2 Kings 10:18-36 – The Final Purge

Read 2 Kings 10:18-36

garbage worker brushing question mark bubbles into a pile

Jehu’s rampage to cleanse Israel was finished…almost. Why did he leave the golden calves in Bethel and Dan? Despite that, God was pleased. “You have done well in following my instructions to destroy the family of Ahab. Therefore, your descendants will be kings of Israel down to the fourth generation.”

In this climactic act of violence, Jehu rids Israel of all Baal worship. Tragically, it sounds like a lot of people lost their life that day. Yet, I can almost imagine the sky looked a little brighter and the sun shone more brilliantly that day with so much evil purged from society. Unfortunately, a “weed” was left behind to grow and spread again.

Of course, we are not called to such violence to purge evil from society. Yet we do need to ask, “what can we learn from Jehu?” We can clearly see that pleasing God is easy when we obey. We can also see that our problems are never gone for long when we take matters into our own hands and stop listening to God’s direction.

I remember having several toxic relationships when I was younger. Those associations were often “on again, off again” type relationships. During times of involvement, I would stumble and fall, make bad choices, and have a sense of dread hanging over me. Until I was finally able to cut ties with those individuals, the cycle would continue. Maybe you can relate?

Jehu did what God had asked of him, and he felt like he had succeeded. So why couldn’t Jehu bring himself to do away with the golden calves, too? Sometimes we hold on to something familiar even though it isn’t healthy for us to do so. Is there something in your life right now that needs some purging? What might be keeping you from having the strong relationship with God and others that you have always dreamed of?

Another trap we often fall into is “tolerance.” Of course, there’s a huge different between tolerating sinful or unhealthy behavior and approving of such behavior. There’s lots of buzz about this today, and it seems that if you don’t tolerate certain things, you can be labeled as judgmental or even “cancelled” from society. I don’t quite understand it all but am troubled by what many people are allowing as “okay” behavior. If I’m troubled, how must God feel?

Israel was God’s chosen nation. They should have been the example of what was right. Over time, the kings and leaders began to look the other way, not only tolerating but accepting and approving behavior which was not pleasing to God. Idol worship was blatantly breaking God’s law. We’re created to worship our creator God, not some idol or false belief.

The people of Israel were easily distracted, just like we are today. How do we stand strong for what we believe in? How can we be tolerant without approving of behavior that displeases God? We can be welcoming to others without condoning their sinful behavior that keeps them separated from God. How do you respond when you see behavior that dishonors God?

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray …
Lord, thank you for your reminder to obey and stay close to you. I am so grateful for how you are working in my life. Forgive me when I let messages from the “world” crowd my head and make me doubt you. Help me be loving to those who are different from me being careful not to accept or approve any behavior that displeases you. May they feel your love and repent.  Use me to accomplish your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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