MONDAY, OCTOBER 14
SCRIPTURE: 2 Kings 8-10
AUTHOR: Jeremy Witt
We see Elisha taking care of the Shunammite woman and her family again in chapter 8:1-6 as God has told Elisha of another drought that would last for 7 years. She left as instructed by Elisha and when she returns back, God providentially had Elisha’s old servant, Gehazi, talking to the king and restores the woman’s land back to her. Faithful and obedience to the LORD will be honored and blessed. This woman looked after Elisha and God provided for her and her family in a difficult situation.
As we are moving throughout this devotion, I am amazed at the similarities of our reading to current events. The times that we have read of transitions over the last months and now we are reading of Aramean or Syrian kings. Elisha meets an official for the king, Hazael. The king, Ben-hadad, is sick and wishes to know if he will recover. The LORD tells Elisha what to say and what is to come, and Elisha tells Hazael of how he will be king and hurt Israel in 8:7-15.
The next set of verses is a perfect example of how easy it is to get confused at times in Kings and Chronicles. Judah gets a new king and his name is Jehoram. Israel’s king is Joram but in some places, it is given at Jehoram as well. This is where the details are important to remember. We have to remember that Judah has Jerusalem as its capital and is in the south. Israel has Samaria as its capital and is in the north. So here we are having to pay attention to know who is who. Jehoram reigns in Judah for 8 years and then his son Ahaziah is king and reigns one year. Ironically the reason Ahaziah died was due to aligning himself with King Joram of Israel. As we read in chapter 9, Ahaziah and Joram will both die from Jehu (9:14-29)
Similar to how Elisha foretold Hazael that he would be king of Syria, Elisha meets a commander named Jehu and tells him that he would be king. However, the difference is that Elisha anoints him as king over Israel. He will be God’s instrument to punish the family of Ahab and Jezebel. Jehu will be recognized as one of the better kings of Israel, but the author of 1-2 Kings will point out that Jehu continued to worship the golden calves set up by Jeroboam. Jehu was obedient to the LORD for the most part however his obedience was tied to his convenience. Rather than worshipping the LORD at his temple, Jehu went to the convenient location of the golden calves as Jeroboam did. He did not make the sacrifice of time/effort/obedience to God’s law.
This is one of the things about our culture that is the same. We are guilty of only being obedient when it is convenient. We say things like, “It is okay for us to worship the LORD at the lake” or “I can worship at the hunting blind.” Maybe it is “we can worship God wherever we are” which is somewhat true but do we worship wherever we go? One of the biggest reasons we need to worship together is that when we worship together, we encourage each other or even help one another. Seeing someone else responding in faith challenges us to do the same thing. Witnessing someone else choose to make Jesus their Savior and LORD encourages us. Sharing a message from God together bonds us to one another as we live life together. We miss that when we choose convenience over worship and sacrifice.
Chapter 10 is Jehu fulfilling the prophecy of Ahab’s family being wiped out. It is bloody, it is cunning, and we see that God’s Word can be trusted. It may not happen as quickly as expected or in some cases faster than expected, but God’s Word can be trusted. We even see Jehu’s obedience and zeal is getting rid of worshippers of Baal and the priests. Did you notice how careful Jehu was to protect those who worshipped the LORD in 10:23?
There is more to unpack here but space is limited. God will not tolerate false worship. He will serve justice to those who lead others to false worship as Ahab and Jezebel did. He will make sure to keep His Name holy and remove the unholy as was done with the worshippers of Baal. That was supposed to have happened as the Israelites took the land under Joshua but they were not fully obedient. They chose convenience over obedience as well. How do you see this being done today? Are you or your family guilty of doing this?