2 Chronicles 22:8-10 – Staying Within the Boundaries Set By God

Posted: September 23, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 22:8-10

Jehu Kills Ahab’s Family and Ahaziah

Opening Illustration/Comments

Have you ever found that sometimes we Christians are the worst advertisers of the Christian faith? So many times in history, the Christian faith has been used as cover for personal ambitions of those who have abused the faith. For example, many traditions of the Catholic Church (the original church from which all others can ultimately trace their roots) have loose biblical roots if any roots at all. What the layers of tradition that have been established since the apostles established the first century original Christian church, they have often had to do with political and/or personal ambitions of the pope or his advisors over the centuries. The practice of priestly celibacy which has no direct command in the Bible started in the 11th century, a thousand years after Jesus walked the earth. The ultimate aim was one of temporary political expediency to reform the clergy who during the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire had become pretty worldly and for other property reasons as well. Over the centuries after that, it became institutionalized because of papal edicts. There are many other traditions that have developed over the two millenia of the Catholic Church that make you scratch your head as to where they found the basis for the tradition in the Bible.

Even in our times of the past 50 years or so, we have seen more than one super-popular mega-church pastor or television evangelist be exposed for abusing the trust and the influence that they have gained. Often these men started out well and were pursuing God hard and with honesty and then fame and influence blinded them to their accountability to God. The history of television evangelists is littered with preachers who have become drunk with the power and influence that they had been gifted.

Thus, it is important for us in church leadership to always to stay within the boundaries of what God has called us to do and not allow the power and influence of our positions as clergy to go to our heads. There is a sacred trust between us and God and between us and the general public that we cannot let ourselves be blinded to such that the witness of all Christians is not muddied or stained permanently.

It is that idea of staying within the boundaries of God’s command and call on our lives that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 22:8-10. Let us read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

8 While Jehu was executing judgment against the family of Ahab, he happened to meet some of Judah’s officials and Ahaziah’s relatives[h] who were traveling with Ahaziah. So Jehu killed them all. 9 Then Jehu’s men searched for Ahaziah, and they found him hiding in the city of Samaria. They brought him to Jehu, who killed him. Ahaziah was given a decent burial because the people said, “He was the grandson of Jehoshaphat—a man who sought the Lord with all his heart.” But none of the surviving members of Ahaziah’s family was capable of ruling the kingdom.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that, in his zeal, Jehu went beyond the Lord’s command to destroy Ahab’s evil family. The prophet Hosea later announced punishment Jehu’s dynasty for this pointless additional rampage against the royal line of Judah. Many times in history, so-called religious people have used the guise of faith to cover over their personal agenda of ambition, search for power and/or fame, or outright cruelty or revenge and done so with out God’s consent or blessing. To use God or the Bible to condone oppression is wrong. When people attack Christianity because of the moral failures or atrocities committed by so-called men of faith or publicly avowed Christians, it mars the witness of good people of the Christian faith. We must be careful to point out to non-believers that there are those who have and do use our faith to accomplish there own goals and that these kinds of displays are not representative of true biblical Christian faith.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that that we should never think just because we are Christians and have gained influence either as pastors or as leaders of the church or as general laypersons in the faith that we have got it made and can untether ourselves from the constraints of God’s commands and call on our lives. Too often, Christians who do the most unchristian things are the ones that have quit studying God’s Word, quit fellowshipping with accountable Christian friends, and have become self-proclaimed authorities on what God says. We enter dangerous ground when we do not pray daily. We enter dangerous ground when we quit reading the Bible daily. We enter dangerous ground when we do not study God’s Word and seek to understand the theology of our faith that springs from its pages. We enter dangerous ground when we think that we know all we need to know about our faith. We enter dangerous ground we think we have got it made and do not need to grow anymore in the faith.

Let us all always remember that we are imperfect and limited human beings and that we will never “arrive” as Christians. We always have so much more to learn in becoming more and more like Christ. We always are on a journey for which there is no end until we are perfected in heaven at our death and arrival before our King. We must always be humble enough to stay tethered to God’s Word and His commands and His calling on our lives. We must remain within the boundaries that He has set for us – for our own good. So that we can remain faithful witnesses for all of the Christian faith to the non-believing world around us. The last thing we should do as Christ followers is to give the faith a bad name and in the process to turn whole groups of people (maybe for generations) against Christ – not because of Him but because of us.

Amen and Amen.

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