God is ready to fulfill His promise to the house of Ahab. There will not be a man left. And it is through His command to Elijah to anoint Jehu over Israel.
When Elijah ran from Jezebel after the confrontation on Mt. Carmel God brought him to Mt. Horeb. There he was told to anoint Hazel to be king over Syria and Jehu to be king over Israel. He was also told to anoint Elisha as his replacement. Other than Elisha’s anointing, Elijah personally anointed Elisha but not the other two. But the spirit of Elijah rested on Elisha and that spirit saw to the rest of God’s commands.
We saw Hazel being informed of his ‘place in history’ in the blog “Elisha Weeps”. Elisha doesn’t pour oil over his head but he puts in his heart the idea of becoming king. It may have already been in his heart but Elisha confirms it and Hazel acts on it.
Today Elisha sends his servant to act in his stead and anoint Jehu to be king of Israel. This puts the three men in place that God called to enact judgement on Israel; Hazel, Jehu and Elisha.
Elisha receives word from God that it is time to anoint Jehu. This apparently needs to happen quickly. Elijah was a runner but not Elisha. When there is a need for haste Elisha appoints others to run for him, carrying his authority. I don’t believe it was Gehazi this time. The man was “one of the sons of the prophets” (verse 1a). He was told to “tie up your garments” (verse 1b) which indicates he was to run or to walk fast enough that lose garments would get in the way and trip him or expose his ‘undercarriage.’
Ramouth-gilead is the site of the battle between Hazel king of Syria and Joram king of Israel. Joram is wounded and goes home to heal. His army remains behind. Before any more blood is shed on behalf of Joram, God calls for a change in leadership.
The words recorded that Elisha sent with the servant must surely have been truncated in recording. I do not believe the servant would be delivering even one more word than he was given by Elisha, UNLESS the Spirit of the Lord came on him while he was delivering it. We are not told this so I’m betting on him relaying Elisha’s complete message. He followed Elisha’s instructions to the letter in every other way, so I am certain this is ‘by the book’ too.
Jehu is sitting with other commanders when the servant arrives. The men gathered there recognized this man as a prophet. It was probably by the clothes he wore. They probably knew that he also studied under Elisha. He was a great man of God and took care of the prophets of Israel. Even if they didn’t follow his lead in relationship with God, they knew to respect Elisha as God’s instrument and anyone he chose to send. When the man singled him out, Jehu immediately rose to join him.
This was a private matter. It wasn’t a ceremony for all to observe and take part in. In private Jehu was given his ‘marching orders.’ He was not only informed of his new ‘rank’ but of his new ‘role.’ Jehu was God’s appointed executioner for Ahab’s family, including Jezebel. It’s time to clean house!
When Jehu returned to the group they were curious as to what the “mad man” wanted. They recognized his ‘difference’ from them and that he came with a purpose. Jehu played it cool. He didn’t come out shouting, “Join me in rebellion! We are taking the kingdom.” Instead he said, “You know the fellow and his talk” (verse 11b).
Even though Jehu played it down they wouldn’t let it go. The prophets only brought words from the Lord. They were earnest in their desire to know what was said. They wouldn’t let it go until they knew all that was told to Jehu by the Lord.
Jehu hit the high point, the same one we got from the account of Elisha’s charge to the servant. “Thus says the Lord, I anoint you king over Israel” (verse 12b). The people are MORE than ready!
I had to do a little research on verse 13 because I didn’t understand why “every man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps” (verse 13a). When I first read it I thought they took them and put them under their own feet. But they spread their garments for Jehu to walk on.
Their actions reminds me of another story. The story of the people spreading their garments in front of Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem. They were ready for Jesus to be their king, just as the men surrounding Jehu were ready for him to take on that role. Both groups were longing for relief from their current state. And both had confidence in the man before them.
Jehu stepped into that role and fulfilled it. He answered the call of the people. Jesus’ did too, but not like the people expected. His kingdom was not of this world. Those waiting for that kind of deliverance were disappointed.
One day Jesus will do it as the people expected. On that day EVERY knee shall bow and EVERY tongue confess Jesus is Lord! There will be no religious leaders telling Him to quiet the people. And I would not be surprised to hear the rocks join in the singing of His praise!
Father God, I’m looking forward to that day! I’m tired of people trying to convince one another of false theories or false doctrines. I’m tired of the hate and war in this world. I’m tired of hearing hate coming from the mouths of even people who say they are Your children. How much longer Father?
But I’m also afraid of even ONE PERSON being ‘left behind.’ I know there will be many and that breaks my heart. I can’t imagine how hard that is for You. Your love is AMAZING and You hold it out to EVERYONE. And You stand by as You watch so many turn their nose up at it. I PRAY with ALL that is within me that my WHOLE FAMILY will take that precious gift You are holding out to them. I trust You to know when and how to bring that about.