But Jehu Was Not Careful…

But Jehu Was Not Careful…

Monday’s Column: Neal At The Cross

Neal Pollard

Nineteen kings sat on the throne of the northern kingdom, from Jeroboam (931 B.C.) to Hoshea (722 B.C.), and Jehu was the closest any of them came to being righteous. His “righteousness” was the zealous way he fulfilled the mission God gave him in destroying the house of Ahab and the followers of Baal. In fact, the Lord speaks directly to him and says, “Because you have done well in executing what is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in My heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel” (2 Kings 10:30). God recognizes and rewards him for his commitment to His cause. He enjoys a 28-year reign, second only to his great-grandson Jeroboam II. He is remembered for his deeds and his might (34). 

Yet, after the lengthy chronicling of Jehu’s extermination campaign, the Bible says little else good about the man. Here’s the summary in 2 Kings 10:

  • He did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin (29,31).
  • He kept the golden calves at Bethel and Dan (29).
  • He was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord with all his heart (31). 
  • He suffered the loss of significant territory to the Arameans (32-33). 
  • His excessive bloodshed would draw divine retribution (Hos. 1:4). 

Essentially, he lacked the moral and spiritual resolve to effect religious restoration. He lacked the conviction necessary to be fully obedient to God. He did not purify his heart to align with the heart of God. He was reckless regarding God’s law.

For over 200 years, Jacob’s descendants in the northern kingdom were spiritually adrift. Their best chance to turn that around was after Jehu purged the capital city of Samaria of the temple of Baal, its priests, and its worshippers. A hopeful start was overcome by the general spiritual trajectory of an entire people who did not have God in their hearts.

My daily life is aimed in a general direction. It is important for me to do more than conform outwardly to some of what God’s Word commands. I need to begin in my heart and conscientiously strive to follow His will and demonstrate that in my outward dedication and my inward devotion to Him. I want it to be said of me that I did what was right in His sight (30) AND that I was careful to walk in the law of the Lord with all my heart (31)! 

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