God Wants To Get You Alone + God Is Just + How Do You See The Lord’s Servants?
2 Kings 9:1-2 (NIV) 1 The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company of the prophets and said to him, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take this flask of oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead. 2 When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room.
On verses 1-6: Elisha sends one of his junior prophets to speak to Jehu and anoint him as the next king of Israel. Notice Elisha’s instructions to that junior prophet: “Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room” (v2). When God wants to speak to you an intimate and personal word to you, He often wants to get you in private first.
What does that mean for us? If you want to hear from God, it’s about getting away from the distractions around you and getting alone with God. You’re not going to hear much from God if you’re not able to be alone with God.
2 Kings 9:7-10 (NIV) 7 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. 8 The whole house of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel–slave or free. 9 I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. 10 As for Jezebel, dogs will devour her on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and no one will bury her.'” Then he opened the door and ran.
On verses 7-10: Previously in 1 Kings 21:21-29, Elijah had prophesied that God would mete out justice against the house of Ahab, avenging the many prophets of the Lord whom Ahab and his wife Jezebel had killed. Elijah even gave specific details about how Jezebel would die (1 Kings 21:29). Now in these verses this junior prophet sent by Elisha echoes Elijah’s earlier prophecy. He additionally states that Jehu is God’s intended instrument to carry out this annihilation of the house of Ahab and Jezebel.
What can we learn from this? God is just. He will always make sure that justice is served in His time. God is faithful to avenge His people when they are wronged. As Romans 12:19 says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
2 Kings 9:11-13 (NIV) 11 When Jehu went out to his fellow officers, one of them asked him, “Is everything all right? Why did this madman come to you?” “You know the man and the sort of things he says,” Jehu replied. 12 “That’s not true!” they said. “Tell us.” Jehu said, “Here is what he told me: ‘This is what the LORD says: I anoint you king over Israel.'” 13 They hurried and took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, “Jehu is king!”
On verses 11-13: I find these verses quite humorous and revealing. Jehu has just been anointed king of Israel by an unnamed prophet sent. Curious what this prophet said to Jehu, Jehu’s officers condescendingly talk about this prophet: “Why did this madman come to you” (v11). In an effort to keep the news to himself, Jehu perpetuates that negative and commonly held view that God’s prophets are crazy and out of touch: “You know the man and the sort of things he says” (v11). But as soon as Jehu tells his officers what the prophet actually told him, these officers and Jehu take the prophet’s words so seriously that they even formally proclaiming Jehu as the new king. If the prophet’s words carried such weight, why did Jehu and his officers mock him?
Sometimes not so spiritual Christians do the same thing Jehu and his officers did. They look down on the Lord’s servants, people who have dedicated their lives and careers to serving God and God’s people. Behind these servants’ backs they might call them “madmen” or be quick to criticize, dismiss or look down on them. (Have you ever spoken that way about your pastors, or about evangelists you see on a computer screen?) And yet when it comes to critical transition points in their lives (e.g. when someone dies, when you’re looking for direction), it is to these same “madmen” that they look to for hope, direction, comfort and insight. It’s a reminder that many of us need to show more respect for the office of God’s servants, speaking respectfully about them both in public and in private.
Do I wish God’s servants were treated better than this? Of course I do. But remember that that’s also how they treated Jesus – in one moment calling him crazy and the next moment hanging on his every word. As Christians we must not be overly concerned with the way others see us. For when you follow Jesus, people’s opinions of you will change without you necessarily changing. So don’t be a slave to people’s opinions. Just be faithful to God’s call on your life, love people because Jesus loved people, and live for His approval and pleasure more than anything else.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You take the initiative to get us alone and to speak to us. May we have ears to hear You. Thank You that You are just and faithful to avenge Your people. May we trust in Your promise to avenge us when we are wronged. And thank You that we don’t need to be slaves to other people’s opinions. Instead we can focus simply on being faithful to the call You have on our lives, knowing that it is Your opinion, far more than anyone else’s, that counts. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!