Today’s reading: 2 Kings 9-11.
If you have children, you know what matters most is what they do – not what they say they are going to do. Jesus made that point clear in one of his parables. For us, God’s children, it also matters a lot that our heavenly Father does what he says he is going to do. Fortunately for us, he is always true to his word.
Sometimes the fulfillment of God’s promises take time, but they are always completed at the right time. Elijah didn’t live to see God’s promised judgment on Ahab’s family, but his servant Elisha saw it. In fact, Elisha started the whole process by sending one of his assistants to anoint a new king in Israel.
Then the prophet poured the oil on Jehu’s head and declared, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anoint you king over the LORD’s people Israel. You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the LORD’s servants shed by Jezebel. The whole house of Ahab will perish. 2 Kings 9:6-8
Like Clint Eastwood tracking down every last bad guy, Jehu doesn’t stop until he completes God’s promised destruction of the entire house of Ahab.
- Ahab’s son Joram, the current king of Israel, is slain by Jehu on the very land of Naboth confiscated illegally by Joram’s father and mother.
- Joram’s mother, wicked Jezebel who brought Baal worship to Israel, is also murdered at Jehu’s order. As God had promised through Elijah, the dogs carry away her remains.
- Jehu murders Ahab’s seventy other sons.
- He tricks all of the priests of Baal in Israel into assembling together, then executes them.
- Judah’s idolatrous king, Ahaziah, the grandson of Ahab by his daughter, Athaliah, is murdered by Jehu.
All of which leaves Athaliah, Ahab’s evil daughter, in control in Judah. She tries to eradicate all remaining traces of David’s royal family, but her daughter hides young Joash, Athaliah’s grandson. Six to seven years later the priest, Jehoida, and the royal guards overthrow Athaliah and make Joash, now seven years old, the new king.
God kept his word and at the proper time brought justice upon the remnant of Ahab and Jezebel. However, it is interesting to note that Ahab’s blood flows in the veins of his great-grandson, Joash. If Joash had not lived to sit on Judah’s throne, God’s promise to David that his descendants would remain on the throne would have ended at that time. It seems sometimes one of God’s promises may trump another. I’m satisfied to know that Joash turned out to be one of Judah’s godly kings, and the descendants of Ahab who fell under God’s judgment were wicked and idolatrous persons who did not repent despite the delay of their execution.
Image by Courtney Dirks on Flickr, CC by 2.0