Today’sPassage – 2 Kings 10 – 12
Second Milers also read – Luke 13 – 14; Psalms 141 – 150; Proverbs 29
“Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.” – (2 Kings 10:28)
“And all the people of the land went into the house of Baal, and brake it down; his altars and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD.” – (2 Kings 11:18)
In all three of the chapters from 2 Kings that we have read today we have seen a “housecleaning” of sorts. First we see Jehu of the northern kingdom of Israel in chapter 10. He slaughters all of the family of wicked King Ahab along with all of the prophets of Baal. Now I understand that when we read passages like this in the 21st Century, we tend to think that Jehu was way to cruel to the family of Ahab. However, it is important to realize that Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, had done more to cause God to be angry than any other king of Israel or Judah. They had filled the land with immorality and idolatry; they had repressed the true worshippers of God, and promoted the worship of Baal. Jehu was actually fulfilling the Word of God through the prophet Elijah when he said that the house of Ahab and Jezebel would be destroyed. (1 Kings 21:19, 21, 29)
Now when we get to chapters 11 and 12, we are in the southern kingdom of Judah. The king of Judah, Ahaziah, was also slain by Jehu in the northern kingdom back in chapter 9. Ahaziah was friends with the king of Israel, so he was guilty by association. Also, Ahaziah’s mother was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. So you see the wicked influence of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel of the northern kingdom had spread to the southern kingdom of Judah. By the way, it all started when the good king, Jehoshaphat, became friendly with Ahab. At any rate, by the time we get to 2 Kings 12, the southern kingdom of Judah is filled with the worship Baal, which needs to be exterminated from the land.
What we need to learn from all of this is that if we are not careful about living our lives separate from the world, we too will begin to allow all kinds of things that God is against. And what is worse, we will also set a poor example to our children who will most likely move even further away from God than we do. I do not believe that King Jehoshaphat would be pleased with what happened to his nation in the next couple of generations, but in reality, he was the one who started it all by getting too cozy with people who hated God and God’s prophets.
Consider some New Testament verses about separation:
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” – (2 Corinthians 6:14)
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” – (1 John 2:15)
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” – (2 Corinthians 6:17)
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – (Romans 12:2)
I do not believe these verses teach that we should isolate ourselves from the world. Jesus said we are to be in the world but not of the world. Our presence as Christians in this world is really for the purpose of God’s glorification. We are to make God look good to the world through our lives. When we allow the world to conform us into its image rather than us influencing the world, we are no longer glorifying God. Remember, Christian, you are the one who knows the truth. Don’t let the vain philosophies of this world somehow cause you to doubt that truth. I think if we would be completely honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that we have all allowed too much of the dirt of the world to creep into our lives. Maybe its time for us to do a little housecleaning. Just a thought.
Posted in Thoughts from 2 Kings by Phil Erickson with no comments yet.