Wednesday, December 28, 2022

2022.12.28 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Kings 10

Read 2 Kings 10

Questions from the Scripture text: How many sons did Ahab have where (2 Kings 10:1)? Who sent letters where to whom? What were these elders doing? What did Jehu invite these men to do against him (2 Kings 10:2-3)? How do the elders feel about this and why (2 Kings 10:4)? What do they decide to do instead (2 Kings 10:5)? What does Jehu then tell them to bring to where, when (2 Kings 10:6)? Who are these elders who receive the message? What do they do (2 Kings 10:7)? What does a messenger tell Jehu in 2 Kings 10:8? And what does Jehu say to do with the heads? To the crowd that gathers, what does he say about them (2 Kings 10:9)? And about himself? But what else does he ask? Of Whose Word does he remind them, and Whose action does he ultimately credit (2 Kings 10:10)? By whose mouth? What does Jehu proceed to do to whom, where? To where does he go in 2 Kings 10:12? Whom does he meet where (2 Kings 10:13)? What are they on the way to do? What does Jehu say to do (2 Kings 10:14)? What do they do, but then what? Whom does Jehu meet in 2 Kings 10:15? What does Jehu ask about him? What does he tell him to do? What does Jehu tell Jehonadab that he’s going to show him (2 Kings 10:16)? What does this zeal for Yahweh look like (2 Kings 10:17)? What does it fulfill? Now, what does Jehu do (2 Kings 10:18)? What does he tell them he will do? Whom does he say to gather (2 Kings 10:19)? How many? For what? What was his very Jacobish (more literal than “deceptive” here) intent? What did he say to proclaim (2 Kings 10:20)? Where was this proclaimed (2 Kings 10:21)? With what result? What was the condition of Baal’s temple now? What else does Jehu make sure is included (2 Kings 10:22)? Whom does he make sure are excluded (2 Kings 10:23)? Where does he post whom, with what threat (2 Kings 10:24)? What does he command in 2 Kings 10:25? What do they do in 2 Kings 10:26? And what in 2 Kings 10:27? What did people do at that site from then on? What had Jehu done (2 Kings 10:28)? But from what did he not turn away? Still, what had he done in the matter of the house of Ahab (2 Kings 10:30)? And how would the Lord reward him for that? So what was the Lord’s ultimate verdict about him (2 Kings 10:31)? Why? What did the Lord begin to do in response to this sin (2 Kings 10:32)? By whose hand? Which parts did they lose (2 Kings 10:33)? What else did Jehu do (2 Kings 10:34)? Where are those things written? What two things happen to him in 2 Kings 10:35? Who reigns in his place? How long had he been king (2 Kings 10:36)?

What does true zeal for Yahweh look like? 2 Kings 10 looks forward to the first serial reading in morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these thirty-six verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that one may do well for some time and to some extent, but true zeal for the Lord departs from the sin of manmade tradition in religion.

A show of great zeal. One of the things that comes across in this passage is how much Jehu relishes his job of fulfilling Yahweh’s Word through Elijah about the house of Ahab (cf. 2 Kings 10:10,  2 Kings 10:16-17,  2 Kings 10:30). Among the political chess of  2 Kings 10:1-6, the grandstanding of  2 Kings 10:7-10, the toying of  2 Kings 10:12-14, the personal showing off communicated in  2 Kings 10:15-17, the ultimate Jacob-ing (less literally translated “deceptive” in  2 Kings 10:19) craftiness of  2 Kings 10:18-25, and even the repurposed latrine of  2 Kings 10:26-27… the implication in this chapter is that Jehu enjoyed this part of his calling immensely.

Which hid from view great sin. Although Jehu himself seems to have believed that he was very pro-Yahweh, and Yahweh does commend him for a total cleanup job on the house of Ahab ( 2 Kings 10:30), we must not mistake this for being entirely pro-Yahweh. He apparently did oversee a great sacrifice for Baal in  2 Kings 10:25, even though the plan was to exact from Baal the ultimate sacrifice. 

But there is something far worse here. He continued the manmade Yahweh-worship by way of manmade methods (golden calves) in man-selected locations (Bethel and Dan) on the manmade holy days ( 2 Kings 10:29, cf. 1 Kings 12:28–33). Hundreds of years of continual religious practice, resting upon almost a millennium of religious tradition for celebrating the redemptive acts of Yahweh (cf. Exodus 32:4–6) couldn’t be bad could it? The Lord’s own view of it is that it was sinning ( 2 Kings 10:29a), causing the church to sin (verse 29b), and not caring to walk in the law of the Lord with all the heart ( 2 Kings 10:31).

Though one do many things, completely the way the Lord has commanded; though many see him being very zealous for the Lord; though the Lord Himself commend much of what he does… still that one may sin greatly against God simply by continuing the church’s traditional observances “in honor of the Lord and His redemption.” 

The text ties the timing of the judgment in  2 Kings 10:32 to the assessment in  2 Kings 10:31. Though Jehu reigned 28 years ( 2 Kings 10:36), and did many mighty acts ( 2 Kings 10:34), all the press is given to his good start wiping out Ahab, and then his boring but wicked continuation of the manmade liturgy of Israel. This is what mattered before the eyes of God. 

What false gods are worshiped in our culture? In our churches? What does zeal for the Lord desire to be done to them? What man-made ways of worshiping God are in the church? What would zeal for the Lord do with that?

Sample prayer: Lord, You alone are worthy of Worship. Forgive us for not being much bothered by how the world around us depends on other gods, is devoted to other gods, and delights in other gods. Stir up zeal for You in our hearts. And grant that this zeal would be genuine, so that we would not continue in any traditional worship of You that originated with man. Forgive us for sins like those for which You judged even otherwise faithful Jehu, and the ten tribes with him. Turn our hearts back to Your Word to be led in worship by Jesus alone, in Whose Name we ask it, 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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