Jehu was a king who got mixed reviews. He did better than other kings but did not serve God fully. You could say he came in first. But first was not good enough. Maybe he compared himself to others and felt he had done enough. His scale of values was distorted by human failings.
God made us to be His image bearers, to reflect His glory. As fallen creatures we do not achieve that perfectly. Only Jesus Christ lived a sinless, completely God-honoring life. Yet we will be like Him (I John 3:1-3). That is our destiny. Do not settle for first place, like Jehu, but seek to grow in Christlikeness.
We are called to proclaim the truth of the gospel, bad news and good news. We may not tamper with the message to make it more palatable or pleasant. Be faithful as you preach the gospel even through tears.
We are fed by a steady diet of bad news. Chaos seems to reign around the globe: famine, war, terrorism, poverty, global warming, political corruption, and so on. We need to be reminded that these kinds of crises have existed for thousands of years. Is God still God? Absolutely. Trust Him come what may.
God gave Elisha the power to perform miracles as a means of certifying the authenticity of the prophet’s role. There are clear parallels to several of Jesus’ miracles. Yet the seeking of signs and miracles can be an obstacle to faith (Matthew 12:38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:22). Jesus is the culmination of God’s revelation to us in His Word, the Bible (Hebrews 1:1-2). Let us be diligent to study and believe what He has revealed in Scripture.
It is a foolish but common ploy to attack the person delivering a true, irrefutable but inconvenient message. A wise person will take heed to a warning and make amends quickly. Today we meet a king who was neither wise nor godly and the prophet who delivered the unwelcome message.
Once again we see an example of how difficult it is to handle success and prosperity without succumbing to serious temptations and the pitfalls of sin. The Bible shows us how to live cautiously and dutifully, before the face of God (Coram Deo).
Learn from Solomon, the great king with the sad finale. Seek to end well.
God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Israel always had a global focus, an inclusion of the Gentiles (Genesis12:3). Today’s reading gives another example of how the king of Israel, Solomon, understood this reality. Clearly this attitude did not carry over during New Testament times and during the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.
Is your prayer life informed by the Word of God? Solomon’s was in the case of his prayer at the newly opened temple. He showed a sensitivity to God’s grace and mercy toward “foreigners”. Heaven will include worshipers of God from every tribe, tongue, and nation (Revelation 7:9-10). Be sure you are praying for them.