Daniel Agee

2nd Kings 9: Meaning of ‘peace’ shown in death of King Ahab’s line

Daniel AgeeIt was Ahab’s house that was asking for peace, but they were asking for physical peace, not God’s peace. God does not like the world’s definition of peace, which is, “Leave me alone! I enjoy my miserable life.” When someone is at war with God and they are about to see God’s sword coming down on them, they will ask for “peace.” But in this account, they were lying.

Yoram (Joram), son of Ahab, king of the northern nation of Israel, was the uncle of Ahaziah, king of Yehudah (Judah). Yoram was recovering from battle wounds suffered some time before in his battle against Aram. 

Twenty-eight* years before the events of this chapter, Eliyahu (Elijah) had been told by God to have Yehu (Jehu) anointed King of Israel. Yehu was already in Ahab’s army when Eliyahu was originally given the task of anointing Yehu as king. 

The reason for the delay may have been that Ahab’s cup of evil had not been full yet. Recall the story of Ahab and his desire over Naboth’s vineyard. Yezebel (Jezebel) took it in an ancient version of eminent domain. This event had not happened when Eliyahu was told to anoint Yehu. Most of Ahab’s most evil acts hadn’t happened yet. But now, God is ready to clean Israel up. 

When the son of the prophet came to Yehu to anoint him, his cohorts knew fully well who this prophet was, yet they acknowledged Yehu’s anointing and come to his side.

How many times was asked Yehu asked if he was “at peace”? Eight times. Why are these individuals, particular Yoram and Jezebel asking about “peace”? They were at war with Aram, but Jezebel was also at war with God. Yehu was, in a sense, at war with Ahab’s house. (Jer. 6:10–15)

Although this was written about 100 years later, this could easily apply to Ahab’s house, his descendants. It was Ahab’s house that was asking for peace, but they were not asking for God’s peace but for physical peace. God does not like the world’s definition of peace, which is, “Leave me alone! I enjoy my miserable life.” Yehu was at war with Ahab’s house. 

Yehu’s name is a variation of God’s name. His assignment, in God’s name, is to not be at peace with Ahab’s house. 

For the past 28-plus years, Ahab’s family have grown in their corruption. God says their time is up. Why did God wait so long? 

We’ll go back to 1st Kings 14:1-12 to gain some insight. We meet another man who God is not pleased with: Yeroboam (Jeroboam). What he says here is similar to the judgement God calls upon Ahab’s family. 

We also find a similar edict against the family of Baasha, who had inherited the throne of Israel from Yeroboam.

Then Ahab’s family fell under a similar curse (1st Kings 21:20–24). Yeroboam, Baasha and Ahab were all worthless individuals. Yet these prophesies did not come to pass in the reigns of the fathers, but of the sons. God’s objective was repentance, not death. God gave these men, who were very wicked, plenty of time to delayed God’s judgement. What made these kings so wicked was not that they were selfish, or murderers, or greedy but that they discarded God in their own way and lead Israel to sin. 

Yehu did not obey any of God’s commandments after he became king but he did not disregard God. Yehu didn’t replace God. 

When someone is at war with God and they are about to see God’s sword coming down on them, they will ask for “peace.” But in this account, they were lying. That is what you would expect people who are at war with God to do: lie about it. 

Speaker: Daniel Agee. Summary: Tammy.

*Twenty-eight is a multiple of seven, which is used in the Bible as a symbol of completion.


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