Introduction: 2 Kings 9 records the judgment of three members of Ahab’s family. In this chapter, God used a general named Jehu to be His instrument of judgment against Ahab’s son Jehoram / Joram (the King of Northern Israel), Ahab’s son-in-law Ahaziah (the King of Judah), and Ahab’s wife Jezebel. These three people were Baal worshipers who defied God and led God’s people astray. From their judgment, God reveals seven lessons about His judgments.
First, God told Elijah that He would judge Ahab and his family for bringing Baal worship to God’s people, for killing God’s prophets, for their lack of faith and for their many other rebellions. Yet, God delayed His judgment upon Ahab’s family to give them a chance to repent. When Ahab repented, God initially withdrew His judgment upon him and limited it to the family members who refused to repent. From God’s delayed judgment, He reveals that He is slow to judge sinners and quick to forgive those who repent. Second, through an unnamed prophet, God warned that Ahab’s dynasty would perish like the evil dynasties of Jeroboam and Baasha. The prophet also confirmed God’s prior prophecies of judgment against Ahab’s extended family. These many prophecies demonstrated that God had given Ahab’s family many opportunities to repent. From this, God reveals that His warnings of judgment always precede His actual judgment. Third, Jehu’s men were not followers of God. They dismissed God’s prophet as a madman. Yet, upon hearing God’s prophecy, they all committed to following after Jehu. From this, God reveals that His Word is sharper than a two-edged sword. It can convict, motivate, inspire and judge. Fourth, Ahab’s son Jehoram / Joram lived in paranoia. Thus, he sent two messengers to ask if Jehu’s men approached him in peace. They instead defected to join Jehu. When Jehu arrived, God confirmed that Jehoram / Joram would not live in peace. Through these events, God reveals that those who live under His judgment will find no peace. Fifth, Jehu confirmed God’s judgment by instantly killing him. Ahab’s family, including Jehoram / Joram, sowed the seeds of murder and rebellion. They would reap what they sowed. Through these events, God reveals He will judge each person according to their deeds. Only through Jesus can you escape the eternal consequences of your actions. Sixth, Jehu also chased after Ahaziah and killed him. Ahaziah was a descendant of Ahab and a Baal worshiper. Thus, he shared the judgment that God gave to Ahab’s family. From Ahaziah’s unsuccessful attempt to flee from Jehu’s judgment, God reveals that His judgment cannot be escaped or avoided. Only by allowing Jesus to take your judgment for you can you avoid judgment. Finally, even when Jezebel knew that Jehu had come to fulfill a prophecy of her judgment, she dressed up to show her believed superiority and taunted Jehu. Her servants then tossed her from a balcony, and dogs ate her remains to fulfill a prophecy of her ignoble death. She is considered to be the most wicked woman recorded in the Bible. She was responsible for seducing Ahab, his children and the Jews with Baal worship. She lived a prideful and wicked life. From her final judgment, God reveals that He will judge and abase those who live in pride and rebellion against Him. These judgments should cause believers to stop, repent of their sins and turn to Jesus. Each believer in Jesus should further give thanks for taking these same judgments from them.
Elisha sends a prophet to anoint Jehu as God’s avenger. Because Ahab’s family would not repent for causing Northern Israel to worship the Canaanite god Baal, God directed Elisha to fulfill prophecies of judgment that He previously gave to Elijah: “1 Now Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets and said to him, ‘Gird up your loins, and take this flask of oil in your hand and go to Ramoth-gilead. 2 When you arrive there, search out Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in and bid him arise from among his brothers, and bring him to an inner room. 3 Then take the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say, ‘Thus says the Lord, ‘I have anointed you king over Israel.’’ Then open the door and flee and do not wait.’” (2 Kgs. 9:1-3). By telling his servant to “gird up your loins,” Elisha directed him to act quickly. The oil would be to anoint God’s avenger against Ahab’s family. When a prophet used oil to anoint someone, it was a direct sign that it was being done at God’s direction (1 Sam. 10:1; 16:13). At the time, Jehu was in Ramoth-gilead, across the Jordan River in the territory of Gad. Jehu was a general who had recently recovered this territory from the Syrians. At the time, Jehu was protecting it from another attack. Jehu’s father was named Jehoshaphat. But, even though they shared the same name, Jehu’s father was not the King of Judah. Outside of the Bible, a separate confirmation exists regarding Jehu’s coup and rule through cuneiform inscriptions on an obelisk devoted to King Shalmaneser III in Syria. Because Elisha was famous, news of his visit would quickly spread if he had gone and met privately with Jehu. Thus, he sent his servant to anoint Jehu. Although we are not told the prophet’s name, many Jews believe that it was Jonah (2 Kgs. 14:25).
Jehu fulfilled God’s commission to judge the Baal worshipers in Northern Israel. In order to destroy Baal worship in Northern Israel, God gave Elisha’s predecessor, Elijah, three commissions. First, God told him to appoint Elisha as a prophet and train him to be his successor (1 Kgs. 19:19). Second, God told him to anoint Hazael of Aram in Syria (2 Kgs. 8:7-14). Third, God told him to anoint Jehu as the new King of Northern Israel: “15 The Lord said to him, ‘Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; 16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. 17 It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death.”’ (1 Kgs. 19:15-17). All three would slay the worshippers of Baal. Hazael and Jehu used physical swords to kill. In contrast, the sword of Elisha’s and Elisha was the Word of God (Heb. 4:12). Because God commissioned Jehu through Elijah, Elisha and Elisha’s servant, Jehu was God’s avenger against Ahab’s family: “Now the destruction of Ahaziah was from God, in that he went to Joram. For when he came, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.” (2 Chron. 22:7).
God is quick to forgive and slow to judge. Elijah immediately appointed his successor. But God delayed His judgment upon Ahab’s family and then the Baal worshippers in Northern Israel. He did this to give the Jews a chance to repent. When Ahab repented, God withdrew His judgment upon him and limited it to the family members who refused to repent: ‘“Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but I will bring the evil upon his house in his son’s days.”’ (1 Kgs. 21:29). Even when God began to judge the Jews, He first limited His judgment against Ahab’s unrepentant family. Only after the Jews again refused to repent of their idolatry did He allow Hazael, the king of Aram, to judge them. This shows that God is compassionate, slow to judge and quick to forgive: “But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.” (Ps. 88:15). “Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;”’ (Ex. 34:6). God, however, does not want you to misuse His mercy and grace as a license to sin (Ro. 6:1-2). He has shown every person mercy. You should respond to Him by living as a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
Elisha’s servant anoints Jehu and commissions him to be God’s avenger. The unnamed prophet acted with faith-led obedience and the risk of death to give Jehu God’s commission to carry out His long-delayed judgment against Ahab’s remaining family: “4 So the young man, the servant of the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. 5 When he came, behold, the captains of the army were sitting, and he said, ‘I have a word for you, O captain.’ And Jehu said, ‘For which one of us?’ And he said, ‘For you, O captain.’ 6 He arose and went into the house, and he poured the oil on his head and said to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I have anointed you king over the people of the Lord, even over Israel. 7 You shall strike the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at the hand of Jezebel. 8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish, and I will cut off from Ahab every male person both bond and free in Israel. 9 I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. 10 The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and none shall bury her.’’ Then he opened the door and fled.” (2 Kgs. 9:4-10). Jehu was God’s avenger (Ro. 13:4). At Mount Horeb, God previously revealed to Elijah that: “It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death.” (1 Kgs. 19:17). Jehu would avenge the fact that Ahab’s family had deceived all of Northern Israel into Baal worship. Ahab and Jezebel also murdered God’s prophets (1 Kgs. 18:4), stole Naboth’s land and murdered both Naboth and his family (1 Kgs. 21:1-16). Based upon the prophet’s commission, Jehu later overthrew Joram, who is also called Jehoram in 2 Kgs. 3. Joram was the last king of the dynasty of Omri. Through Omri, his son Ahab and his two grandchildren, the dynasty lasted 90 years. Jehu’s rule was far shorter. He ruled over Northern Israel for only 28 years (841-813 B.C.) Although God had appointed him as His instrument of justice, Jehu acted as a brutal despot after seizing power. He fulfilled God’s judgment against Jezebel (2 Kgs. 9:33), Ahab’s 70 sons (2 Kgs. 10:1-11) and the Baal worshippers in Northern Israel (2 Kgs. 10:18-28). Yet, he then slaughtered people that God had not condemned. Because of his bloodthirst, the prophet Hosea later condemned him: “And the LORD said to him, ‘Name him Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.”’ (Hos. 1:4). Thus, Jehu misused his God-given responsibility.
Elisha sends a prophet to anoint Jehu as the King of Northern Israel1
God’s judgment is always preceded by His warnings. God warned that Ahab’s dynasty would perish like the evil dynasties of Jeroboam and Baasha (2 Kgs. 9:9). These leaders introduced idolatry into Northern Israel with the worship of golden calves. They set up a counterfeit priesthood, and they prevented the Jews from Northern Israel from worshiping Yahweh at His Temple in Jerusalem. Each leader ignored God’s warnings to repent. God judged Jeroboam’s household for this unrepentant evil as a warning to future kings (1 Kgs. 15:27-30). Baasha also ignored this warning and engaged in even worse acts of evil. As a result, God judged his household as well (1 Kgs. 16:8-13). Ahab’s family knew that God had judged these kings after their rebellions and refusal to repent. Ahab’s family did not need or deserve further warnings. Yet, God gave them multiple warnings through Elijah, Elisha and others. These warnings also included miracles. Thus, God gave Ahab’s family multiple warnings and chances to repent.
God specifically spelled out His exact judgment a generation earlier. The prophet’s words of judgment repeated Elijah’s prior judgment upon Ahab’s entire household for the evil they had inflicted upon all of Israel through Baal worship and Naboth’s murder: “21 Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, both bond and free in Israel; 22 and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and because you have made Israel sin. 23 Of Jezebel also has the Lord spoken, saying, ‘The dogs will eat Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.’ 24 The one belonging to Ahab, who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and the one who dies in the field the birds of heaven will eat.” (1 Kgs. 21:21-24). In response to this judgment, only Ahab repented. Thus, God only spared him from judgment, not his wife or sons (1 Kgs. 21:27-28). Because God’s exact future judgment was spelled out a generation earlier, each person had many chances to repent.
Jehu’s men proclaim Jehu as King of Northern Israel after hearing God’s Word. Jehu’s men were not followers of Yahweh or His prophets. Yet, when they heard God’s prophecy, God transformed their hearts to support Jehu as king: “11 Now Jehu came out to the servants of his master, and one said to him, ‘Is all well? Why did this mad fellow come to you?’ And he said to them, ‘You know very well the man and his talk.’ 12 They said, ‘It is a lie, tell us now.’ And he said, ‘Thus and thus he said to me, ‘Thus says the Lord, ‘I have anointed you king over Israel.’’’ 13 Then they hurried and each man took his garment and placed it under him on the bare steps, and blew the trumpet, saying, ‘Jehu is king!’” (2 Kgs. 9:11-13). Jehu’s soldiers showed no love for Yahweh. This was clear when they referred to Elisha’s servant as a “mad fellow.” (2 Kgs. 9:11). Many in the world are equally filled with contempt for those who proclaim God’s Word when it is used to correct or discipline wayward behavior. Jehu was therefore at first careful to test his men to see if they were loyal to the king. He likely assumed that the oil on his head was an obvious sign that God’s prophet had anointed him. But, after hearing God’s prophecy, the men immediately proclaimed Jehu king. The blowing of a trumpet frequently accompanied a public proclamation (11:14; 2 Sam. 15:10; 1 Kgs. 1:34). By laying down their garments, they also proclaimed their loyalty (1 Kgs. 1:34). This confirmed for Jehu that God would be with him and others would follow him as king.
God’s Word is sharper than a two-edged sword. Although they had no love of God, the Words of God’s prophecy transformed the hearts of Jehu’s men. God’s Word can convict, motivate and inspire because it is alive. It is more powerful than any weapon: “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12). ‘“Is not My word like fire?’ declares the LORD, ‘and like a hammer which shatters a rock?”’ (Jer. 23:29). “for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” (2 Cor. 10:4). When you try to motivate people to serve and follow Jesus, use God’s Word in faith and pray for God to transform their hearts.
Jehu works with his men to execute Jehoram (Joram). After planning his coup, Jehu sealed his city to prevent word of his plans from leaking out. He then marched toward a location where the king was recovering from his wounds in battle. As he approached the king, the king’s messengers all defected to join against Jehoram / Joram: “14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. Now Joram with all Israel was defending Ramoth-gilead against Hazael king of Aram, 15 but King Joram had returned to Jezreel to be healed of the wounds which the Arameans had inflicted on him when he fought with Hazael king of Aram. So Jehu said, ‘If this is your mind, then let no one escape or leave the city to go tell it in Jezreel.’ 16 Then Jehu rode in a chariot and went to Jezreel, for Joram was lying there. Ahaziah king of Judah had come down to see Joram. 17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel and he saw the company of Jehu as he came, and said, ‘I see a company.’ And Joram said, ‘Take a horseman and send him to meet them and let him say, ‘Is it peace?’’ 18 So a horseman went to meet him and said, ‘Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’’ And Jehu said, ‘What have you to do with peace? Turn behind me.’ And the watchman reported, ‘The messenger came to them, but he did not return.’ 19 Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them and said, ‘Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’’ And Jehu answered, ‘What have you to do with peace? Turn behind me.’ 20 The watchman reported, ‘He came even to them, and he did not return; and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously. “21 Then Joram said, ‘Get ready.’ And they made his chariot ready. Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out to meet Jehu and found him in the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 When Joram saw Jehu, he said, ‘Is it peace, Jehu?’ And he answered, ‘What peace, so long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?’ 23 So Joram reined about and fled and said to Ahaziah, ‘There is treachery, O Ahaziah!’” (2 Kgs. 9:14-23). The king was at that time in a vulnerable position. The Syrians had injured him in battle, and he was recovering in the city of Jezreel, away from the heavily fortified capital of Samaria (2 Kgs. 9:15). King Ahaziah of Judah was Jehoram / Joram’s nephew. Thus, he came to Jezreel to help tend to and support his wounded uncle (2 Kgs. 8:29). Even though the King of Judah was there, Jehu and his men still assumed that it was the right moment to strike. They did not consult God regarding the timing of their attack. Yet, they still took precautions. They assumed that the king still had people loyal to him. Jehu therefore sealed Ramoth-gilead where he planned his coup before marching his army on the king’s location in Jezreel (2 Kgs. 9:14-15). The king was in fact paranoid that someone would attack him. Thus, he sent two separate scouts to Jehu’s army, each inquiring whether Jehu came in “peace.” (2 Kgs. 9:17-18). The third time he asked, God confirmed the answer. He and his family would find no peace in their rebellion against God. Thus, the messengers joined in the rebellion.
Those who live without God live without His peace. In the Bible, the number two is frequently associated with confirmation. Twice, Jehoram / Joram sent scouts to Jehu’s army to see if they came in “peace.” By their silence, Jehu confirmed that the answer was no (2 Kgs. 9:17-18). When he saw Jehu, God made clear the answer to his question. Jezebel’s “harlotries” “her witchcrafts” and his rebellion had brought God’s judgment (2 Kgs. 9:22). Those who live in rebellion against God also live without peace as a sign of their judgment: ‘“There is no peace for the wicked,’ says the LORD.” (Is. 48:22; 57:21). The fact that Jehoram / Joram sent scouts to his own army was a sign that he lived without peace. As one commentator notes, “As he waited to recover full strength in Jezreel, Joram was fundamentally insecure in his hold on the throne and easily suspected threats.” (David Guzik on 2 Kgs. 9).2 Those who live in the world will experience tribulation: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (Jo. 16:33). Only when you take refuge in Jesus will you find the peace that surpasses all understanding: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7). If you try to live without God, you will experience Satan’s tribulations and find no peace without Jesus’ protection.
Jehu kills Jehoram (Joram). After confronting Jehoram / Joram, Jehu confirmed God’s judgment by instantly killing him. “24 And Jehu drew his bow with his full strength and shot Joram between his arms; and the arrow went through his heart and he sank in his chariot. 25 Then Jehu said to Bidkar his officer, ‘Take him up and cast him into the property of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite, for I remember when you and I were riding together after Ahab his father, that the Lord laid this oracle against him: 26 ‘Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will repay you in this property,’ says the Lord. Now then, take and cast him into the property, according to the word of the Lord.’” (2 Kgs. 9:24-26). Jehu’s arrow went straight through the heart of Jehoram / Joram. Jehu then kept him from dying with honor by denying him a proper burial. He further threw his body in the stolen land that once belonged to Naboth’s family. God previously told Ahab that his descendants would die after he murdered Naboth and his family to steal his vineyard (1 Kgs. 21:17-24). Ahab’s family had reaped what they sowed through their murder, theft and rebellion against God.
Jehu’s arrow pierces the heart of Jehoram (Joram), fulfilling God’s judgment3
Without Jesus, God will judge every person according to their deeds. Without Jesus, God judges every person according to their deeds: “And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, for You recompense a man according to his work.” (Ps. 62:12; Ro. 2:6). “For He pays a man according to his work, and makes him find it according to his way.” (Job 34:11). Normally, a child does not die for his father’s sins: “ . . . he will not die for his father’s iniquity, he will surely live.” (Ezek. 18:17). Yet, Jehoram / Joram shared in his father’s sins because he kept and profited off of the lands that his father stole. He made no effort to restore the land. Because God is sovereign, He orchestrated these events. He arranged for Jehu to confront Jehoram / Joram at or near the field that Ahab stole from Naboth. This allowed Jehu to cast his body in the same field as a sign of God’s judgment.
Ahaziah tries unsuccessfully to hide from God’s judgment. Because Ahaziah was a descendant of Ahab and a Baal worshiper, Jehu also caught him after he fled and executed him: “27 When Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu pursued him and said, ‘Shoot him too, in the chariot.’ So they shot him at the ascent of Gur, which is at Ibleam. But he fled to Megiddo and died there. 28 Then his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem and buried him in his grave with his fathers in the city of David.’ 29 Now in the eleventh year of Joram, the son of Ahab, Ahaziah became king over Judah.” (2 Kgs. 9:27-29). In 2 Chronicles, the Bible records that Ahaziah hid in Samaria. Yet, because God was guiding Jehu’s judgment, his men found him: “He also sought Ahaziah, and they caught him while he was hiding in Samaria; they brought him to Jehu, put him to death and buried him. For they said, ‘He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart.’ So there was no one of the house of Ahaziah to retain the power of the kingdom.” (2 Chr. 22:9). Jehu, however, allowed Ahaziah to be buried in Jerusalem because his father was a godly man.
God judged Ahaziah for following after Ahab’s worship of Baal. It might seem that Jehu acted beyond his mandate by killing Ahaziah, the King of Judah. Yet, Ahaziah shared in the judgment for two reasons. First, he shared in Ahab’s judgment because he was Ahab’s grandson. His mother Athaliah was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Kgs. 8:26). Second, he followed after Ahab’s Baal worship: “27 He walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did evil in the sight of the Lord, like the house of Ahab had done, . . .” (2 Kgs. 8:27). God judged him with a one-year reign (2 Kgs. 8:26). Because he also stumbled God’s people with Baal worship, his judgment included a brutal death.
Ahaziah could not escape God’s judgment by fleeing. Ahaziah tried to flee from his judgment (2 Kg. 9:27). Yet, he failed. Without Jesus to pay the judgment price, all face certain death: “What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah.” (Ps. 89:48). “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” (Ecc. 7:20; Rom. 3:23). “When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) . . .” (1 Kgs. 8:46). Only through Jesus’ free gift can you hope to escape the wages of your sins (Ro. 6:23).
Jehu has Jezebel killed. In her final moments, Jezebel taunted Jehu. Jehu then had her killed and allowed dogs to feed off her rotting corpse: “30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window. 31 As Jehu entered the gate, she said, ‘Is it well, Zimri, your master’s murderer?’ 32 Then he lifted up his face to the window and said, ‘Who is on my side? Who?’ And two or three officials looked down at him. 33 He said, ‘Throw her down.’ So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her under foot. 34 When he came in, he ate and drank; and he said, ‘See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.’ 35 They went to bury her, but they found nothing more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. 36 Therefore they returned and told him. And he said, ‘This is the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘In the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; 37 and the corpse of Jezebel will be as dung on the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, ‘This is Jezebel.’’’” (2 Kgs. 9:30-37). Out of pride, Jezebel painted her eyes to look like a queen when Jehu arrived for her. Or, some believe that she painted her eyes to show that she would proudly die as the harlot of Baal. She then taunted Jehu by comparing him to the murderous traitor Zimri who ruled for only seven days (1 Kgs. 16:9-10, 15). Jehu then fulfilled a prophecy by having her killed and by allowing dogs to eat her dead body.
God judges Jezebel4
God judges the proud and those who reject Him. Because her wickedness and pride surpassed all other women in the Bible, Jezebel is associated with the false spirit of deceit and rebellion against God: “But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” (Rev. 2:20). Like Jezebel, God will judge prideful people who reject Him: “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; assuredly, he will not be unpunished.” (Prov. 16:5). “The proud look of man will be abased and the loftiness of man will be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day . . . Thus I will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud and abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.” (Is. 2:11; 13:11). Thus, you should always walk with humility and obedience to Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
Fear God by hating evil. Many years earlier, Elijah prophesied exactly how Jezebel would die (1 Kgs. 21:19-29). Her death showed that God is sovereign and that His Word is always fulfilled. Only by fearing God can you keep your heart from embracing evil: “By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.” (Prov. 16:6). The fear of the Lord is defined as hating evil: “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; . . .” (Prov. 8:13). Are you tolerating evil in your life?
Repent and avoid God’s judgment. God does not want to judge anyone. Thus, He offers to forgive even the worst of sinners like Ahab when they repent: ‘“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,’ declares the Lord God. ‘Therefore, repent and live.”’ (Ezek. 18:32). “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:3-4). These accounts of judgment should horrify all people. Each person should repent of their pride, rebellion and deceit and turn to Jesus. God’s judgment cannot be avoided. Yet, Jesus died on the cross to pay the judgment price for all who believe (Jo. 3:16; 1 Jo. 2:2). Are there any sins that you need to stop and repent of?
Give thanks that Jesus has paid for your sins. The Bible’s stories of judgment should cause every believer to say “there, but for the grace of God, go I.” (John Bradford) Have you given thanks for the price that Jesus paid for your sins? “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;” (Eph. 5:20).