Daily Thought for: 13th June


2 Kings 9. 14 – 10. 31

So Jehu invited Jehonadab, 10. 16—he was wiping out the house of Ahab and the family of Joram and he describes it as ‘my zeal for the Lord’. What is zeal? It is conviction in a practical and working form; it is the business side of love. If it is zeal for God, it is seen in an ardent love for Him and a desire to promote His praise and glory. It will do all it can to counteract the influences that are detrimental to the cause of God. These words of Jehu reveal the central pride of his spirit. He was certainly the instrument of divine judgment in respect of Ahab and Baalim. He was proud of his zeal. The peril is subtle. Wherever it exists it leads to other evil things. In Jehu’s case, even when he was carrying out the judgement of God in Israel, in his own heart he was corrupt. Note what his zeal caused him to do; slay Joram, 9. 24-26; trample Jezebel underfoot, v. 33; secure the murder of 70 of Ahab’s family, 10. 1-10; exterminate the remnants of Ahab’s house, vv. 11, 17; destroy Baalim, vv. 18-28, for all of which he was commended. But his zeal was spoiled by ostentation. He wanted Jehonadab to see what he could do for the Lord. His zeal had an impure motive. A man who is simply serving God does not say anything about it if he can possibly help. Jehu’s zeal was for his own credit and reputation. His boasted zeal for the Lord was really zeal for Jehu. His motives were not unmixed. His zeal was further marred by inconsistency of principle. He destroyed the Baalim, but what of the worship of the calves instituted by Jeroboam? 10. 31. He would deal with evil when it served his purpose, but leave it when to do so was to his own advantage. After all, to destroy the calf worship might mean that his people would once more go up to Jerusalem to worship. It would weaken his kingdom. Furthermore, he did a right thing in a wrong way—he went too far; He did all that was in the Lord’s heart, but not in the spirit of the Lord’s commission. When God acts in judgment it is His ‘strange work’, Isa. 28. 21, for God delights in mercy, but for Jehu it was a congenial task. How we need to be on our guard against the pursuit of truth apart from grace. Great results are constantly being achieved by God by the same means of very imperfect instruments; God is sovereign, and the work is His, not theirs. 


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