The Crusades. Bombing abortion clinics. And hundreds of other sad events. There are a lot of ways God’s people have gone wrong in their attempt to do right. The ends do NOT justify the means!
Maybe we should take a lesson from Jehu…
God had appointed Jehu, the commander of Israel’s army, to bring an end to the evil reign of King Jehoram/Joram of Israel, and to wipe out Ahab’s family line for its wickedness. God even instructed the prophet Elisha to anoint Jehu for this task (2Ki. 9). The problem, though, is that Jehu’s holy zeal turned into a lust for violence… and he eventually showed a greater desire to eliminate others than he did in carrying out God’s will.
Jehu began his rampage by returning to Jezreel from battle, and killing King Jehoram of Israel, King Ahaziah of Judah, and Jezebel, the widow of Ahab. Then, he immediately went to Samaria and arranged for the death of 70 sons of Ahab (2Ki. 10). Then he killed 42 relatives of King Ahaziah. Finally, he arranged for many of the prophets and priests of Baal to be gathered in the temple of Baal, where he slaughtered all of them and destroyed the temple.
God’s disapproval of Jehu’s effectiveness was made clear by the prophet Hosea, who said God would punish the house of Jehu for his massacre at Jezreel (Hos. 1:3).
See 2Kings 10:16…Jehu had qualities that could have made him a great success. It seems he was considered a successful king by the people he governed. His family ruled the N. Kingdom longer than any other. God used Jehu to topple Ahab’s evil dynasty and to rid Israel of Baal worship. he came close to being God’s kind of king… then he went too far.
God gives strengths and abilities to each of us; these strengths and abilities find their greatest purpose in Him. Outside of that control, they don’t accomplish what they could… and, sometimes, they even become tools for evil. For example, a natural gift for finances can become a means to greed. Or an outgoing personality can be put to promoting the wrong cause.
One way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to ask God to put you under His control. With His presence in your life, your natural strengths and abilities will be used to their greatest potential for the greatest good.
* Our strengths and abilities find their greatest usefulness under Christ’s will.
See 1Kings 10:31… Jehu was a man with big ideas, but little spiritual depth. His kingdom moved with excitement, but its destination was unclear. He zealously eliminated Baal worship… only to keep the worship of calves his predecessor had set up.
Despite all the good things Jehu did, Jehu’s reign was undermined by a crucial mistake; he did not follow God with all his heart. He had become God’s tool for carrying out justice, but he had not become God’s committed servant. He gave lip service to God while he worshiped the golden calves in his heart.
In the same way, we can be very busy in our work for God… and still not give Him the heartfelt obedience He desires. To obey with all your heart means to give yourself fully to God – first in devotion to Him and them to His service. Yet, so often, our efforts to know and obey His commands can be best described as halfhearted.
How would you measure your heart’s obedience?
* A lifetime of doing good is not enough if we fail to follow God with all our heart.
You can read Jehu’s story in 2Kings 9:16–10:36.