Through the years, I have developed a great love for the narrative portions of the Old Testament which are historical in nature.
Many Biblical scholars write that the book of Joshua (a name that means “The LORD is Salvation”) through the book of Queen Esther, marks the beginnings of the works that are known as the books of “Hebrew History.”
Moses compiled the first five books of the Old Testament known as the Pentateuch (“Penta” means 5 for the 5 scrolls or books of The LAW or The Torah) around 1440 B.C (before the birth of Christ).
Joshua was Moses’ successor and he led the twelve (12) tribes of Israel into what was called “The Promised Land.”
Modern Israel occupies a small sliver of the land originally promised to her; a land size about the length and width of the state of New Jersey.
ALMIGHTY GOD promised to His Servant Abraham (circa. 1700 B.C.?) a land of eternal inheritance (a land which is under fierce contention to this day by both Israelis and Arabs).
For a more detailed description of the boundaries of the Promised Land, I would ask that you please read the fifteenth 15th chapter of the book of Genesis.
The twelve (12) tribes of Israel had a long and illustrious history of ups and downs once they entered into the Promised Land.
The Old Testament scholar Dr. Irving Jensen described Old Testament time periods with a unique abbreviation of the letter C multiplied by a factor of 4:
- CAMP (666 years) – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and to a lesser degree Joseph are known as the Patriarchs of the Hebrew (Jewish) faith. This period includes the 400 plus years in which the Hebrew children were slaves in Egypt;
- COMMONWEALTH (360 years) – This is often known as the period of the Judges (Judges were Military-Governors who ruled over parts of the 12 tribes of Israel for an extended period of time…
- CROWN (460 years) – This time frame marks the beginning of the United Monarchy with the anointing of Saul as Israel’s first king and then David as Israel’s second king – also widely acclaimed by scholars and students of the Bible as Israel’s greatest King;
- CAPTIVITY (160 years) – The nation of Israel had so disobeyed The VOICE of The LORD through His Prophets and Priests that He – The LORD – allowed the United Kingdom to be fragmented into 2 separate Kingdoms:
•The Northern Kingdom known as Israel consisted of the ten (10) most Northern tribes, and,
•The Southern Kingdom known as Judah was composed of two (2) tribes: JUDAH and BENJAMIN.
During the time period when the Northern and Southern tribes were split, there was a colorful “military commander” who ascended to the throne of the northern kingdom known as “JEHU.”
The name “JEHU” means, “JEHOVAH IS HE…”
Unlike so many names given to children in our culture, the Jewish people – as well as many Christians in the Catholic Tradition – place a premium on prayerfully considering the names of their offspring.
[As an aside: I live in Atlanta, GA area and many of our children have colorful and unique names… to say the least.]
Let us look at a small segment of Holy Scripture to get a description of this man named “Jehu.”
JEHU: JEHU RECEIVES HIS ANOINTING AND COMMISSION
Old Testament Book 2 Kings 9 – New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)
1 Then the prophet Elisha called a member of the company of prophets and said to him, “Gird up your loins; take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead.
2 When you arrive, look there for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi; go in and get him to leave his companions, and take him into an inner chamber.
3 Then take the flask of oil, pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee; do not linger.”
4 So the young man, the young prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead.
5 He arrived while the commanders of the army were in council, and he announced, “I have a message for you, commander.” “For which one of us?” asked Jehu. “For you, commander.”
6 So Jehu got up and went inside; the young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him, “Thus says the Lord the God of Israel: I anoint you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel.
7 You shall strike down the house of your master Ahab, so that I may avenge on Jezebel the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord.
8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish; I will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel.
9 I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah.
10 The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and no one shall bury her.” Then he opened the door and fled.
What a Commission and what a Divine Mandate!!!
- JEHU was a Military Commander who inspired fear…
- JEHU possessed crude manners (a gross understatement!)
- JEHU practiced scorched earth principles – – he was sent on a Divine mission to execute “the Wrath of The LORD” against the evil house of King Ahab…
- JEHU employed an Authoritarian leadership style; it was interesting negotiating with JEHU!
- JEHU could easily compared to some of the great Generals of history and/or the 20th century (Generals George Patton, Wilbert Montgomery, Dwight D. Eisenhower, et cetera comes to mind).
Please continue to read on through the book of 2 Kings beginning with the ninth (9th) chapter and you will see that JEHU successfully completed his Divine Mandate.
Now, most Biblical Scholars if forced to grade JEHU will state that they admire his “zeal for The LORD of Hosts,” but a total evaluation of his kingship would yield him a mediocre grade.
Back in March of 2016 I wrote an essay lamenting the fact that we are about to witness the nomination and coronation of two individuals of questionable character:
o Madame Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton…
o Billionaire Esquire Donald Trump…
Our nation elected Mr. Donald Trump as our President; he was sworn into office on January 20, 2017.
In many ways, our new President is in the “spirit of JEHU!”
What will arise of his Presidency?
In the Old Testament narratives, we see that Almighty GOD used great men such as King David and great women such as Deborah [she was a Military-Governor who ruled during the time of the Judges] to bring peace, goodness, prosperity, and safety to His people.
On the other hand, The LORD uses many “unsavory figures” to carry out and execute His will.
Question: My Friends, are you praying daily for President Donald Trump, our Congress, and for our Supreme Court and for State and Local Level Magistrates regardless of party affiliation?
The Holy Bible instructs and commands believers to Pray for ALL those in positions of authority.
1 Timothy 2:1-6 – (NRSVCE)
Instructions concerning Prayer
1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,
2 for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.
3 This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human,
6 who gave himself a ransom for all —this was attested at the right time.
One of the ways that Almighty GOD can deliver a degree of peace, justice, and stability to a nation is through the administration of government by men and women of honesty and integrity.
May GOD Richly Bless All of YOU!