2 Kings 9:2-37
And when you come thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in…

The time had now fully come that the wrath of God was to be poured out upon the house of Ahab. The chapters we have selected for consideration bring this subject before us. The anointed of the Lord for the execution of this work was Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat. The first to fall under judgment was Jehoram the king. After him came Ahaziah and Jezebel; then the sons and grandsons of Ahab and the brethren of Ahaziah. After the royal family came the prophets, the priests, and the worshippers of Baal. These were all swept away at one stroke. Next followed the images of Baal and his house. These were devoted to utter destruction. So completely were the judgments of God executed upon apostate Israel and Judah that it is recorded "thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel." The narrative, however, has a spiritual aspect. Jehu's anointing was to a destruction with carnal weapons. The child of God now is anointed for a destruction of spiritual foes with spiritual weapons.

1. In these words we are presented with a picture of the way in which the Lord acts when He is about to call His servants to do His work. In the first place, there is the "anointing" — the Holy Spirit. Elisha commands the "box of oil" to be taken. Nothing can be done without this. In all true consecration to God's service the work must be, from beginning to end, the work of the Holy Spirit. Jehu can have no commission without the "oil." He can put no energy to work till the "oil" is "poured" upon him. It is this "anointing" that gives him his authority, his power, his perseverance, and his success. So it must be with the one who is devoted to the Lord's service.

2. In the next place, Jehu is made to "rise up from among his brethren." Here is separation. The work of God the Holy Ghost at once separates a man from everything around him. It is a personal call, an individual work. It is the direct action of that Holy Spirit on a man's own soul. He is drawn from every association and influence, and brought into "an inner chamber" — alone with God. There he is taught of God and trained for His work. There he obtains strength to fulfil it. Thus it is with all God's chosen ones. The more of this personal dealing of the Holy Spirit there is with the soul, the more of this work of the "inner chamber" going on, the more effectual will be the work we undertake for God. One marvels to see what one man could do! All the royal family, the prophets and priests, the worshippers and the idols — all fell down before this man at one stroke! What was the cause, what the secret source of this mighty energy and strength and success? It was the "off," the "separation," and the "inner chamber."

3. How little the world can understand or appreciate this Divine work is seen here. The messenger of the Lord is looked upon as a "mad fellow." This anointing is a secret into which none can enter but those who are subjects of it. Nor can he who is the subject ever sacrifice truth for the sake of peace. Three times the question is put to Jehu, "Is it peace?" But what peace can there be while God is dishonoured, sin loved and cherished, and the truth of God trampled in the dust! First purity, then peace — this is God's order. Peace at any price — this is man's. The world cries out for peace, and there is ready for it "the peace of God which passeth all understanding." But this peace springs from "the sword" which, first piercing man's heart for sin, breaks him from sin. Then follows the peace of God. There could be no peace to Joram, King of Israel, so long as God's truth was despised and set at nought. Put the sin away, every jot of it, then you can have God's peace in your soul! But who will maintain this standard? Who will carry it out at all seasons and under all circumstances? Only the consecrated Christian. Such high ground must entail the cross at every step, and none but a consecrated Christian can bear the cross "in season and out of season." None will take this ground unless there has been much of the "oil," the "separation," and the "inner chamber."

4. And mark the clear and unhesitating way in which every spiritual foe must be met, everything that stands between the soul and God dealt with. Jehu says, with regard to Ahaziah and Jezebel, "Smite him also," "throw her down"; with regard to Ahab's seventy sons, "Take ye the heads of the men, and bring them to me to Jezreel by to-morrow; with regard to the brethren of Ahaziah, "Take them alive"; with regard to the prophets, and priests, and worshippers, he says, "If any of the men escape, he that letteth him go his life shall be for the life of him." What uncompromising faithfulness! What an unreserved cutting-off of every evil one! Kings, nor queens, nor worshippers, are spared! All are swept away without a moment's hesitation! Ah, this is "faithfulness unto death!" This is consecration to God. This is what St. Paul meant when he said — "I am determined to know nothing among you but Jesus Christ and Him crucified"; "to me to live is Christ." It is clear from all I have said, that the difference between a just-saved Christian and one who is thus consecrated, is almost as great as between the former and an unbeliever. And this is the reason there is among Christians so little of the joy of the Lord.

5. Mark the hindrances, and the taunts and sneers such devotion to God has to endure: "Wherefore came this mad fellow," said one; "Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?" was the bitter taunt of Ahab's queen; "we are exceedingly afraid," was the cowardly reply of the rulers of Jezreel. To all these taunts and sneers Jehu has but one reply, "Who is on my side? Is thine heart right with my heart?" His was an eye looking right on, an arm ever uplifted, a course that saw nothing before him but the carrying out of God's word. Here the faithful one is crowned. Glory rests upon him and, through him, on his descendants. "I will give thee a crown of life"; "Him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me on My throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father in His throne." See the glory that awaits the consecrated life! Is this life thine? Art thou aiming at it, wrestling in prayer for it, keeping it ever before thee? Christian, nothing but this will bring joy and gladness to thy heart now, and "a crown of glory " hereafter. This is life — the life of God. This is testimony — testimony to Christ. This is heaven enjoyed on earth — but only enjoyed through the Cross. Christian, again I ask, Is this life thine?

6. But here the curtain falls. A dark shadow crosses our path. Jehu falls. Thank God for the spiritual picture we have been enabled to draw from his life of what a Christian should be. Thank God for the warning his life presents in its fall. "But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin." Draw the picture of every earthly servant of God as bright as we may, there is a shadow somewhere. It is well. The eye should fix itself only on Him. "Looking off unto Jesus." Jehu falls.Let us mark how he fell, and the solemn warning that fall presents.

1. I have been describing the whole-heartedness which characterises every consecrated Christian. But to be whole-hearted, and to maintain it, from day to day, amid influences on every side destructive of it, "needs that we take heed." Jehu "took no heed." Here is our first warning,

2. Secondly, "to walk." This is where the "heed" is to be directed. Talk there is, plenty, and "the talk of the lips tendeth to penury." Profession there is — it is the garment of the many. Just-saved ones there are — the Church has multitudes of them. what we need is "to walk" — "walk in the light," "walk before Me," "walk as becometh saints." This is where we have to "take heed." "Jehu took no heed to walk."

3. Thirdly, "to Walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel." It is to walk in the truth, to "have His commandments and keep them," to ask at every step, "what would the Lord have me to do?" It is to "set the Lord always before me." This is "to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel." This Jehu "took no heed" to do.

4. And lastly, "to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart." Here is whole-heartedness, consecration to God. Some Christians give half a heart. Others give their heart just when it is convenient — just when the Lord's claims involve no sacrifice. Jehu fell just here. Christians all around fall just here. The Church of Christ is full of fallen Johns! Fallen Jehus, on whose brows will rest a deep brand of shame when the Lord comes! Fallen Jehus, the heavy drags on the wheels of every chariot that would run a faster race to heaven!

(F. Whitefield, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber;

WEB: When you come there, find Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brothers, and carry him to an inner room.

Incomplete Obedience
Top of Page
Top of Page