2 Kings 9

2 Kings 9
Pastor Mark Hudson

One way to look at this chapter is found in D.R. Davis’ commentary on p. 148.

Instructions and obedience, vv. 1-10

Coronation and conspiracy, vv. 11-16

Riding and Retribution, vv. 17-37

A cloud of dust, vv. 17-20

A series of deaths, vv. 21-137.

Sometimes, you know if you do or say something, nothing will be the same.  Sometimes a word, a deed, or a decision changes things yet, you still proceed.  That is what happens here.  Elisha knows that as soon as Jehu is anointed, several important things will inevitably follow.  He instructs one of his students to speak prophecy to Jehu, anoint Jehu and then get out of Dodge.  And quickly.

In this case, the word of God is the catalyst (Davis) of history.  The word has a power that begins or unleashes a series of events.  We see the same thing in 8:7-15.  If we claim that the word of God is the catalyst, we do not imply people do things against their will.  A catalyst precipitates an event or is a stimulus for other actions.  That is the power of God’s Word.  “We are accustomed to saying the at the word of God controls history, but our text implies more: it is as though the word of God drives history”  (Davis, p, 152).

“Ramoth-gilead stood twenty-five to thirty miles east of the Jordan, astride the north-south King’s Highway leading to Damascus in the north.  A road also ran westward from Ramoth-gilead to Beth-shan and other points west of the Jordan.  Incense and spice caravans trucked  through Ramoth-gilead.  That meant whoever controlled the site collected ‘caravan transit revenue’  (D.R. Davis. Footnote #4 p. 148).  The action starts in Ramoth-gilead but Jezreel is where the royal residence is.  Jehu, after anointed King, goes straight to Jezreel.  He  is on a mission.  We may surmise that Jehu was already looking to supplant Joram.  Now, Jehu is full speed ahead.  In verse 15, we see that Jehu uses surprise to end Joram’s reign.

In the confrontation between Joram and Jehu, what name appears but Naboth?  I Kings 21:19 the fulfillment of ‘Thus says the Lord’ is coming true.  When God speaks, His word will always be fulfilled.  Remember, He accomplishes His will in unusual ways.  His greatest work of grace and love resulted in the crucifixion of His perfect, sinless, and only Son.  Now we see His work done through violent means.  God is avenging the death of a solitary man who refused to sell his property which was against his conscience.  What Jezebel and Ahab did in I Kings 21 was a serious sin against God.  God would not ‘get over it.’  God refused to forget.  And God was not passive about this injustice.  Verses 25-26 make this clear.  No one wants to be in God’s crosshairs.  Yet, many of our own family members, friends, and acquaintances are in that position.

In vs. 7-8, God had not forgotten all the pernicious sin Jezebel committed against ‘My servants the prophets, . . . and all the servants of the Lord.”  God loves His people.  God remembered and never forgot what Jezebel did.  God will never forget what evil men and women have done and are now doing against His body, the church.  His revenge will be awful, inescapable, just, and eternal.  How the wicked will be surprised when they die and meet God.  It will be a moment that will haunt them forever.  Jezebel will justly suffer for all she did while the righteous will be comforted by their heavenly Father.

This chapter ends with a clear link of Elijah’s words in I Kings 21.  The authors wants us to know that God’s Word will be, must be, has always been, and will always be fulfilled, accomplished, and found to be true.  That is comfort to the saint, and terror for the unbeliever.  Jezebel, now a derisive name, will forever be remembered.  However, no godly person would ever name their daughter Jezebel.  She is the epitome of evil.  She, although, married to a king in Israel, was wicked to the core.  This is the status of the northern kingdom.  Soon, the southern kingdom will imitate this same proud defiance against a holy God.

As you think about God’s wrath, and you need to think deeply and often about God’s wrath, remember that the flip side of God’s wrath is His love and protection of His people.  For those who you who don’t think contemplating God’s just wrath is profitable, just imagine if God merely let anyone into heaven.  It would like this world.  We would have to ‘lock our doors’ and wonder if people were lying to us and discovering that some in heaven were trying to usurp God from His throne.  The water in the flood killed some and saved the few in the ark.  The fire of God that kills the wicked, purifies the rest.  Disciplines or judgement makes a distinction.  Sometimes, God’s judgment is something people can see.

The death of Jesus could and was viewed by His followers as a terrible event.  Soon after, believers saw in the bloody cross the beauty, majesty, justice, love, mercy and righteousness of God. That cross condemns those who refuse to believe and welcomes all who humble themselves and look to Christ.

Dear loving, eternal Father.  We repent of how we refuse to see You as the authors present You in the Bible. We think we know better than to speak of hell, wrath, and judgment.  But the Bible talks often, clearly, and without compromise about Your wrath and the justice of all You do.  Our Lord Jesus, You spoke soberly, seriously, and lovingly about hell.  You were a faithful witness of truth when You lived on this earth.  Break our hearts for concern for the glory of God.  May You be who we fear the most.  May we live, speak, act, and long for You and You alone.  Pour our Your Spirit to bring renewal, revival, and a fire that burns dross and leaves the pure gold.  Purge away all that distracts from Your eternal glory.  For the eternal worth and honor of Jesus Christ.  Amen.