JUNE 4 - Nº 155 2 Kings 8:25 – 9:29; 2 Chronicles 22:1-9
When King Jehoram of Judah died, Ahaziah, his youngest and only remaining son, took his place. (Note: Ahab had a son with the same name who had previously ruled in Israel—see #144 - May 24.) King Ahaziah of Judah was 22 years old when he was crowned. Sadly, his mother, the wicked Queen Athaliah, controlled him just as she had controlled his father (see #154 - June 3). A year into his reign, Queen Athaliah convinced Ahaziah to assist his cousin, King Joram of Israel, who was struggling to drive out the Syrian forces invading his nation. But before Ahaziah could arrive at the battlefield in Ramoth Gilead, Joram was injured. He was taken back to his palace to recuperate. So, King Ahaziah went there instead. Meanwhile, Elisha assigned a very dangerous undercover mission to one of his students. The young prophet was to go to the battlefield to find Jehu, a commander in Israel’s army. Elisha instructed him to meet with Jehu privately, pour a flask of oil on his head, and declare that God was anointing him as the new king over Israel. “Then,” Elisha said, “get out of there as quickly as you can!” When he arrived at Ramoth Gilead, the young prophet found Jehu sitting outside a house with several army officers. He convinced Jehu to go inside with him, then he closed the door. The prophet poured the oil on Jehu’s head and said, “This message is from God: ‘I anoint you king over Israel. You are to kill every male related to King Ahab. And through you I will avenge the blood of my prophets that was shed by Queen Jezebel. She will be eaten by dogs!’” Then he opened the door and ran! When Jehu returned to his friends, they asked, “What did that crazy prophet want?” Jehu brushed them off by saying something like, “Nothing really. You know how prophets are.” But they kept asking, and Jehu finally admitted, “He said that God wants me to be the king of Israel.” Jehu’s friends were shocked. They grabbed their cloaks and laid them on the ground in front of him, acknowledging that Jehu was now their king. They blew a trumpet and shouted, “Jehu is king!” Jehu quickly silenced them. Then he jumped in his chariot, and he and his friends headed to the palace in Jezreel. A guard on lookout duty at the palace saw a small army approaching and informed the king. Joram immediately dispatched two messengers to see if his visitors were coming in peace or to do harm. Neither messenger returned—instead they joined Jehu’s band of men. Another guard recognized that Jehu was the young man wildly leading the soldiers toward the palace. Joram and Ahaziah, expecting news from the frontlines of the battle with the Syrians, quickly went out to meet him. When he was close enough to be heard, Joram yelled, “Are you coming in peace?” Jehu yelled back, “How can there be peace as long as you practice the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel?” Joram turned to flee, but it was too late. Jehu shot an arrow that hit Joram between the shoulders and penetrated his heart. Jehu retrieved the king’s dead body and threw it into the field that Ahab had stolen from Naboth—the same field where Naboth’s body had been discarded (see #141 - May 21). Jehu then chased down Ahaziah and killed him, too. Jehu killed both the king of Israel and the king of Judah on the same day.
Have you ever sensed that God was giving you an assignment, but it seemed too hard or too crazy or too dangerous to complete? Elisha’s young student trusted God and carried out the assignment he was given. His obedience led to the destruction of two evil men.