2 Kings 10:18-31 (Part 1) – Going Beyond God’s Word To Satisfy Our Purposes

Posted: July 9, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 10:18-31 (Part 1 of 2)

Jehu Kills the Priests of Baal

Just think about it. You love your children no matter what they do. However, you do not always approve of the things that they do. Does that change your love for them? No. You love them as much as you ever did and in some ways you begin to love them more. Even when your child thumbs his nose up at you and wants nothing to do with you, does that change your love for that child. Certainly not! No matter what your child does, no matter how far they stray away from the family fold, you never stop loving them. Like I said, when they do things or live in a way that you think is the wrong path for them, you probably love them more. It hurts a parent to see their child headed down a path that the parent knows is bad for them and will end badly for them.

It’s not because a parent is wanting to hold their child back from something they want. Rather, it is because they know, probably from their own experiences, that what the child is about to do or is continuing to do will lead to a bad end. Parent feel this way no matter the age of their child. That’s just a parent’s love for a child. It’s hard to explain. You love your child without end but you don’t always approve of what they are doing. The lack of approval is not the removal of love. The lack of approval of a child’s actions sometimes is the highest form of love. Because if you did not love, you would not care. But because you love, you do care and you want the child not to have to experience the inevitable pain that you know is coming. But our children, regardless of age, often confuse our disapproval with us not loving them, us holding them back from what they want to do.

This well-known situation for us as parents (we all know it and have experienced it with our kids) is similar to what we see happening in our world today. In our culture today, if you do not accept another person’s personal belief system, then you do not love them. You are considered intolerant. The mantra of our culture now is “if you do not approve of my actions then you do not love me” or “if you do not approve of my actions you are intolerant!”. This cultural mantra has allowed us to drift into a world where there are no longer any moral absolutes. There are no longer any universal, uncontravertable truths. Everything is relative. You and I define our own reality and our own truth. There is no reality and no truth outside my own definition of it. We live in our own realities and our own truths. There is no independent truth or morality. We now define it for ourselves. In this world, those who believe in absolute truth and that it is external to us, we go against the grain of current and most likely the future of our culture.

In such a world, we have robbed God of being God. We have robbed God of His position as the definer of truth, the definer of reality, the definer of morality and immorality. In essence, we have made ourselves our own gods. When we displace God, it therefore becomes easier to define for ourselves what is right and what is wrong. Anybody then who disagrees with your version of the truth is not approving of you and therefore not loving you. Sure, it makes life easier when we displace God, live like we want to, and disdain anyone who disagrees with us. However, ignoring God’s independent, universal and timeless truths do not make His absolutes go away. What God defines as reality, as truth, as moral, remains whether we want that to be true or not. God is a loving parent and He has His definitions and boundaries for our lives not because He is holding us back from something.

It is that idea of going beyond God’s commands, God’s Word, God’s loving boundaries to satisfy our own desires and to validate what we want to do is what I thought of when I read this passage, 2 Kings 10:18-31 today (for the first of two blogs on this passage). Here, Jehu goes well beyond what God’s command was for him and he does so to meet his own desires, ambitions, and political aspirations. It got me to thinking about how we do that today in our culture. Let’s read the passage now:

18 Then Jehu called a meeting of all the people of the city and said to them, “Ahab’s worship of Baal was nothing compared to the way I will worship him! 19 Therefore, summon all the prophets and worshipers of Baal, and call together all his priests. See to it that every one of them comes, for I am going to offer a great sacrifice to Baal. Anyone who fails to come will be put to death.” But Jehu’s cunning plan was to destroy all the worshipers of Baal.

20 Then Jehu ordered, “Prepare a solemn assembly to worship Baal!” So they did. 21 He sent messengers throughout all Israel summoning those who worshiped Baal. They all came—not a single one remained behind—and they filled the temple of Baal from one end to the other. 22 And Jehu instructed the keeper of the wardrobe, “Be sure that every worshiper of Baal wears one of these robes.” So robes were given to them.

23 Then Jehu went into the temple of Baal with Jehonadab son of Recab. Jehu said to the worshipers of Baal, “Make sure no one who worships the Lord is here—only those who worship Baal.” 24 So they were all inside the temple to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed eighty of his men outside the building and had warned them, “If you let anyone escape, you will pay for it with your own life.”

25 As soon as Jehu had finished sacrificing the burnt offering, he commanded his guards and officers, “Go in and kill all of them. Don’t let a single one escape!” So they killed them all with their swords, and the guards and officers dragged their bodies outside.[a] Then Jehu’s men went into the innermost fortress[b] of the temple of Baal. 26 They dragged out the sacred pillar[c] used in the worship of Baal and burned it. 27 They smashed the sacred pillar and wrecked the temple of Baal, converting it into a public toilet, as it remains to this day.

28 In this way, Jehu destroyed every trace of Baal worship from Israel. 29 He did not, however, destroy the gold calves at Bethel and Dan, with which Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to sin.

30 Nonetheless the Lord said to Jehu, “You have done well in following my instructions to destroy the family of Ahab. Therefore, your descendants will be kings of Israel down to the fourth generation.” 31 But Jehu did not obey the Law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit.

In this passage, we see that and are reminded that Israel was supposed to stand firm against any religion that did not worship the one true God. The religions of the surrounding pagan nations were evil and corrupt. They were designed to destroy life, not uphold and uplift it. Israel was God’s special, chosen nation and they were to be an example of what was right and true in God’s eyes. However, Israel’s kings, priests, and elders were first tolerant, and then began incorporating surrounding pagan beliefs into their worship and their daily culture. As a result, they became apathetic to God’s way.

In our culture, we are to be firmly against behaviors that are sinful according to God’s Word. Personally, we must repent of sinful behaviors when they are brought to our attention by the Holy Spirit directly or by the Holy Spirit through loving friends and/or others who cross our path. When we see others exhibiting behaviors that are in contrast to God’s Word, we should not hate them. We must remember that, until they are drawn by the Holy Spirit unto God, their behaviors are perfectly reasonable to them and they may even view them as consistent with Christian theology.

We ourselves as Christians found God’s Word folly before we accepted Christ as our Savior. I know that for myself, before I came to know the Lord as my Savior and Lord, I created my own version of Christianity that was molded toward allowing me to behave as I pleased. I negotiated with the Lord as to what was right for me. I had my own personal religion where God and I had “deals” about exceptions to His Word as they applied to me. As a non-believer who thought he was a believer, I created and added to God’s Word where it was my own religion, my own version of Christianity suitable to me. It was only through my salvation experience that I encountered my favorite sins in their true light. It was only through the loving tutelage of mature Christians across these past two decades that I am aware of my helpless state before God – no negotiations, no deal-making, no personal religion, no additions or deletions to God’s Word. It’s just me and God and I stand before Him naked in my sin, in the absence of Jesus Christ.

So, let us be a people who hold true to God’s Word and let it convict us of our sins on a personal level. Let it give us sense of humility before God. Let it give us a true sense of our need for Jesus Christ not only at salvation but everyday thereafter. For we are works in progress and continue to sin each and every day. Corporately, as the body of Christ, the church, we must together hold true to God’s Word and not add to it or take away from it and create a religion that is suitable to the culture around us. God’s Word is a loving father’s boundaries for our lives. God’s Word is like a father wishing to keep His kids from the harm and disaster that He knows will come from going down paths we should not go down. It is not to keep us from having what we want. It is to keep us from destroying ourselves.

Let us remember that God’s greatest desire is to reconcile mankind unto Himself through His Son. So, His Word is not to hold us back but rather to keep us from the disaster He knows will come to us if we pursue every one of our heart’s desires. Let us remember then that we should stand firm on God’s eternal Word and not melt it down to meet the culture (like a dad who has firm, established, unchanging boundaries for his children’s behaviors). Let us not add to it to make it suitable. Let us not take away from it to make it more palatable. At the same token, we should always love those who are angry at the boundaries of God and want to change them. We should be like a loving father who loves his children no matter how they act. We should be like a loving dad who is heartbroken over the actions of their children because the dad knows what will happen to the child. We should love them so that when they crash to the ground that we will be the ones they turn to. Let us be the representatives of God who are there to show them the better way. Let us be there to show them Jesus Christ, just as loving friends did for me almost two decades ago.

Amen and Amen.

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