II KINGS 10:32-33: “In those days the LORD began to cut off parts of Israel. Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel: 33 from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the Valley of the Arnon, that is, Gilead and Bashan.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: What happens when we allow sin to remain in our lives? Jehu was a godly king in Israel compared to most. Surely he was a godly king when compared to Ahab, who was one of the most ungodly kings of all. He cleansed Israel of the house of Ahab and their sins. He also destroyed the house of Baal and all those who worshipped Baal. Yet, the Biblical account reads – “But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin.” (II KI NGS 10:31, ESV)
Jehu followed the Lord – “to a degree”. Yet, he left the high places that Jeroboam had erected, along with the golden calves. These was the initial sin that led Israel into further idolatry and apostasy. This would be the continued sin that affected Jehu’s life and reign. From Jehu’s life, can we answer the question – “What happens when we allow sin to remain in our lives”?
Verses 32-33 give us insight into the answer. It is an answer that can be easily missed in our lives and in the text. In life, we can interpret blessing, grace, and mercy as a sign of God’s approval for what we are doing. God commended Jehu for his zealous actions and promised him that his sons would reign on the throne to the fourth generation. This could lead one to think that Jehu was walking fully in the will of God. Yet, verse 31 tells us that he did not. And the next two verses tell us the consequences.
“In those days the Lord began to cut off parts of Israel.” The result of Jehu’s continued failure to deal with the sin of Jeroboam resulting in an ongoing and increasing diminished potential in his life and reign. He was not expanding his kingdom, his kingdom was slowly being trimmed back. He was losing valuable territory. When we do not deal with the sin in our lives the result is not always immediate or even visible. Yet, like Israel, there will begin to be parts of our lives that will be trimmed back. We will experience limited potential and losses of personal freedom – unless we repent and allow the Lord to deal with our sin. The story of Samson and Delilah is a perfect example of this ongoing and gradual decline. Like Jehu and Samson, if we continue to hide our sin we will eventually find ourselves bound by the very things we thought we had overcome.
Paul exhorts us – “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12 ESV). We need to be aware of our shortcomings and weaknesses and pray that our steps are carefully directed toward the Lord. We are all prone to blind spots and missteps that can lead us back in a rut we thought we would never fall into again. Most of the time it is not because of huge lapses in our lives, but small sins, tiny seeds of un-forgiveness, and petty insecurities that secretly grow until they produce limits in our heart that cause us to fall. The Song of Solomon tells us that it is the “little foxes” that spoil the vine. We must deal with these “little foxes”, the sins in our lives – by coming to the Lord Jesus Christ in sincere repentance for both forgiveness and cleansing.
Lord, search my heart and know me this morning. Help me to be honest with You, and with myself, about the sins and weaknesses I struggle with. May I not make excuses for these shortcomings, but may I bring them to You in sincere repentance to receive Your forgiveness and cleansing. May I be empowered by the Holy Spirit to walk directly toward my fears – in Grace empowered obedience. Let me grow in, by, and through Your Grace day by day! In Jesus Name!