What does it say?

The commission given to Elijah to anoint Jehu as king of Israel (1Ki 19:16) is now carried out by his disciple Elisha in 2 Kings 9. While King Joram, accompanied by king Ahaziah, recovers from battle wounds, Jehu kills both Joram and Ahaziah and then the queen mother Jezebel.

Jehu’s bloody purge continues in 2 Kings 10 as he kills all of Ahab’s family, many of Judah’s royal family as well as prophets, priests and worshippers of Baal. Though Jehu destroyed many objects of idol worship, he left many things undone and especially neglected God’s word during his 28 years on the throne.

Jehu had murdered Ahaziah of Judah also, and now 2 Kings 11 tells the story we saw in 2 Chronicles 22 and 23. Taking advantage of Ahaziah’s death, the queen mother Athaliah kills all the royal seed to secure the throne for herself. The infant Joash is rescued. When Joash turned eight, the priest Jehoiada leads a coup, killing Athaliah and puts Joash on his rightful throne.

What does it mean?

Jehu is the only king of the Northern kingdom to be anointed. Despite his own evil inclinations, Jehu is used of God to accomplish his purposes. Being anointed of God is not a matter to boast about. Evil or godly, God anoints who he wants to do his will.

Jehu devastates the royal line in both north and south. Even so, God’s providential care protects the infant Joash that represents God’s promise to preserve the line of David and that from him the Messiah would come. The mission will be accomplished. The only remaining question is if we will be cooperative and full participants or if God will use us despite ourselves.

How will I respond?

What is the Elisha factor in my life? How does God actively use me to move forward his mission? What parts of my life are more like Joash, God using me in spite of myself? What step will I take today to make this part of my life more like Elisha than Joash?