God ‘DESIRES’ us to both ‘REMOVE EVIL’ and ‘BE GODLY’
April 17 Bible Reading: 2 Kings Chapters 10-12
Thus Jehu destroyed Baal from Israel. However Jehu did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin, that is, from the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan. And the Lord said to Jehu, "Because you have done well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation." But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin. (2 Kings 10:28-31)
In 841 B.C., Jehu became king of Israel and he ruled for 28 years. He brought in some great reformations that included the removal of Jezebel (9:30–37), killing the survivors of Ahab’s family in both Israel and Judah (10:1–17), and eradicating Baal worship formally (vv. 18–28). In many ways Jehu was one of the best kings of Israel as he executed God’s judgment on the house of Ahab and purged the land of Baal-worshipers. For these acts, God rewarded Jehu by allowing his dynasty to continue for four generations through Jehoahaz, Joash, Jeroboam II, and Zechariah.
Even though Jehu destroyed Baal worship (vv. 18–28) on a political level, he continued the state worship policies established by Jeroboam I that clearly showed his disregard for true spiritual revival in Israel. He continued to promote the worship of the golden calves set up at Bethel and Dan, which Jeroboam had inaugurated. To abolish these places of worship established by Jeroboam would have opened the door for the people of Israel to return to Jerusalem as their religious center. This, in turn, could have led to a reunion of Israel with the house of David, which Jehu did not want in order to maintain his authority and control over Israel.
What we can see is that Jehu was not fully devoted to God! He removed evil from his kingdom, but did not become a godly example before others. Therefore, he is justly condemned by the later prophet Hosea (Hosea 1:4) for having used the command of God to mask his own lust for power. He was zealous but not devoted to Jehovah. Due to this, the nation of Israel did not become righteous before God by just removing evil in the form of Baal worship as it did not establish godliness by truly following God as well.
Today, let us examine our hearts to see if we have not only removed wrong habits, practices, addictions from our lives, but are also walking in the path of righteousness by meditating, delighting in and living according to God’s Word!