Summary: A secret agent commissions Jehu to completely destroy everything belonging to the house of Ahab. What happened to our easy-going, all-forgiving, slow-to-get-angry God? This message looks at the question: Does it Really Matter if I Accommodate Sin?
The last couple of weeks we’ve been looking at a couple of God’s Agents;
· First, we looked at Agent Elijah and the Showdown on Mount Carmel. We considered the question, “Does it Really Matter What I Believe?” We learned that the difference between Jehovah and Baal was a world of difference; not just a difference in name. Ahab learned that it totally matters what you believe.
· Last Sunday we looked at Agent Micaiah and the Itching Ears. We considered the question, “Does it Really Matter Who I Listen To?” Ahab had been warned to be careful who he listens to. He decided to ignore the prophet of the Lord and instead listened to the people who told him what he wanted to hear. In the end, he was killed.
This morning we’re going to look at another agent, agent Jehu.
· Jehu was the son of Jehoshaphat, who we learned last week was the one who had encouraged Ahab not to go to war. Now Jehu is being anointed King in Jehoshaphat’s place.
· What’s really interesting, or troubling, depending on how you look at it, was the task that Jehu was given once he was anointed king!
· We pick up the story in 2 Kings 9:6-10.
· "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ’I anoint you king over the Lord’s people Israel. You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the Lord’s servants shed by Jezebel. The whole house of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel--slave or free. I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. As for Jezebel, dogs will devour her on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and no one will bury her.’ " Then he opened the door and ran. 2 Kings 9:6-10
So, soon after Jehu had been anointed king of Israel, he proceeded to do what he was told.
· First he went to deal with Ahab’s wife, Jezebel.
· Now, there are some things in the Bible I can’t figure out. Verse 31 says that when Jezebel heard Jehu was coming, “she painted her eyes, arranged her hair and looked out a window.”
· I’m not sure if she was trying to impress Jehu or prepare for her own funeral.
· When Jehu saw her in the window he ordered that she be thrown out from the window… and it appears that there were people quite willing to help him out so down she went.
· I’m not sure how far she fell, but she died as a result of that fall and was trampled by horses.
· Well, Jehu must have been a union man because when it was time to eat and drink he stopped what he was doing and went in for dinner. After dinner he wanted to have the body buried, but alas, he wasn’t the only one who had stopped for dinner. Wild dogs had literally eaten Jezebel so that all that remained was her skull, hands and feet. (this was something that had been prophesied by Elijah).
But Jezebel was only one problem. There was still the rest of Ahab’s family.
· Jehu sent a message to the families that were raising the king’s sons.
· They could choose a leader and fight for the old royal family. Or they could kill the 70 sons of Ahab and demonstrate loyalty to Jehu.
· Frightened, the leading men of the kingdom killed Ahab’s sons.
But that wasn’t enough. Jehu still wasn’t through. There were still all the prophets of Baal that Jezebel had brought into Israel.
· Here is where Jehu got a little deceptive.
· Jehu announced his commitment to Baal, and called all Baal worshipers and priests to come to Baal’s temple for a great celebration, all of them appeared.
· Jehu then had every one of them killed, and had the temple of Baal burned to the ground.
Thus the prophesies against Ahab were fulfilled.
· The one who had done more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any that had gone before him was dead. So was his wife, who had ordered the slaughter of many of God’s people, and all his family, along with all those who were committed to Baal. What a sad family legacy. Not exactly a bedtime story.
You might think that this story is a little out of place in the Bible. With so much talk about love, and peace, and forgiveness, you wonder if God didn’t go a little too far. Wasn’t it enough for Ahab to be killed?