2Kings 10:15-17

Sunday Morning Bible Study

May 19, 2002

Introduction

When the northern kingdom of Israel split away from the southern kingdom of Judah, things began to go downhill for the northern kingdom. They reached one of the lowest points during the reign of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. These two introduced the nation to the worship of Baal. They were murderers and cheats.  When Ahab had wanted a piece of land that belonged to his neighbor and the neighbor refused to sell it, Ahab got all depressed. His wife Jezebel then took over the problem and had the neighbor accused of blasphemy and treason and then put to death. Through all this, God waited patiently until He could wait no longer. Ahab was dead, but his family was still causing trouble.  The time for judgment had come, and it would come through a general of Ahab’s army named Jehu. Jehu was anointed to become king in place of the family of Ahab and he started by killing the son of Ahab, Joram. Then he had all seventy of Ahab’s sons put to death.

:15-17 Friends with a passion

:15 Jehonadab the son of Rechab

Jehonadab[email protected] – “Jehovah is willing”; chief of the Rechabites, in the time of Jehu and Ahab

RechabRekab – “rider”. These people are Kenites (1Chr. 2:55), descendants of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses. They were a Bedouin-like people who lived in tents and moved from place to place.

Jehonadab seems to have been a pretty good guy. He seems to have had an impact on his family.

Jeremiah had an encounter with some of Jehonadab’s descendants 230 years after Jehu. Jeremiah is told by God to do a very strange thing and to gather up all of Jehonadab’s descendants and try and make them drink wine.

(Jer 35:6-11 KJV) But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever: {7} Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers.

It sounds like they were all a bunch of sober hippies.
Yet we too ought to learn to live a little more like strangers in the land. This world is not our home.

{8} Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters; {9} Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed: {10} But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. {11} But it came to pass, when Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: so we dwell at Jerusalem.

The only reason these Rechabites are living in Jerusalem is because they are running from Nebuchadnezzar.
These descendants of Jehonadab will become a lesson for Jeremiah and the rest of the people of Judah. They will be a lesson of how people are to listen and do what is right. These people listened to their father and obeyed him. God wishes that the people of Judah would listen to Him.
As a result of their obedience, God promised these people:
(Jer 35:19 KJV) Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.

Lesson

Set the standard for your family

(Eph 6:4 KJV) And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Jehonadab was a man who set an example that his family followed for generations to come. He taught them what to do, and then lived it.
Illustration
IN MY FOOTSTEPS?
There was a lady physician who told a story about her four-year-old daughter. On the way to preschool, the doctor had left her stethoscope on the car seat, and her little girl picked it up and began playing with it. “Be still, my heart”, thought the doctor, “my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps!” Then the child spoke into the instrument. “Welcome to McDonald’s. May I take your order?”
Setting an example is supposed to be a daily thing, a way of life thing:
(Deu 6:4-9 KJV) Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: {5} And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. {6} And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: {7} And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. {8} And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. {9} And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Parents – set the standard for your children. Give them an example that they can follow.
Illustration
In His Mother's Steps
Davida Dalton writes: It was a busy day in our Costa Mesa, California home. But then, with 10 children and one on the way, every day was a bit hectic. On this particular day, however, I was having trouble doing even routine chores-all because of one little boy. Len, who was three at the time, was on my heels no matter where I went. Whenever I stopped to do something and turned back around, I would trip over him. Several times, I patiently suggested fun activities to keep him occupied. “Wouldn’t you like to play on the swing set?” I asked again. But he simply smiled an innocent smile and said, “Oh, that’s all right, Mommy. I’d rather be in here with you.” Then he continued to bounce happily along behind me. After stepping on his toes for the fifth time, I began to lose my patience and insisted that he go outside and play with the other children. When I asked him why he was acting this way, he looked up at me with sweet green eves and said, “Well, Mommy, in preschool my teacher told me to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. But I can’t see him, so I’m walking in yours.”

:15 Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart?

(NLT) "Are you as loyal to me as I am to you?" "Yes, I am,"

Lesson

Good friends

Throughout Scripture we see the tremendous value of having good friends.  As we look at this, ask yourself, “Who are my friends and how do I treat them?”  Think about your spouse.  If you need friends, this is a way to get them.
Jonathan and his armor bearer
(1 Sam 14:6-7 KJV) And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few. {7} And his armourbearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.

Good friends support each other. Even if it’s a little risky.

David and Jonathan
David and Jonathan had become good friends. But there came a time when David was a risky person to hang around with. Jonathan’s dad, Saul, was jealous of David and wanted David dead.
(1 Sam 23:16-18 KJV) And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God. {17} And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth. {18} And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.

Good friends encourage each other

Paul and Silas
Silas had been selected to be Paul’s new traveling companion on his next missionary trip. They made their way across Asia Minor and found themselves in Macedonian city Philippi. People were beginning to respond to the gospel. When Paul cast a demon out of a slave girl who told fortunes for her master, Paul and Silas found themselves in trouble.
(Acts 16:22-32 KJV) And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. {23} And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: {24} Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. {25} And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Good friends praise God together in hard times.

I think it’s funny how we keep Jesus out of the middle of some of our “Christian friendships”. Christian friends should pray together. They should seek God together. They should worship together.

{26} And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. {27} And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. {28} But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. {29} Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, {30} And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? {31} And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. {32} And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

Good friends serve God together.

Two are better than one.
(Eccl 4:9-12 KJV) Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. {10} For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

We need friends who will help us when we fall. We need friends who will pick us up when we stumble.

{11} Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?

The coal miners that were trapped for three days in Pennsylvania kept each other warm by snuggling up close to each other.

{12} And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

I like to think of Jesus being that “third cord”. The best friend is the one that makes sure that Jesus is in the middle of your relationship.

:16-17 Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD.

zealqin’ah – ardour, zeal, jealousy. We might translate this “fire” or “passion”.

Apparently there were still some relatives of Ahab still alive when Jehu meets Jehonadab. Jehu is going to go on to kill all of them. He’s even going to wipe out Baal worship from the northern kingdom of Israel.

A few months ago (May 5, 2002) we talked about the danger of misplaced passion when we looked at the trouble that Saul had caused Israel by striking out and killing some of the Gibeonites (2Sam. 21:2), something that eventually lead to tragedy.

We talked then about how we need to be careful that our “passion” stays in line with God’s Word. We need to be sure that we are passionate about the things that God is passionate about.

Some people have criticized Jehu for his zeal. Certainly we’ll see that not everything was perfect in his heart (2Ki. 10:31).

There are some who say that he went way overboard with zeal in his slaughter of the house of Ahab. But God doesn’t seem to have thought this. In fact, God rewards Jehu for his zeal:

(2 Ki 10:30 KJV) And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.

Lesson

Zeal Part One:  Find out what God wants you to do.

Jehu actually knew what God wanted him to do.
He didn’t go out and kill people because he was passionate. He knew what God wanted him to do.
He had been visited by a young prophet.

(2 Ki 9:6-10 NLT) So Jehu left the others and went into the house. Then the young prophet poured the oil over Jehu's head and said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I anoint you king over the Lord's people, Israel. {7} You are to destroy the family of Ahab, your master. In this way, I will avenge the murder of my prophets and all the Lord's servants who were killed by Jezebel. {8} The entire family of Ahab must be wiped out--every male, slave and free alike, in Israel. {9} I will destroy the family of Ahab as I destroyed the families of Jeroboam son of Nebat and of Baasha son of Ahijah. {10} Dogs will eat Ahab's wife, Jezebel, at the plot of land in Jezreel, and no one will bury her." Then the young prophet opened the door and ran.

When things began to unfold, Jehu remembered another word that had been given by Elijah:

(2 Ki 9:25-26 NLT) Jehu said to Bidkar, his officer, "Throw him into the field of Naboth of Jezreel. Do you remember when you and I were riding along behind his father, Ahab? The LORD pronounced this message against him: {26} 'I solemnly swear that I will repay him here on Naboth's property, says the LORD, for the murder of Naboth and his sons that I saw yesterday.' So throw him out on Naboth's field, just as the LORD said."

After Jezebel’s death, he remembered again:

(2 Ki 9:34-37 NLT) Then Jehu went into the palace and ate and drank. Afterward he said, "Someone go and bury this cursed woman, for she is the daughter of a king." {35} But when they went out to bury her, they found only her skull, her feet, and her hands. {36} When they returned and told Jehu, he stated, "This fulfills the message from the LORD, which he spoke through his servant Elijah from Tishbe: 'At the plot of land in Jezreel, dogs will eat Jezebel's flesh. {37} Her body will be scattered like dung on the field of Jezreel, so that no one will be able to recognize her.'"

Though God can speak to us through prophets, we already have TONS of things that God has already clearly spoken to us about in His Word, the Bible.
The priest Ezra had God’s hand on his life,

(Ezra 7:10 KJV) For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

Do you know what God wants you to do? If not, start by spending time reading God’s Word. Study it.

Lesson

Zeal Part Two:  Do it.

Jesus wants us to be passionate about doing what is right. Jesus said,
(Rev 3:19-20 KJV) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. {20} Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

When we realize that we are in a bad place, we ought to be “zealous” about how we turn around. We ought to be “passionate” about turning from our sin.

People ought to be able to “see” your zeal.
(Mat 5:14-16 KJV) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. {15} Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. {16} Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Is your zeal showing? Can anyone see your zeal?