2 Kings 9:22 (NIV) 22 When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?” “How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?”
On verses 14-29: These verses describe how Jehu assassinates Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah. Jehu travels from Ramoth Gilead to Jezreel where Joram king of Israel is nursing his wounds from battle and where Ahaziah king of Judah has gone to visit Joram (v14-16). When Joram’s guards spot Jehu approaching in his chariot, twice Joram sends a horseman to ask Jehu, “Do you come in peace?” and each time Jehu replies, “What do you have to do with peace?” Instead of reporting back to Joram, both of these horsemen decide to follow Jehu (v17-20) and Jehu continues driving “like a madman” in his chariot toward King Joram (v21).
When Jehu meets King Joram of Israel with King Ahaziah of Judah by his side, King Joram asks Jehu, “Have you come in peace?” Jehu replies, “How can there be peace as long as the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother [Jezebel] abound?” (v22) At this point both Joram and Ahaziah realize that Jehu is no longer on their side, but it’s too late as Jehu wounds both of them fatally (v23-24, 27-28). Jehu also tells his chariot officer Bidkar to throw Joram’s body onto the field of Naboth the Jezreelite (v25-26). This is to fulfill a prophecy that Elijah had spoken years before in 1 Kings 21:19.
What can we learn from this? Notice that four times in this passage the same question appears: “Do you come in peace?” (v17, 18, 19, 22) Each time Joram or one of Joram’s men asks Jehu this question, Jehu retorts, “What do you have to do with peace?” or “How can there be peace as long as the idolatry and witchcraft started by Joram’s mother Jezebel abound?” Jehu understood that unless idols and witchcraft were eliminated from the land, Israel would never truly be at peace. From this there are at least two lessons we can learn:
1. You can’t have true peace in the territory God has given to you (whether it’s your private thoughts, your relationships, or the city/community that you live in) if idols and witchcraft remain in that territory. True, lasting peace requires that idolatry and witchcraft first be removed.
2. Here we see two types of people.First, there are those who try to maintain a superficial level of peace in their relationships. They may know something is deeply wrong, but they would rather keep the status quo than to rock the boat and do something to make things better. Second, there are those who aren’t afraid to disturb the peace. Because they want to make things better, they take real, thoughtful steps to disturb the current status quo. They do it not because they love chaos or because they just want to be rebellious, but they do it so that a greater, deeper peace can be established.
Jehu falls into that second category. He was willing to disturb the superficial peace so that a greater peace could result. Jesus also falls in this second category, although Jesus’ much gentler way of disturbing the peace was much different from Jehu’s. One could even say that God the Father fits into that second category as well when He sent His Son Jesus to rock our world and disturb whatever superficial peace there had been before. That’s why Jesus says in Matthew 10:34-39:
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law– 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ 37 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
These are strong words from Jesus. In other words, when you follow Jesus, at first it might not bring total peace right away. In fact, your commitment to Jesus might at first cause a disturbance, both in you and also among those close to you who don’t expect you to be a Christian. But in the end following Jesus always leads to the greatest amount of peace for everyone involved. Before you can experience the greatest amount of lasting peace that Jesus brings, sometimes that superficial peace you once knew may first need to be disturbed a bit. Sometimes you need to rock the boat before true peace can come.
Is there a relationship or an area in your life that you know is not going well, but you’ve been afraid to do anything different for fear of rocking the boat? How do you know when it’s time to rock the boat? As in Jehu’s case, you’ll know because God’s Word confirms it, your spiritual leaders affirm it, and there’s a peace and courage in your heart from the Holy Spirit to pursue it. May God give you wisdom to know when it’s time to protect the status quo and when it’s time to rock the boat.
Heavenly Father, thank You that because You longed to give us a much deeper peace than the world could give, You rocked our world and “disturbed the peace” when You brought Your Son Jesus into our world. Thank You for willing to take the risk so that we could know true peace and authentic relationship with You. Please give me wisdom to know when it’s time to maintain the status quo and when it’s time to rock the boat so that something greater can take place. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!