Wednesday, December 21, 2022

2022.12.21 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Kings 9

Read 2 Kings 9

Questions from the Scripture text: Who called whom in 2 Kings 9:1? What did he tell him to take where? Whom should he secure (2 Kings 9:2)? To do what to him (2 Kings 9:3)? Saying what? And then do what? How quickly? What does the young man do (2 Kings 9:4)? Whom does he find (2 Kings 9:5)? What does he say? What does Jehu ask? What does he answer? What does he do in 2 Kings 9:6? What does he say? What does he add that we did not hear about in 2 Kings 9:3 (2 Kings 9:7-10, cf. 1 Kings 19:16, 1 Kings 21:20–24)? What does he immediately do at the end of 2 Kings 9:10? Who ask what in 2 Kings 9:11? How does he answer? What do they say to this (2 Kings 9:12)? What do they demand? How much does Jehu tell them? What do the men then do and say (2 Kings 9:13)? Where had northern Joram been, doing what (2 Kings 9:14)? But where had he gone and why (2 Kings 9:15)? And who was visiting him (2 Kings 9:16b, cf. 1 Kings 8:29)? Where does Jehu go (2 Kings 9:16)? Who sees Jehu and company (2 Kings 9:17)? Whom does Joram send to ask what? But how does Jehu answer (2 Kings 9:18)? And what does the watchman say? How does Joram respond in 2 Kings 9:19? With what result? Now what does the watchman observe (2 Kings 9:20)? Now what does Joram do in 2 Kings 9:21? And what does he ask (2 Kings 9:22a)? But how does Jehu answer in verse 22b? Now what does Joram do and say (2 Kings 9:23)? But what does Jehu do, with what result (2 Kings 9:24)? And what does Jehu tell whom to do (2 Kings 9:25)? Why? What prophecy does he pronounce in addition (2 Kings 9:26)? Who sees this (2 Kings 9:27)? What does he do? But what does Jehu do? With what result? What note is added in 2 Kings 9:29? Where does Jehu come in 2 Kings 9:30? Who has heard of what he’s doing? What does she do? Whom and what does she call him (2 Kings 9:31, cf. 1 Kings 16:9–20)? But whom does he address/ask instead (2 Kings 9:32)? What answer does he get? What does he say to do (2 Kings 9:33)? What do they do? What does Jehu do with his horses? Then what does he do (2 Kings 9:34a)? Then what does he command (verse 34b)? Why couldn’t they obey (2 Kings 9:35)? What does Jehu conclude when he hears (2 Kings 9:36-37, cf. 1 Kings 21:23)?

What is the Spirit emphasizing to us by way of such a vivid, violent account? 2 Kings 9 looks forward to the first serial reading in morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these thirty-seven verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit emphasizes to us the Lord’s wisdom to keep His Word through such a variety of servants, His faithfulness to keep that Word though all others doubt or forget it, and His justness to keep that Word in avenging both His holiness in worship and His persecuted people.

The Lord’s Word drives history. We’ve known that Elijah (and, apparently, his prophetic heirs) would be the anointers of this since 1 Kings 19:16. And we’ve known much of the specifics of this since 1 Kings 21:21–24. The Lord just loves His worship too much to let the manmade worship of Jeroboam, Baasha, and Ahab go. And He loves the “least of these” Naboths too much to allow tyrannical assault on them to go unanswered (cf. (1 Kings 21:17–20).

We would do well to remember this, even if evil seems to have gone unchecked for a while. The Lord is not slow as some count slowness. He’s patient for the sake of His redemptive work, but the wicked are certainly reserved for destruction. They might sit comfortably as princesses (cf. 2 Kings 9:30), but if His Word has declared them dogfood, the curs will soon have their chow (2 Kings 9:35-36, cf. 1 Kings 21:23).

Not only has His Word assured this, but when the incident itself arrives, it’s the Word that instigates it. The Word itself is highlighted by the fact that it isn’t even the premier prophet of the day but just one of the sons of the prophets. Basically, a seminary student(!) anoints Jehu. The power is in the Word, not the man.

The Lord uses madmen. Jehoshaphat had been godly in some respects but horribly foolish in others. He apparently admired (!) Ahab enough to name his kid after Ahab’s kid, and then marry him off to Ahab’s daughter. It was clear whom he wanted to be king. But now the Lord anoints another of his boys to wipe out Ahab’s line (including the aforementioned son of Jehoshaphat). This is a great mercy isn’t it? The Lord could have raised up another seed from David’s line, but He honors Jehoshaphat by the use of Jehu.

Jehu definitely was not first choice for king from Jehoshaphat’s line. He had some military cred (cf. 2 Kings 9:5), but he was a bit unpolished. Either just his driving, or perhaps his entire persona, is well renowned for smacking of madness (a more literal translation than “furiously” in 2 Kings 9:20). But he is God’s choice. That’s what anointing intimates.

The Lord avenges both His precepts and His people. The book on Jeroboam son of Nebat, Baasha, and Ahab was clear. They had made Israel to sin. This phrase began back when Jeroboam invented his own Yahweh-worship system to preempt northerners from going south/up to Jerusalem to worship. Ahab took it to new heights when he married the Sidonian princess Jezebel, worldwide leading sponsor of Baal and Asherah worship (cf. 2 Kings 9:22b). But the Lord is holy. He will not permit the profaning of His worship to go unanswered, even if the manmade tradition has stood for centuries or more (this one had elements that went back to Aaron at Sinai).

But there’s something else that the Lord is answering here, and we’re alerted to it by the place that northern Joram and Jehu intersect in 2 Kings 9:21. It just “happens” to be Naboth’s vineyard, which the Holy Spirit is still calling “the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite” (verse 21). The Lord remembers His people and avenges them, even if the world has long since forgotten.

What manmade traditions in the churches seem to have gone “unanswered” by God thus far? What wicked tyrannies over Christ’s people? But what is in control of history, and what does this mean for tyrants and idolaters.

Sample prayer: Lord, You hate manmade worship and tyranny, and You reserve both for destruction. Have mercy on Your churches that have tolerated it for so long that they now justify it by the length of the tradition and the supposed goodness of their intentions. Grant them repentance, and grant that we would keep repenting of whatever comes from us instead of You. Please, mercifully turn us from any tyranny or taking advantage of others. And grant us the faith to know that You will avenge all tyranny and oppression of us. We praise You for Your just vengeance, and we thank You that in our case You have taken the penalty out upon Yourself in Christ, in Whose Name we pray, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP119W “Lord, Let My Cry Before You Come” or TPH103E “O, Come My Soul, Bless Thou the Lord

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