Summary: This sermon looks at the motives behind one’s service for God. King Jehu served God, but only to the extent that it served his self-interests.
What is your motive for serving God?
Pastor Greg Tabor
Ridgeway Assembly of God
3/20/05, a.m. service
Introduction: the Illustration of Jehu
a. Jehu’s Commission from God
· A prophet was sent to pronounce God’s death sentence on Ahab in 1 Kings 20:42 because of his disobedience in not killing Ben-Hadad king of Aram.
· Elijah the Tishbite later prophesied the type of doom Ahab would face in 1 Kings 21:19 after Ahab had murdered Naboth and seized his property (vineyard). While this came true when dogs licked the king’s blood while it was being washed from his chariot at a pool where prostitutes bathed (1 Kings 22:38), will see more of its fulfillment in a few minutes.
· Elijah prophesies that Ahab’s descendants would be cutoff and his wife would killed (1 Kings 21:22-24).
· Because of Ahab’s subsequent humbling of himself before God, God took notice and chose to bring about these disasters during the reign of his son Joram instead of in Ahab’s lifetime (1 Kings 21:27-29).
· Jehu, a commander in the Israelite army, was anointed king and commissioned to exterminate Ahab’s descendants (2 Kings 9:6-10) and thus fulfill these prophecies against the house of Ahab.
b. Jehu’s “Zeal for the Lord”
· Jehu kills Ahaziah, King of Judah, one of Ahab’s grandsons. (2 Kings 9:27; 2 Chronicles 22:7 explains how Ahaziah’s visit to Joram was used by God to bring about his downfall.) He also kills some of King Ahaziah’s relatives who were coming to visit (2 Kings 10:12-14).
· Jehu has Jezebel thrown out of a window. She is then trampled and eaten by dogs. (2 Kings 9:32-37)
· He incites the officials of Samaria who were rearing 70 sons of Ahab to kill all the royal princes. Their heads were piled at the entrance of the city gate to Jezreel (2 Kings 10:6-9).
· His final achievement was his killing of all the Baal priests and destroying the Baal temple to the point it became used as a latrine (2 Kings 10:25-28).
· For all of this he was rewarded by God with the longest dynasty in the history of Israel (2 Kings 10:30).
c. Jehu’s Motives Exposed and Judged
· Hosea, prophesying during the reign of Jeroboam II, the 3rd in Jehu’s line of rulers, exposes something interesting (Hosea 1:4). God was going to punish the house of Jehu for a massacre He sanctioned and rewarded Jehu for (2 Kings 10:30). How can this be, Jehu seemed like an obedient servant of the Lord?
· Read 2 Kings 10:29 & 31. He did not destroy the idol worship instituted by Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:26-30). Don’t you find that strange being that he exterminated Baal worship? What happened to that zeal for the Lord he talked about in 2 Kings 10:16? The zeal that should have led him to ridding the kingdom of every sort of idol worship. I believe it never was purely there to begin with. In a sermon entitled “The Honour of the world” a French Catholic preacher asked “Why did he not destroy them [Jeroboam’s calf idols] as well as the Baal and his temple?” He then answers by stating, “Because that would have injured his own prospects, interfered with his own plans” (Clyde E. Fant, Jr., and William M. Pinson, Jr. 20 Centuries of Great Preaching: Volume 2. Waco, Texas: Word Books. 1971. p. 299. Brackets mine).
· Thus I conclude that Jehu’s agenda didn’t really include God. “But Jehu, by cleaving, against the will of God, to Jeroboam’s sin, which served his own political ends, showed that, in the slaughter of his master, he acted not, as he pretended, out of zeal for the will of God, but served his own will and his own ambition only.” (Barnes’ Notes on the Old Testament. Electronic Edition STEP Files Copyright © 1999, Findex.Com. All rights reserved.). Getting rid of Baal served his interests, but getting rid of the calves cut in on his political gains.
· God had told Jeroboam he would give him a dynasty like David’s if he would obey Him. He did not reward Jehu’s obedience with this same promise (2 Kings 10:30). Perhaps the limited dynasty was not only a reward, but somewhat of a holding back of total blessing to Jehu’s line because of Jehu’s impure motives. Perhaps it was a foretelling of the fact his sons would cleave to the same sins of their father and therefore the line justly exterminated.