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THE DESTRUCTION OF AHAB’S FAMILY BY JEHU
2 Kings 9:36. And he said, This is the word of the Lord, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel.
FROM nothing does the unbeliever receive more solid grounds of conviction, than from the facts recorded in the sacred history. In those facts there is undeniable evidence, that there is a God, who “ordereth all things after the counsel of his own will,” and who is particularly “known by the judgments which he executeth.” In confirmation of this truth we will shew,
How God’s word was accomplished in the history before us—
[We lay no stress on the fulfilment of what was spoken to Jehu, because the declaration made to him was the immediate cause of his adopting measures for the attainment of the sovereign power. But the accomplishment of God’s word in the death of Jehoram and of Jezebel was independent of any human purposes whatever. The fate that awaited Ahab and Jezebel had long before been announced by the Prophet Elijah; though on account of Ahab’s repentance, the evil denounced against him, had been deferred, and the fulfilment of the threatening had been reserved for his children. Now it was particularly specified by Elijah to Ahab, that “where dogs had licked the blood of Naboth, they should lick his blood:” and that “dogs should eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel [Note: 1 Kings 21:19; 1 Kings 21:23.].” Behold then how exactly these prophecies were accomplished! Jehoram was at Jezreel: but how came he there? he had gone thither to be healed of the wounds which the Syrians had given him. But why did he not flee from thence, when he saw that Jehu detained the messengers that were sent to ascertain the reason of his approach? He was altogether infatuated; for instead of fleeing, both “he and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, to meet Jehu,” and they actually “met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite [Note: 1 Kings 21:21.],” where Jehu drew his bow against Jehoram, and smote him through the heart. And so remarkable was this accomplishment of the prophet’s prediction, that Jehu himself was struck with astonishment at it, and ordered that the corpse should be there exposed to public view, in order that the justice of God, in so requiting the injury done to Naboth, might be manifest to all [Note1 Kings 21:26.]. The same infatuation seized Jezebel also; for she, when she knew that her son Jehoram was dead, instead of fleeing, or consulting her own safety by submission, insulted Jehu, and was, by his order, thrown out of the window by her own servants, in the very place where God had foretold that death should come upon her. Jehu after some hours bethought him, that as Jezebel, though an accursed woman, was a king’s daughter, it was not right to leave her dead body exposed in the streets; and therefore he gave orders that she should be taken up and buried; but, behold, when they came to look for her, nothing of her remained but her scull and her feet, and the palms of her hands; for the dogs had devoured her: and this singular accomplishment of God’s word respecting her, brought again to Jehu’s recollection the prediction of Elijah, so minutely verified, not only without any design on his part, but even contrary to his design [Note: ver. 36, 37.].
An attentive survey of such facts as these is of the greatest use: it convinces us that every word of God must be fulfilled in its season, and that “sooner shall heaven and earth pass away, than one jot or tittle of it should fail.”]
From beholding the word of God thus verified in them, let us proceed to notice,
How it shall be accomplished sooner or later in the history of us all—
As our subject leads us almost exclusively to speak of those who are obnoxious to the Divine threatenings, we shall comprehend them under two classes;
Those who make no profession of religion—
(These may differ widely from each other with respect to their external conduct; but in the habit of their minds as alienated from God, and averse to heavenly pursuits, they are all alike; unregenerate, unsanctified, unhumbled. They fear not God: “he is not in all their thoughts:” “they proceed from evil to evil, because they know not God” — — — We again say, that they do not all commit the same iniquities; but they all live as without God in the world — — — And is not this agreeable to what St. Paul has spoken of the natural man [Note: Romans 3:10-18; Romans 8:7.]? — — — Yes verily, his word is fulfilled in every child of Adam. Thus it is with them in this world.
Next, let us see how it is with them in the eternal world. They go, each at his appointed time, into the presence of their God: but in him they find an angry and an avenging Judge: and from his presence are they driven to reap the just reward of their deeds. They would not, whilst living, regard his threatenings; and therefore they are left to experience the accomplishment of them to all eternity. And is not this precisely according to what the Psalmist has forewarned them of [Note: Psalms 9:17.]? Has not St. Paul also again and again guarded them against deluding themselves with vain expectations of a different end [Note: 1 Corinthians 6:9; Galatians 6:7-8.]? — — — Yes; in all of them will there be scope for precisely the same observation as Jehu made respecting Joram, and Jezebel; “This is the word of the Lord, which he spake by his servants the prophets.”]
Those who walk unworthy of their profession—
[Mark the different persons who decline from the ways of God: there is the same variety found amongst them as amongst the carnal and ungodly world: each has his separate pursuit, and each his separate infirmity: but in this all agree; that, whatever be their besetting sin, they are led captive by it more and more; the earthly, the sensual, the devilish, become more and more enslaved by their respective lusts and passions, from the time that they depart from God — — — And what is this but an accomplishment of that word of Solomon, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways [Note: Proverbs 14:14.]?”
Follow them also into the eternal world; and there also you will find that verified, “It had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them [Note: 2 Peter 2:21.].” They “have been heaping up treasures indeed for the last days;” but they are found to be treasures of wrath, agreeably to that declaration of Elihu, “The hypocrites in heart heap up wrath [Note: Job 36:13.] The separation predicted by our Lord takes place; nor do the privileges they enjoyed in this world, or the wonders they performed, avail any thing for the altering of the sentence passed against them [Note: Matthew 7:21-23.].]
Observe now from hence,
The folly of neglecting the Holy Scriptures—
[These contain the whole revealed will of God; and according to these we shall be judged in the last day. What folly is it then not to study them, and to find out beforehand what shall then assuredly come to pass! O let us search them; let us bear in mind whose word is there contained; and let us not rest one single hour in a state that is there condemned.]
The evil and danger of unbelief—
[Unbelief “puffs at the word of God,” as though it never should come to pass. But can we point out any one declaration of God that has failed of accomplishment? As St. Paul says in reference to the Jews, so may we in reference to the whole world; “What if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God of none effect [Note: Romans 5:3.]?” Did not God’s word “take hold of them” at the different periods of their history [Note: Compare Zec 1:6 with Daniel 9:11-13.]? Yes, and in us also shall they be fulfilled in their season; nor shall one iota of them ever fall to the ground. The infidels shall “know ere long, whose word shall stand, whether God’s or theirs [Note: Jeremiah 44:28.].”]
The truth and faithfulness of all the promises—
[If the threatenings of God are sure, so also are the promises; nor shall any one of them fail the person who trusts in them. Let us remember, that “in Christ Jesus they are all yea and Amen.” Let us lay hold on Christ, and all the promises are ours: we may plead them at the throne of grace; we may rely upon them; we may expect the accomplishment of them; and in that great day, when all the ungodly shall be banished from the presence of their God, we shall have them fulfilled to us in their utmost extent, being put into complete possession of our promised inheritance.]
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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9". Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Sunday after Epiphany