Sunday, April 30, 2006

Jehu or Jehonadab? - Desiring A Zeal That Will Last

One Bible character that intrigued me as a young believer is Jehu, a man that the Lord anointed king. He was used of God to wipe out Baal worship in the land of Israel, and to destroy the remnant of Ahab and Jezebel's ungodly line. When God called him, he had a lot of zeal, which inspired others to likewise be fervent for the Lord:

2 Kings 10:15-16 And when he (Jehu) was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot. And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot.

I encourage you to read this whole chapter on your own - as I only want to touch down on it in my comments. Jehu's zeal was commendable, but it was not complete - and it did not last. We need to learn from his example:

2 Kings 10:28-29, 31 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan... But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin.

Jehu did not walk in the law of the Lord with all his heart - his obedience was incomplete, halfhearted at best. And his story did not end well - eventually the Lord cut off his line as well.

But there was another man mentioned in this chapter, whose story did end well, who was commended by God, and who did have a godly heritage. This was Jehonadab the son of Rechab. He was also used of God in destroying the Baal worshippers (see verse 23). Though this chapter does not give us any more info on Jehonadab, there is another passage of Scripture that does show how his story turned out. As my pastor often says, "The evidence of how well you have raised your children is seen in your grandchildren." In Jeremiah 35 (please take the time to read this whole chapter as well), we see how this godly man - Jehonadab the son of Rechab - raised his children and influenced his future generations by the way they turned out:

Jeremiah 35:1-3 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying, Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink. Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites;

Notice that the prophet Jeremiah is sent to speak to the whole house of the Rechabites, all of the descendants of Jehonadab that were living hundreds of years later at the time of the Babylonian captivity. This passage goes on to relate how he influenced his family for good - and how they still clung to his instructions and godly example, even when tested by the prophet:

Jeremiah 35:5-6, 8, 10 And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine. 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... 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... But we have... obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.

Jehonadab's zeal lasted - it provoked his future generations, was commended by God, and recorded in His Word as an example to us. At the time of the Babylonian captivity, we do not see any mention of Jehu's temporary zeal - but Jehonadab's lasting zeal is recorded forever.

How about you - how about me? Is our zeal lasting, or is it fading, flagging, temporary? Are we like Jehonadab or like Jehu? To use another passage many of us are no doubt aware of (and which truly fits the age we live in): are we like those in the Laodicean church that the Lord Jesus rebukes in Revelation 3?

Revelation 3:15-16, 19 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth... As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Four words used in this passage above:

1. Cold - chilly. We might use this term in reference to being against Jesus and the things of God (including His Word) - but this church was not "against" Him (see Matthew 12:30) - at least not wholly.

2. Hot - to be boiling, fervent - Earnest. (From the Greek word zestos - where we get zest from.) Neither was this church sold out for Christ.

3. They were lukewarm, tepid. Neither cold nor hot, neither against NOR for Christ, neither outright rejecting the truth nor standing for it! They were sitting on the fence - and God Himself rebuked them publically and eternally for all the world to read! This is the day we live in, and sadly this is exactly how the majority of Christendom has become - because the majority of the individual professing "Christians" have become this way. Is this how your church is, is this how you are - are you lukewarm? Or are you hot or cold? Can those around you tell exactly where you are, where you stand in this apostate age? Go back and read verse 16, and see how just like lukewarm liquids make our own stomachs sick, so lukewarm "Christianity" makes God Himself sick.

4. Zealous, where we get our word zeal from: to have warmth of feeling for or against. Jesus says we need to be either cold (against Him and the things of God) or hot (fervently for Him and His kingdom). We need to get off the fence. The world - and our families - needs to see where we stand!

For the sake of eternity - for our eternal benefit - we need to be for Christ. For the sake of the lost world around us - and even for the sake of those younger Christians we can influence - we need to be for Christ; they need to see us clearly taking a stand, clearly being sold out for Christ. Then our zeal will provoke others "unto love and to good works" (see Hebrews 10:24-25).

Are we like Jehu, whom the Lord eventually had to spue out of His mouth and reject?

Or are we like Jehonadab, still being faithful and fervent years later?

Consider these three final passages:

Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

2 Corinthians 9:2 For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

If you are (or have let yourself become) lukewarm, the Lord urges you to "be zealous therefore, and repent."

April 30th/06
Jerry Bouey

4 comments:

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus said...

Hi Bro. Bouey,

Saw your comments on my blog, thanks for dropping by! It's good to see more fundamental bloggers out there, you'rs looks like a good one, just added it to my blogroll.

And I'd always sort of wondered about Jehu myself (indeed, just was a couple of days ago again). thanks for laying out what the Word says about him in order!

Jerry Bouey said...

I added your blog to my list tonight too. What I have read so far on it has been a tremendous blessing, thought provoking, and Scriptural. Definitely worth reading and "Meditating" on and passing on.

Thanks for taking the time to visit (and stay awhile).

Randal said...

Very insightful, zeal comes and goes, but character last a lifetime. Jehu's zeal was awe inspiring. Jehonadab, quietly got on with it almost unnoticed.Yet Jehonadab left a greater legacy.

bettyhoston said...

Thanks so much, your writings encouraged me.

Post a Comment