This is a part of a quirky “what happened to…” series
- What happened to Josiah?
- What happened to Goliath’s kids?
- What happened to Zacchaeus?
- What happened to Moses?
- What happened to the Sons of Sceva?
- What happened to Peter?
- What happened to Jehu?
And now for the main attraction… Je-who? Jehu!
Son of Jehoshaphat, and descendant of Nimshi, hence, commonly called “the son of Nimshi”; 10th king of Israel, and founder of its 4th Dynasty. Jehu reign for 28 years. His accession may be reckoned at circa 752 bc (some date a few years later). – ISBE
Eastons dictionary says this of Jehu
“He was one of those decisive, terrible, and ambitious, yet prudent, calculating, and passionless men whom God from time to time raises up to change the fate of empires and execute his judgments on the earth.” – Eastons Bible Dictionary
Jehu was a man who seemed like he was the “next big thing” he suddenly disappeared. Why? What happened to Jehu? The reason he suddenly disappeared is a good warning to all men and women that God chooses to use.
God used Jehu to shape an entire nation and destory evil:
1Ki 19:17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death.
God anointed Jehu as king over Israel!
1Ki 19:16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel
Then Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets and said to him, “Tie up your garments, and take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead. And when you arrive, look there for Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi. And go in and have him rise from among his fellows, and lead him to an inner chamber. Then take the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say, ‘Thus says the LORD, I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee; do not linger.” So the young man, the servant of the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. And when he came, behold, the commanders of the army were in council. And he said, “I have a word for you, O commander.”
And Jehu said, “To which of us all?” And he said, “To you, O commander.” So he arose and went into the house. And the young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him, “Thus says the LORD the God of Israel, I anoint you king over the people of the LORD, over Israel.
– 2Ki 9:1-6
Pretty sweet! King of Israel! Wooooo!
But he went on… the woman Jezebel (who caused such trouble for Elijah) was killed by Jehu as God propesied she would:
When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it. And she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out of the window. And as Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it peace, you Zimri, murderer of your master?” And he lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked out at him. He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down. And some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, and they trampled on her.
– 2Ki 9:30-33
And he wiped out all of the house of Ahab as God instructed him to:
So Jehu struck down all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, all his great men and his close friends and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
– 2Ki 10:11
He drives like a madman!
And in fact God even permitted some humor in the bible about Jehu
And when he departed from there, he met Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him. And he greeted him and said to him, “Is your heart true to my heart as mine is to yours?” And Jehonadab answered, “It is.” Jehu said, “If it is, give me your hand.” So he gave him his hand. And Jehu took him up with him into the chariot. And he said, “Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD.” So he had him ride in his chariot.
– 2Ki 10:15-16
The people saw a chariot approaching them and it was going so fast that they knew it must be Jehu! So apparently Jehu was a bit of a wild driver… no speed limits for him! hehehehe.
The lookout reported, “He has reached them, but he isn’t coming back either. The driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi–he drives like a madman.” – 2 Kings 9:20
Jehu did great things for God and for the people.
Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel.
– 2Ki 10:28
And then? Gone!
And that’s the last thing we hear about Jehu. Right there. BANG. The guy was the next big thing… but his story ends RIGHT THERE.
The bible says that Jehu reigned for 28 years. (2Ki 10:36). So let’s just take a moment to let the facts sink in. Jehu was a prophet, a King of Israel, he wiped out Jezebel and Baal from the land. No doubt God would have used him for more things… but why does the story just end right there?
Then God had good things to say to Jehu and blessed him.
And the LORD said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.”
– 2Ki 10:30
But within 2 verses we find this statement:
In those days the LORD began to cut off parts of Israel. Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel:
– 2Ki 10:32
So God began to cut off Israel WHILE Jehu was King! And we don’t hear of Jehu again.
He’s not a big figure in the NT or in any of the other books. (His story is retold in Chronicles). No one else in the OT makes any reference to him.
Only once does God mention Jehu in Hosea – and it’s not good:
And the LORD said to him, “Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel,
– Hos 1:4
God commits Himself against Jehu’s house and even against parts of Israel. This is a MASSIVE fall from grace. Simply massive. What on earth could Jehu have done that would have caused such anger in God? He was going so well and then we hear nothing further from him.
God doesn’t snap at infractions, God tolerates a lot – check out the life of David and Solomon as examples of a loving and tolerant God.
So what happened? What did Jehu do that caused such a reaction? The answer has been on my mind for several weeks.
Firstly, from my reading, there is a possibility that 2Ki 10:18-24 shows that Jehu in fact participated in a sacrifice while he was trying to entrap the priests of baal. His heart was set on serving God and yet he didn’t understand how serious God was/is about idolatry.
Secondly, Jehu wiped out baal but he didn’t wipe out the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan.
But Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin–that is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan.
– 2Ki 10:29
But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the LORD the God of Israel with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin. In those days the LORD began to cut off parts of Israel. Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel:
– 2Ki 10:31-32
If Jehu had have wiped out those calves, many many future generations might not have gone astray and God might have had a loyal people.
Repentance (changing your way) and putting an end to sin
This is such an important issue. We can do so many wonderful things for God, but in my reading of the bible idolatry is far and away the most common reason for God to turn against people and nations (think: high places etc.)
PLEASE NOTE: That ending sin can only be done through Jesus Christ. We simply cannot keep the law. But that is the topic of many of my other posts. This post is to demonstrate how the next big thing (Jehu) was cut down in his prime.
It’s hard to stress this enough. While David got up to all kinds of major nonsense (adultery, murder etc.) God still said He desires the tabernacle of David. Why? He repented. Look at his psalms, he was sorry.
But Jehu got cut off and God eventually turned against Israel BECAUSE those idols had been tolerated.
God turned with these onerous words:
And the LORD said to him, “Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. And on that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”
She conceived again and bore a daughter. And the LORD said to him, “Call her name No Mercy, for I will no more have mercy on the house of Israel, to forgive them at all. But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the LORD their God. I will not save them by bow or by sword or by war or by horses or by horsemen.” When she had weaned No Mercy, she conceived and bore a son.
And the LORD said, “Call his name Not My People, for you are not my people, and I am not your God.”
– Hos 1:4-9
That is just scary. Terrifying to me in fact. The consequences of Jehu not wiping out that idol entirely was very great and eventually led to God being separated from His people.
We must understand that tolerating or getting involved in idolatry is absolutely not acceptable if we want to remain in covenant or intimacy with God. He has shown again and again in the bible that He tolerates other forms of sin, but in my readings of the bible when someone falls this far from grace and is cut off… idolatry is always right there in the story.
I feel personally convicted to go home and look again at the contents of my home and my life to ensure that I don’t have idolatrous items. It’s that serious an issue to Him and I want to be with Him.