. We over-extend ourselves financially to support all of these things that we think we have to have. We spend so much money on our trinkets. We spend so much money on our fixed payments for houses, cars, boats, vacation homes, that we have often spend more money each year than we actually make each year. We love our stuff and it makes us feel complete to have it. Others just love having money. Keeping it. Making it. Storing it away. Having money making money makes some of us happy. But most of us spend it all … on things.

That’s the thing that I thought about today as I read about Queen Mother Jezebel’s death today. It just so happened that as I am progressing through 2 Kings in my personal Bible study at this time that it is Independence Day on the same day that I read about the death of Jezebel. In this passage, we see that for all the wealth and power of Jezebel and how she tried to expand it, keep it, and enjoy the trappings and power she had in this life, it all came to nothing. In fact, she literally disappeared from the face of the earth with no trace. Not even a fancy gravestone. That’s the thing that relates to Independence Day for me today. As Americans, are we focusing on the right things or are we focusing on the same things Jezebel focused on – the trappings of this life, money, power, toys, and so on. Let’s consider that idea as we read of the end of Jezebel here in 2 Kings 9:30-37:

30 When Jezebel, the queen mother, heard that Jehu had come to Jezreel, she painted her eyelids and fixed her hair and sat at a window. 31 When Jehu entered the gate of the palace, she shouted at him, “Have you come in peace, you murderer? You’re just like Zimri, who murdered his master!”[a]

32 Jehu looked up and saw her at the window and shouted, “Who is on my side?” And two or three eunuchs looked out at him. 33 “Throw her down!” Jehu yelled. So they threw her out the window, and her blood spattered against the wall and on the horses. And Jehu trampled her body under his horses’ hooves.

34 Then Jehu went into the palace and ate and drank. Afterward he said, “Someone go and bury this cursed woman, for she is the daughter of a king.” 35 But when they went out to bury her, they found only her skull, her feet, and her hands.

36 When they returned and told Jehu, he stated, “This fulfills the message from the Lord, which he spoke through his servant Elijah from Tishbe: ‘At the plot of land in Jezreel, dogs will eat Jezebel’s body. 37 Her remains will be scattered like dung on the plot of land in Jezreel, so that no one will be able to recognize her.’”

In this passage, we see the prophesied end to Jezebel’s life. Here, we see that Jezebel’s skull, feet, and hands were all that remained of her evil life – no power, no money, no prestige, no royal finery, no family, no spiritual heritage. In the end, her life of luxury and treachery amounted to nothing. You can’t take it with you, as the old saying goes. Thus, seeking selfishly for earthly desires and the things of this world are fleeting. We all will spend much more time in eternity than we ever will here in the temporal. Let us then incline our lives toward that which is of God and seek after Him and the things that He calls us to treasure.

When I think of us here in the United States on Independence Day, yes, we celebrate our way of life. We celebrate how amazing this country has become. We celebrate our supremacy in the world. We celebrate the ingenuity of the American people that has allowed us to accumulate vast riches compared to the rest of the world. We celebrate ourselves and are proud of what we have become in a short 243 years.

However, on this July 4th day, let us take time out to celebrate our country, yes, but let us be thankful to God for the privilege of allowing us to be born here and to live here. Let us thank Him for that privilege. We do not deserve that. We did not earn our birth here. We then equally do not deserve the amazing wealth that we are blessed with as a result. We are given great riches simply by being born here. We should not act like then it is our right to have the relative wealth that we have been granted by God through being born here through His grace. We should then honor God with the resources granted to us by the honor of living here.

We should put God first in everything that we do. We should honor him first with our wealth (even middle class and poor people here in the USA are rich compared to the virtually all other nations on earth). We should live our lives in thanks to God for the privilege of being born here. We should honor him with our wealth. Let us place God first in our finances. Instead for giving to God of our leftovers after paying for all our stuff, let us give to Him first and then live off the rest.

Let us use our privileged wealth to point others to Christ. Let us use our resources first to draw people unto Christ first and then by our house later. Let us use our resources to spread the gospel first and then buy our car second. Let us use our resources to invest in our unchurched neighbors first and then purchase our vacations second. Let us use our resources to proclaim the name of Jesus in ways that will connect in the modern world and then buy that entertainment system second.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that wealth is a bad thing. The Bible never says wealth is a bad thing or that having nice things is a bad thing. However, when our wealth becomes our god rather than using our wealth as a tool to honor God and to proclaim the name of Jesus in a world that so desperately needs Him … then … our wealth becomes our god and not God himself.

We can’t take it with us, just as Jezebel learned. All these trinkets that we can buy because we live here in the United States are just temporary. With the privilege of being born here, we have a responsibility to honor God with our wealth. What honors God is to draw people unto Himself and for them to be reconciled unto Him for eternity. Let us use our resources given by God in abundance to us here in the United States to do that first – draw people unto God as an act of thanksgiving for the privilege He gave us for being born here in the United States of America.

Amen and Amen.

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