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2 Kings 10:29-33 - Homiletics

Half-heartedness punished by God as severely as actual apostasy from true religion.

The temper of the Laodiceans is no uncommon one. Men may even think that they have a "zeal for the Lord" ( 2 Kings 10:16 ), and yet show by their acts that it is every half-hearted zeal—a zeal that goes a certain length, and then stops suddenly. There is no reason to doubt that Jehu honestly disliked, nay, perhaps detested, the religion of Baal. It was an effeminate, sensual, weakening, debasing system, which a rough soldier might well view with abhorrence. Jehu was honest and earnest in his opposition to it, as he showed by the measures which he took to put it down. They were no half-measures—they stamped out the religion, for the time at any rate ( 2 Kings 10:28 ). But with this destructive process his zeal terminated. He did not go on to consider what he could do to reintroduce and stimulate the true worship of Jehovah. Had his thoughts moved in this direction, he would have been brought face to face with the calf-worship, and would have had to consider seriously the question of its maintenance or abolition. But this question probably never presented itself to his mind. He was not possessed by any real love of God, or desire to worship him in spirit and in truth. Had he been, he would have called in the advice and help of Elisha, and taken counsel with him as to what was best to be done. But this is exactly what he does not do. He comes into no contact with Elisha. After delivering his one great attack upon Baalism, he rests upon his oars, and is "neither cold nor hot" ( Revelation 3:15 ). Consequently, punishment fails upon him. Hazael smites him in all his coasts." While the apostate Ahab and his dynasty had maintained the kingdom, on the whole, without serious loss or diminution of power, Jehu loses province after province to Syria, is deprived of all his trans-Jordanic territories, and induced to submit to the indignity of paying tribute to Assyria. God punishes his lukewarmness as severely—may we not say more severely than Ahab's open rebellion?

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