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Author:Rev. Ted Gray
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Congregation:First United Reformed Church
 Oak Lawn, Illinois
 www.oaklawnurc.org/
 
Title:The Word of the Lord Fulfilled
Text:2 Kings 9:1-37 (View)
Occasion:Regular Sunday
Topic:God's Justice
 
Preached:2017/05/14
Added:2017-05-31
 

Order Of Worship (Liturgy)

* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Ted Gray, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.


 

The Word of the Lord Fulfilled”
2 Kings 9:1-37
 
Have you ever had people ask, “How can you know that the Bible is true?” One of the best ways to know the truth of the Bible is to look at how the prophecies given in the Bible are fulfilled. It doesn’t matter whether they are prophecies concerning judgment or prophecies regarding deliverance and salvation, we see time and again where the prophecies that have been made are fulfilled, right down to the minutest detail.
 
We certainly see that in the passage that is before us. As we saw last week, Jehu was anointed as king of Israel by God’s command. 1 Kings 19:15-16 records how the Lord told Elijah to anoint Jehu as king over Israel. His purpose as Israel’s king was a bloody purpose. Jehu was to destroy the house – the family lineage – of Ahab.
 
Ahab, and his wife, Jezebel were exceptionally evil. Ahab had served as the king of Israel for twenty-two years during which time he killed many prophets of the Lord. His wife was the daughter of the king of Tyre. Jezebel promoted Baal worship, doing great spiritual damage to the people of Israel. She also oversaw the killing of God’s prophets.
 
1 Kings 19:25-26 explains their wickedness this way: (There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.)
 
Because of their wickedness Jehu was appointed by God to bring temporal judgment upon them, as we read verse 6b-10: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anoint you king over the Lord’s people Israel. You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the Lord’s servants shed by Jezebel. ….As for Jezebel, dogs will devour her on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and no one will bury her.’ ”
 
The Arrow of Judgment
 
The first person to experience the arrow of judgment from the hand of Jehu was King Joram. Joram was a son to Ahab and Jezebel. (He is also known as Jehoram, and there was a king of Judah by the name, but he was the son of King Jehosophat). Joram carried the same disdain for God and for God’s people as his parents did.
 
Ahab had often called Elijah “my enemy” and “the troubler of Israel.” Joram considered Elisha to be an enemy and a troubler of Israel in much the same way as his parents had viewed Elijah. Joram was a blatant unbeliever who blamed God and blamed Elisha for the terrible famine that came upon Samaria when the Arameans surrounded the city.
 
Joram had been injured in a war with Hazael, and because of that, Ahaziah the king of Judah had come to visit him (2 Kings 8:29). Neither king realized that a political coup was under way; neither realized that Jehu had been anointed the new king of Israel.
When they saw Jehu driving his horse so fast across the plain they figured that he was bringing news of a battle to them. Neither king realized the danger they were until Joram asked Jehu, in verse 22, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?”
 
Jehu’s answer let them know that he did not come in peace. Jehu replied, “How can there be peace, as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?”
 
Joram turned about and fled, calling out to Ahaziah, “Treachery, Ahaziah!”
 
Jehu drew his bow, and his arrow was far faster than Joram’s horses. Scripture describes how the arrow pierced his heart and he slumped down in his chariot.
 
Did you notice where this happened? Verse 21 tells us the two kings met Jehu at the plot of ground that had belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite.
 
And that is where the corpse of Joram was thrown. Verse 25-26: Jehu said to Bidkar, his chariot officer, “Pick him up and throw him on the field that belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. Remember how you and I were riding together in chariots behind Ahab his father when the Lord spoke this prophecy against him: Yesterday I saw the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons, declares the Lord, and I will surely make you pay for it on this plot of ground, declares the Lord.’ Now then, pick him up and throw him on that plot, in accordance with the word of the Lord.”
 
Do you see how the prophecies of judgment contained in God’s Word come true? What God says will indeed happen, and we see that in this passage as Joram is killed in the exact spot as Elijah had predicted that he would be killed.
 
A Downfall Decreed by God
 
Verse 27 describes how when Ahaziah king of Judah saw what had happened, he fled up the road to Beth Haggan. Jehu chased him, shouting, “Kill him too!”
 
They wounded him in his chariot on the way up to Gur near Ibleam, but he escaped to Megiddo and died there. His servants took him by chariot to Jerusalem and buried him with his ancestors in his tomb in the City of David (27).
 
The judgment that came upon King Ahaziah was also a fulfillment of prophecy. 2 Chronicles 22:7 describes how it was by God’s appointment that King Ahaziah would be put to death. It says: Through Ahaziah’s visit to Joram, God brought about Ahaziah’s downfall. When Ahaziah arrived, he went out with Joram to meet Jehu son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab.
 
It wasn’t just a matter of King Ahaziah being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead, his downfall and death was decreed by God as judgment against him, and was fulfilled by Jehu, who had been anointed to bring judgment on the house – the lineage – of Ahab.
 
Devoured by Dogs
 
The third person in this chapter who came under the judgment that God appointed for her, is Jezebel. Her death is also the fulfillment of prophecy. In 1 Kings 21:23 we read: concerning Jezebel the Lord says: ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.’
 
Verse 30 describes how when Jezebel heard that Jehu was coming to Jezreel she put on eye makeup, arranged her hair and looked out of a window. Some believe that she was trying to disguise herself; others believe that she was trying to convey a royal appearance to Jehu, and still other commentators think she may have thought that she could seduce Jehu and keep him from his appointed task.
 
We may never know her true motives, but we do know that the eunuchs, who were appointed to care for her, had no respect for her. They did not hesitate when Jehu called out, “Who is on my side? Who?” The eunuchs appeared at the window and were more than eager to comply with Jehu’s command “Throw her down.”
 
They threw her to the ground. Jehu trampled her with his horses. The dogs ate her flesh, leaving nothing except her skull, her feet and hands. As verse 36 declares, “This is the word of the Lord that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel’s flesh.”
 
God is Not Mocked
 
How do we apply such a gruesome chapter? We recognize that in this fallen world of sin the repercussions of sin cause so much heartbreak, but as we see that death and destruction of this chapter unfold, how can it apply to our lives today?
 
In the destruction of Ahab’s household we are reminded that God is not mocked; one reaps what is sown. Galatians 6:7-8 serves as an accurate commentary on this chapter. Those familiar verses warn: Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
 
Ahab and Jezebel “sowed to their own flesh” and from their flesh – their sinful nature –  reaped corruption. As verse 7 points out, Ahab had put to death many of the servants of the Lord as did Jezebel. Back in 1 Kings 18 we read about a believer in the Lord named Obadiah (not the prophet Obadiah). He had hid 100 prophets in two caves in the hills protecting them from Ahab and Jezebel.
 
Ahab and Jezebel reaped what they had sowed, not only in respect to the prophets whom they killed, but also for their mistreatment of Naboth. The reason Joram and Jezebel were killed in the spots that they were, refers back to the scheme that Jezebel came up with – and Ahab went along with –  to get Naboth’s vineyard from him.
 
1 Kings 21 records how Ahab wanted the vineyard next to the palace which was owned by Naboth. He wanted the vineyard, but Naboth pointed out that the Lord had given it to him as an inheritance from his father. Because the Lord had granted him that vineyard, he did not want to sell it to King Ahab. Jezebel came up with this solution: She had the king throw a great feast in which Naboth was seated in a prominent place. But she put two scoundrels opposite him and had them testify that he had cursed both God and the king.
 
The scoundrels did their job, and the order was given to stone Naboth to death. With Naboth out of the picture Jezebel said Ahab, “Get up and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth that he refused to sell you he is no longer alive, but dead.” (1 Kings 21:15)
 
Ahab went to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard and at the same time the Lord sent Elijah to him to say, “‘This is what the Lord says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’ Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’ ”
 
In one of the few instances of remorse that Ahab ever showed, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. The Scripture describes how he lay in sackcloth and went around meekly. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.” (1 Kings 21:27-30)
 
And that is why Joram was killed at the plot of ground that had belonged to Naboth. That’s why Jehu said to Bidkar, (in 2 Kings 9:25-26), “Pick him up and throw him on the field that belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite.... Yesterday I saw the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons, declares the Lord, and I will surely make you pay for it on this plot of ground, declares the Lord.’ Now then, pick him up and throw him on that plot, in accordance with the word of the Lord.”
 
God is not mocked. One does reap what they sow. And we see that very clearly in the prophecies concerning judgment on the house and lineage of Ahab.
 
The Madman
 
Also, we see in this passage how unbelievers are quick to ridicule God and His servants. We have already seen that Ahab and Jezebel ridiculed God and his servants, but did you notice in verse 11 how when Jehu went out to his fellow officers one of them asked him, “Is everything all right? Why did this madman come to you?”
 
Who was the “madman”?  He was the young man, a prophet of God, sent by Elisha to anoint Jehu as king in order to bring judgment upon the house of Ahab. The reference to him as a madman is a reference that has been made throughout history to those who believe in the Lord and proclaim their faith to others.
 
The Apostle Paul experienced that on many occasions, perhaps most notably before Festus. You recall that it was King Festus who interrupted the Apostle Paul as he preached about Christ and the need for people to repent and turn to God, proving their repentance by their deeds. As Paul spoke, Festus interrupted him, and shouted, “You are out of your mind, Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane.” (Acts 26:24)
 
Learning about the Lord in his word, and then telling others about it is, in the view of those in the world, insanity. Perhaps you have heard the definition of faith by those who have nothing but disdain for the word of God and the prophecies which he has given.
 
To them faith is not defined by Hebrews 11:1, as being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Instead, faith in the God revealed in Scripture is defined by many as “faith -derangement syndrome” (FDS). In years to come we may see in the United States where the designation of “faith-derangement syndrome” for people who have true saving faith in Jesus Christ will be widespread. And at that time, of course, there will be mandatory training for those who have “faith-derangement syndrome”, so that they no longer live in a make-believe world, but understand that God does not exist and that his word has no merit or veracity.
 
Not only do the wicked disdain God, but they also disdain the Scriptures that reveal Him to us. Many in the world would love to follow the example of King Jehoiakim who burned the scroll of Jeremiah in the fire, column by column, as it was read to him. (Jeremiah 36:23)
 
God’s Word Fulfilled
 
And then a third application is that God’s Word is always fulfilled, both in warnings of judgment and in promises of salvation. I trust that from our somewhat brief look at chapter 9 you can clearly see that God’s word is accurate and every warning that it prophecies is fulfilled down to the minutest detail.
 
But just as all the warnings of judgment are absolutely accurate so, too, are the wonderful promises of salvation. When the Philippian jailer called out to the Apostle Paul and Silas, “What must I do to be saved?” you recall the answer: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” (Acts 16:30-31) That is the promise of Scripture. In John 6:28-29 a crowd of people came to Jesus, and asked, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
 
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
 
For those of us who know the truth of God’s Word, it becomes imperative to take both its warnings and promises to heart. John 3:36 put both the judgment of God and the promises of God in the same nutshell: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
 
Ahab, Jezebel, and all their family, refused to believe in the warnings of God. They refused to repent of their sin with true godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:10); they refused to believe in the promised Messiah. The wrath of God remains upon them just as described in John 3:36. But for all who believe – whether a jailer in Philippi, a thief on the cross, a woman with an incredibly sinful background, for all who believe – for you and for me – there is the certainty of salvation.
 
For you and for me, whatever is in our past can be repented of, and the blood of Jesus Christ will cover every sin as his righteousness is imputed to the heart and life of everyone who believes upon him. John 1:12-13 assures us that to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
 
By God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s regenerating power, may that description apply to your life and mine. May it be said of you and me that we took to heart the warnings of God and clung with joyful saving faith to the promises of God – the precious promises of salvation through faith in Christ alone! Amen.
 
- bulletin outline -
 
They went back and told Jehu, who said, “This is the word of the Lord that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs
 will devour Jezebel’s flesh. Jezebel’s body will be like refuse on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that no one will be able to say, ‘This is Jezebel.’ ” 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 2 Kings 9:36-37
 
 “The Word of the Lord Fulfilled”
2 Kings 9:1-37
 
I. Jehu was anointed as king of Israel by God’s command (6-10; 1 Kings 19:15-18). His purpose was to fulfill the prophecies of judgment God had pronounced on
   King Ahab’s family, including death for:
     1) Joram (24-26; 1 Kings 21:19, 28-29)
 
 
 
     2) Ahaziah (27; 2 Chronicles 22:7)
 
 
 
     3) Jezebel (30-37; 1 Kings 21:23)
 
 
 
II. In their punishments we are reminded:
     1) God is not mocked; one reaps what is sown (7-10; 1 Kings 21:19-28; Galatians 6:7-8)
 
 
 
     2) Unbelievers are quick to ridicule God and His servants (11, 31)
 
 
 
     3) God’s Word is always fulfilled, both in warnings of judgment (36; 2 Kings 10:10) and in promises of salvation (Acts 16:30-31)
 
 
 
III. Application: It is imperative that those who know the truth of God’s Word take both its warnings and promises to heart (John 3:36)
 
 

 




* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Ted Gray, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.
(c) Copyright 2017, Rev. Ted Gray

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