May 14 | Daily Devotion

May 14 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a complete reading of the passage

Lectio Semi-continua: a shorter reading of the passage

Lectio Divina

Sometimes God raises up the unlikeliest people to do his bidding. Such is Jehu, anointed by God to become the king of Israel. Jehu is a man with a reputation for reckless driving, a trait that matches his devil-may-care attitude and bad manners. He executes his duties like a modern-day mob boss taking revenge for an entire generation of offenses committed against his family. Though the king is overzealous in carrying out his campaign of cruelty, he is commended by the Lord for doing his duty: “The Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation’” (2 Kings 10:30). Jehu is rewarded for his obedience, and his dynasty does, in fact, last longer than that of any other northern king.

Jehu is not the most endearing of kings. He’s not the kind of king I would want sitting on the throne of my country; unless, of course, I was living during a period of great apostasy! But whether I like him or not, there is something about Jehu that God really likes. This man is not afraid to act in the face of so much evil. Ahab, his wicked queen, his successor, his children, his court, and all his minions are violent offenders of God’s Word. They hate both justice and mercy, and so they pervert the land, kill the prophets, exploit the people, and prostrate themselves before Baal. It takes a man with some moxie to stand up against this evil lot. Jehu is just the man for the job.

Years ago, when I was dealing with a person who had a history of divisiveness in several congregations, I had to be unusually firm in my insistence that such behavior was not acceptable. After several confrontations, our church leaders moved to excommunicate him from our church. At a subsequent meeting, I silenced his supporters by firmly insisting that they too were speaking out of order (they were literally violating Robert’s Rules of Order). Jehu would not have shown nearly as much patience! Later that night, I received what I thought would be a call of encouragement from another church member. Instead, the call was a reproof, as the member explained that I needed to show more patience and gentleness. I handled the call with grace, but I wondered, “Has he read the entire Bible, especially the stories of Jehu and, yes, of Jesus making people mad?!”

As I look back on situations I have had to handle, I think I was too gracious in some instances. I’m not sure God wants us to deal with evil and evil people with kid gloves. Sometimes He confronts sin without mercy. I like what British writer Dorothy Sayers said to the church of her day: “We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah”¦and recommended him as a fitting household pet for pale curates [weak ministers] and pious old ladies.” (Christian Letters to a Postmodern World). Perhaps there are times we need some colorful figures who aren’t afraid to confront evil, wherever it is. Whether it is in the church, the neighborhood, the school, the workplace, or the nation’s capital. Sometimes God needs people to stand up in the midst of a messed up world and say, “This isn’t right.   We are not going to tolerate this any more.” And that might mean people like you and me! Make no mistake about it, God will reward such bold, brave people.

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the Senior Pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.