Know, then, that not a word the Lord has spoken against the house of Ahab will fail. The Lord has done what he announced through his servant Elijah.” 2 Kings 10:10
This scripture was spoken by Jehu, 10th King of Israel (northern Kingdom). Jehu was a unique leader among the many kings of the divided nation of Israel. One specific characteristic that is highly noteworthy was his responsiveness and respect for the Word of the Lord. Once Jehu was anointed by the prophet to be King he immediately moved to fulfill the prophetic directive Word of the Lord. He was specifically tasked with eliminating the entire house of Ahab, 70 sons and their associates, along with Jezebel the pagan queen who brought Baal worship to Israel.
Elijah received a word from the Lord in 1 Kings 19:15-18 that he was to anoint Jehu king of Israel. Then in 1 Kings 21 Elijah prophesies directly to Ahab, current king of Israel, about Ahab’s fate and the reason for his fate. Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!” “I have found you,” he (Elijah) answered, “because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord. 21 He says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you. I will wipe out your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free.[a] 22 I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have aroused my anger and have caused Israel to sin.’ 1 Kings 21:20-21
These prophetic words to and through a prophet became the platform upon which the future King Jehu would fulfill his purpose and direct the nation. Jehu was respectful of the Word of the Lord upon being anointed King and given his divine purpose (2 Kings 9:4-13). The prophetic word was very directive and specific. He neither hesitated nor questioned the word of the Lord. He moved to fulfill it. After each specific aspect of fulfillment; killing King Joram, killing the sons and associates of Ahab, killing Jezebel, and destroying the prophets and temple of Baal, Jehu reminded those around him this was the Lord’s word and will. So specifically responsive to the Word was he that upon killing the 70 sons of Ahab he said, “Know then, that not a word the Lord has spoken against the house of Ahab will fail. The Lord has done what he promised through his servant Elijah.” (2 Kings 10:10)
Jehu’s unique leadership was to be responsive and respectful of the Word of the Lord. He neither diminished nor enhanced it. He did not avoid the direction it would take him. He did not measure the risk of personal loss to execute the Lord’s will. He did not convene a committee to get a group perspective. He simply moved forward to fulfill that which was spoken to him and about him.
It would serve the church well today if we regarded the Word of the Lord as Jehu did. While many prophetic words and personal revelations are not directive, some are and we must take them seriously. We have a New Covenant advantage over Jehu to test the word. We have the written word of complete scripture. We have the Holy Spirit in and around us. We have Christ in us. We have prophets, apostles, evangelists, teachers and pastors to equip us. We have these ‘witnesses’ to judge and confirm the specific application of the Word that is imparted. The Apostle Paul said, “Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good…” 1 Thess. 1:19-21. Respect that which is spoken by the Spirit!
Jehu’s reward for following the specific Word of the Lord for him was a nation with renewed focus on Yahweh and four generations of his lineage on the throne of Israel. Let the church embrace such response and respect for the Word of the Lord. Watch what God will do in the nation!
To read Harvey’s previous article on Jehu, click here.