Daniel Agee

2nd Kings 10: Yehu and Yehonadab: What God respects in a person

Daniel AgeeIn 2nd Kings 10, we will see the difference between Yehu (Jehu) and Yehonadab (Jehonadab) the son of Rechab. Yehu respected Eliyahu (Elijah) and Elisha and he hated the Baal, but he did not respect and love the true God. Yehonadab the son of Rechab understood and loved God. It’s useful to see what God respects in a man and what he does not because God never changes, we do.

God did not make Yehu’s reign comfortable because God knew his heart was not 100 percent for Him. Yehu lost most of the territory east of the Jordan including Ramath-Gilead, the land of the Gadites, the Reubenites and the half tribe of Manasseh, from Aroer, which is by the valley of the Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan.

God has sent Eliyahu, Elisha and many other prophets to try to return Israel and they did not repent fully and come back. Israel’s days at this point are numbered. He is starting to remove the people of the Northern Tribes from the Promised Land. 

The majority of the people of Israel were not loyal to God, but had divided their hearts, like a prostitute divides her heart between the numerous lovers who pay for her services. 

Yehu eradicated the worship of Baal in the land of Israel but he did not do away with the golden calves that Yeroboam (Jeroboam) had setup in Bethel and Dan as fake YHWH. He also did not do away with the female Ashoreth worship. God gave Yehu a specific task and he was able to accomplish far more than he did and he chose to fall short.  

Yehu got a third of the job done, so to speak, so he was “rewarded” by having his family to the fourth generation on the throne of Israel. 

Yehu was commissioned by God to kill off all Ahab’s male line. It’s recorded that Ahab had seventy sons. These are not necessary first generation. They could be grandsons or even great-grandsons as well included in this number. Yehu sent out scrolls all over the land of Israel, including Samaria and Yezreel (Jezreel), challenging them. He is asking for Ahab’s sons to be brought to him to come out to fight. 

“But they feared greatly and said, ‘Behold, the two kings did not stand before him; how then can we stand?’” (2nd Kings 10:4)

Ahab’s sons and their supporters outnumber Yehu and his fellow rebels and could have easily gathered up an army to attack Yehu and his small army. They are scared just because Yehu had killed Yehoram (Jehoram) and Ahaziah. 

At this point, Yehu did not have the support of the entire nation. He had just committed regicide and hadn’t done anything else yet. There’s a reason that Jezebel called Yehu “Zimri.” He is just a rebel at this point. He could have easily been smashed, but the people didn’t have faith in their numbers because Yehu had just, in a sense, killed their god. Yehoram (Jehoram) was worshiped as a god in Israel. But he didn’t only kill the embodiment of their Baal but he also killed the king of Judah as well.

The elders did kill the 70 sons of Ahab, but they did not present them to the king themselves. They just had them dropped off at the gate of Yezreel. 

Yehu tells the people of Yezreel that he did kill his own king, one man, but the leadership of Israel killed the sons of Ahab. He’s pointing out to the people of Yezreel that their own leaders who killed these sons, in their cowardice, support his cause. This legitimized Yehu as a leader of the people. 

Yehu tells the people of Yezreel that they were “righteous” which is bizarre on the surface. Yehu killed a few men but the leaders killed 70 men. He points out he is the legitimate king because God prophesied that all the male line of Ahab would be killed. This absolves the people of murder because they were just fulfilling God’s will. 

Then Yehu went and killed off all of prominent servants of the House of Ahab. Yehu is a very smart individual, a sophisticated politician. Yehu then consolidates his power by killing off all the priests and worshipers of Baal. Too bad he didn’t finish the job that God gave him. 

After this, Yehu meets an interesting individual. 

“Now when he had departed from there, he met Yehonadab the son of Rechab…” (2nd Kings 10:15)

Yehonadab the son of Rechab, was a far more righteous individual then Yehu. How do we know? Jer. 35:1-19 tells us. That occurred about 250 years after Yehonadab the son of Rechab time. Yehonadab the son of Rechab understood God. He commanded all his descendants to keep themselves separate and clean before God. By commanding his descendants to be nomads, he saved them from making the same mistakes that the other children of Israel and Yehudah (Judah) made. 

Yehonadab the son of Rechab could have cleaned up the land completely. He certainly would have done a much better job than Yehu did. 

When the worshipers of Baal saw Yehonadab the son of Rechab in Yehu’s entourage, they should have known that Yehu was not working in their interest. Yehu had killed the representative of Baal on earth. The priests of Baal had to have been really, really dumb and foolish to believe that Yehu was going to worship Baal more than Ahab and Jezebel. Yehu claims that Ahab was just a half-hearted Baal worshiper and that he would be a more dedicated Baal worshiper.

Yehu organizes a great party at the temple of Baal that included sacrifices to the idol. God didn’t fault Yehu or Yehonadab the son of Rechab for hosting the sacrifice.  

Yehu goes to great lengths to keep worshipers of the true God out of the Temple. He gave out special garments to the Baal worshipers. Yehu also knew that worshipers of the true God would have never eaten of a pagan sacrifice so they knew how to differentiate between God and Baal. 

Yehu respected Eliyahu and Elisha and he hated the Baal, but he did not respect and love the true God. They did purge Baal worship from Israel, which was a good thing. But he did not finish the job of cleaning all paganism and syncretism from Israel. 

God clearly loved Yehonadab the son of Rechab and his descendants. He promised that his descendants would always be before Him on the earth. He listened completely to God and this preserved his family line forever. 

Speaker: Daniel Agee. Summary: Tammy.

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