How Church Leaders repeat the mistakes of King Jehu? Here, you might wonder what were the mistakes of King Jehu.
As you know, King Jehu is known among Christians as a great leader who destroyed the family of wicked Ahab and Jezebel in Israel. However, there is a not so well-known side to Jehu’s story and you will find it in the following verses.
28So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. 29However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan.
30The 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 will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.”
31Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit. (2 Kings 10, 28-31)
Yes, as you see in the above verses King Jehu did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat which he had caused Israel to commit.
This leads us to the next question – What were the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat? Let us examine them in detail.
Jeroboam was the first king of Israel, the kingdom that God established by splitting the Kingdom of David as a punishment for the sins of King Solomon. Lord Almighty was well-pleased with Jeroboam and anointed him as the king of Israel (ten tribes) through Ahijah, the Prophet of Shiloh.
Furthermore, LORD Almighty also promised Jeroboam that his kingdom will be as enduring as the Kingdom of David; if he remains faithful to all HIS Commandments and do what is Just and Right in HIS eyes.
37However, as for you, I will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel. 38If you do whatever I command you and walk in obedience to me and do what is right in my eyes by obeying my decrees and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you. (1 Kings 11, 37-38)
But this promise did not materialize during the reign of King Solomon as Jeroboam had to escape to Egypt to save his life from the hands of the King.
However, after the death of Solomon, his son Rehoboam took over the reign of Solomon’s kingdom and he fell out with the people of Israel (ten tribes) and eventually they chose Jeroboam, who had returned from Egypt after the death of Solomon, as their king.
Thus, the LORD’s mighty hands fulfilled what HE had spoken through Prophet Ahijah.
So, Jeroboam became the king of Israel and he knew fully well that it was the LORD Almighty who made him King over Israel and HE will be the one who will protect his Kingdom from the hands of his enemies.
However, on the way, Jeroboam started to doubt the faithfulness of God and devised his own strategies to retain the loyalty of his subjects.
He thought, if the people of Israel keep visiting Jerusalem for worshipping in the Temple of God, they might eventually become loyal to King Rehoboam again and as a result he might lose his throne as well.
26Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. 27If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.” (1 Kings 12, 26-27)
Therefore, in order to prevent the people of Israel from visiting Jerusalem, he devised his own plans to establish places of worship in Israel. He decides to make two golden calves and instructed the people of Israel to worship them.
In addition, he also built two shrines in Bethel and Dan and established sacrificial systems and festivals similar to the ones at the Temple of The LORD in Jerusalem. The people of Israel obeyed Jeroboam and began to prostitute themselves by worshipping those golden calves; the following verses tell the whole story.
28After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” 29One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. 30And this thing became a sin; the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other. d
31Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites. 32He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made. 33On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make offerings. (1 Kings 12, 28-33)
When the whole Israel started to prostitute themselves by worshipping the Golden Calves set up by Jeroboam, God sent a prophet to warn him while he was at the altar of Bethel offering sacrifices. The following verses tell the whole story.
1By the word of the Lord a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering.
2By the word of the Lord he cried out against the altar: “Altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.’”
3That same day the man of God gave a sign: “This is the sign the Lord has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out.”
4When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back.
5Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the Lord.
6Then the king said to the man of God, “Intercede with the Lord your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God interceded with the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before.(1 Kings 13, 1-6)
But despite the miracles and the warnings, Jeroboam continued in his rebellion against the LORD Almighty.
33Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places. 34This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth. (1 Kings, 13, 33-34)
Well, now you have a clear picture of the sins that jeroboam son of Nebat committed against the LORD Almighty. Unfortunately, those evil religious practices did not end with the reign of Jeroboam but continued uninterrupted until the time of Jehu who The LORD anointed to put an end to them.
Nonetheless, Jehu too, though he had a once in a life time opportunity, wilfully chose not to destroy them as he also thought in the same line as jeroboam.
Why did King Jehu Continue in the Sins of Jeroboam?
As I mentioned earlier, the worship of Golden Calves and the places of Sacrifice at Bethel and Dan continued uninterrupted until the time of Jehu.
Though, Jehu received the anointing and power to destroy these satanic places of worship that challenged the authority of the Most Holy Temple of God in Jerusalem, he was still not willing to destroy them for the same reasons that Jeroboam wanted to establish them.
Though God Almighty revealed the power of HIS mighty hands in the life of Jehu by anointing him as the King of Israel by destroying all his powerful enemies, he still did not trust HIM with his whole heart.
Like Jeroboam, son of Nebat, Jehu also feared that if the people of Israel visited Jerusalem annually for the Feasts, it might eventually sway their allegiance to the King of Judah and he might lose his throne. So, he decides to sustain the worship of Golden Calves in Israel which, of course, was a serious rebellion against the God Almighty.
As you know, Jehu began well with following God Almighty whole heartedly but as his success reached its Zenith, he began to fall from the grace of God. Instead of leaning on The LORD Almighty, he relied on his own wit and wisdom to sustain his throne and this eventually led him to follow the same shrewd and sinful paths of Jeroboam.
But this is not something that was common only among the kings of Israel; this behavior still can be found among contemporary Church Leaders too.
Unfortunately, even in the contemporary Christian world we could find many of the people who have been called out and anointed by the LORD Almighty to lead His people, like Jehu and Jeroboam, leaning on their own wit and wisdom to sustain their authority and positions in their congregations and ministries.
Like Jehu they begin their journey well, their hearts are fully committed to the LORD and they diligently seek the will of God in everything they do and attempt to accomplish great things for the kingdom of God.
But as their base and fame grows, they start thinking like King Jehu (in Jehu’s life too, the deviation started after he took over the reign of Israel). These Shepherds in a subtle manner let the customs and practices of the world (the golden calves of Egypt) take root in their congregations.
Though they know very well that these Golden calves work completely against the Will of God and the Word of God; they still let them be in the midst of God’s people.
Like Jehu, they too hesitate to confront these practices as they might threaten their name and fame. In other words, they choose to sustain these Golden Calves in order to protect their authority and power.
How Church Leaders Continue to Repeat the Mistakes of King Jehu?
Well, now we have come to the most important question: How Church Leaders continue to repeat the mistakes of King Jehu?
As a born-again Evangelical Christian, who knows the Word of God and the Will of God very well, you might wonder; what this Old Testament story of king Jehu got to do with mainstream Protestant Christianity and its Leaders.
Well, if you know the Word of God very well, I am sure you might remember the story of Aaron molding a Golden Calf in the desert for the Israelites to offer sacrifices to their God.
Actually, this evil spirit of Golden Calf worship did not cease to exist in the desert, though the image was destroyed by Moses; instead, it continued to influence God’s people in various ways and in subtle forms throughout the history of Israel and it still holds sway over God’s people; even in this 21st century.
In ancient times this spirit of Golden calf appeared in physical form and corrupted the children of Israel but later, after the formation of Christian Congregations; it shed its physical form and started appearing among God’s people in the form of customs and practices.
Although these customs and practices were adopted to honor God Almighty; they were still not according to the Word of God or the Will of God. Nevertheless, the shepherds still allowed these customs and practices to be part of their congregations because, like Jehu, they feared confronting and removing them might cost them their power and authority.
Next, I would like to illustrate two examples, possibly the most prominent ones but before I begin, I would like to request you to examine them in the light of God’s Word – The Holy Scriptures, and not according to your denominational Doctrines, Customs and Practices.
I. Replacing God ordained Day of Rest with Man ordained Day of Rest.
According to the Holy Bible God Almighty has day that is Holy to Him and it is the Seventh day of the week.
2By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2, 2-3)
The Holy Bible says – God Almighty created this universe and everything in it in six 24-hour days and He rested on the Seventh Day and sanctified it as a Day Holy to HIM and also called it – “My Holy Day” – Yes, it is The LORD’s Holy Day.
Nevertheless, the Mainstream Protestant Christianity, following the footsteps of the Apostolic churches, treats Sunday as the LORD’s day and command their congregations to rest on that day. But this teaching is nothing but rebellion against the God Almighty; because the fourth Commandment says that – God’s children should rest on the seventh day of the week and not on the first day of the week.
Saints; God gave us Ten Commandments and they are the main pillars of both Old and New Covenants. In the place of Old Covenant, we have a New Covenant made in the Blood of Christ but the Terms of the Covenant did not change.
Under the New Covenant; the Ten Commandments moved from the Stone Tablets into our Hearts; yes, it is written in the hearts of every New Covenant believer.
How can you forget something that is written in your heart?
Saints; you might argue: “Oh I rest on Sunday” No – Resting on Sunday is not equal to resting on the Seventh Day. God has given very specific instructions on how to keep the Fourth Commandment, how to keep His Holy Day – “Holy.”
8“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20, 8-11)
Yes, the Commandment is – “Remember the Sabbath Day; the day that the LORD Almighty rested.
But How do we remember that day? – The LORD Almighty gives us very specific instructions regarding this:
you remember the LORD’s Holy Day; LORD’s Sabbath Day by keeping it Holy.
So, the next question is:
How do you keep it Holy? It is by not doing any work on that day; any work that is part of your regular work.
In other words; by not engaging in gainful employment.
Saints, I am not arguing against you going to church on Sunday; I do not have any objection to it. My whole life I, myself, have been going to church on Sunday; but that does not mean that I am obeying the 4th Commandment.
For the first ten years of my spiritual journey I was like many of you – I thought I am obeying the 4th Commandment by resting on Sunday; and my fellow believers and Pastors too convinced me as such.
But the Word of God led me in a different direction and convicted me that as per the 4th Commandment, I need to rest on the Seventh Day of the Week; not on the first day of the week.
Look, Christians rest on the first day of the week and calls it the LORD’s Day – They even calls it “Christian Sabbath.”
Saints, believe me, there is no such thing as a Christian Sabbath; there is only one Sabbath in the Holy Bible – That is the Seventh Day of the Week.
If God made the Seventh Day Holy – Then it will be Holy for ever; unholy man does not have any authority or power to ordain another day as Holy. Nowhere in the Holy Bible God calls the First Day of the week – “My Holy Day.”
As far as the Ten Commandments are concerned you have only one choice – that is to obey them; and if you break them, repent and ask God for forgiveness.
See what Apostle James says about keeping the Ten Commandments.
10For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” b also said, “You shall not murder.” c If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. (James 2, 10-11)
Yes, in the above verses Apostle James is talking about the Ten Commandments – Those who break one commandment breaks all of them and it becomes more complicated when you break it wilfully.
Saints, remember, you are a disciple of Christ; follow His footsteps. He did not come to abolish His Holy Laws, He came to fulfil them and lived in obedience to them.
He kept the 4th Commandment in its true spirit and He even declared:
“Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath.” Yes, Sabbath belongs to Christ; you should not desecrate it.
Saints, please let me remind you again – you are a disciple of Christ and should follow only His foot-steps and listen only to His Word; not the words of your Pastors and Preachers if their words are not in agreement with the Word of God.
II. Replacing God Ordained Festivals with Man Ordained Festivals.
Yes, this is another area where Bible believing Christians ignore the Word of God.
According to the Holy Bible – There are Seven Festivals of the LORD that He commanded His people to keep.
Unfortunately, mainstream Protestant Christianity has completely ignored these festivals. Instead, they have ordained other festivals to Honour Christ; for e.g. Christmas and Easter. (please google for the origin of the word “Easter” and you will be surprised)
Well, you might think I am against you celebrating Christmas and Easter – No, I am not against it.
Instead, my question is – if your purpose is to honour God, then, why not you do it the way God commanded?
Why do you ignore the Biblical Festivals for the sake of celebrating the festivals that are not ordained by God Almighty?
Well, here you might wonder why I am so insistent about the Seven Feasts of the LORD commanded in the Holy Bible. It is because:
The seven Biblical Feasts of the LORD have a greater significance for New Covenant Believers than the Old Covenant Believers as they are linked to some of the most important events of our Christian faith.
Here, again you might wonder how these Seven Festivals are linked to Christ and His Church. Well, I have given a little bit of explanation below. Please read further.
1. Passover – yes, Christ was the Passover lamb that was sacrificed for the sins of the humanity. So, Passover represents the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross at Calvary.
2. Feast of Unleavened Bread – Yes, the Feast of Unleavened Bread reminds us of the sinless life of Christ – A lamb without sin or blemishes.
18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.( 1 Peter, 18-19)
3. Feast of First Fruits – Yes, the Feast of the First Fruits represents the Resurrection of Christ. He was the First fruit from the Dead.
4. Feast of Weeks – Pentecost (50 days) In the Old Testament, at the end of the fifty days people were expected to bring the fruits of their harvest. But for the New Covenant Believers this day is important too, because God Almighty chose this very day to fill the servants of Christ with His Holy Spirit and empowered them to Begin the work of building the New Covenant Church.
1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues a as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2, 1-4)
Saints; majority of the Christians think that the early Christians did not keep these festivals; but the truth is – They did keep all the Biblical Feasts. The reason why they gathered in the upper room on the day of Pentecost was to celebrate it; yes, it was a very special day for them and they gathered together.
5. Feast of Trumpets – Yes, the Feast of Trumpets represents the second coming of Christ. When we celebrate it each year, it reminds us of the second coming of Christ.
51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15, 51-52)
6. Day of Atonement – yes, the Day of Atonement reminds us of the Sacrifice of Christ (Remember; Jesus was the atoning sacrifice for our sins) on the Cross and also His role as the High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.
8Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.( Hebrews 5, 10)
7. Feast of Tabernacles – Yes, this is another important feast that represents Christ – Each year when we celebrate this feast; it reminds us of God coming into this world to tabernacle with man – Christ is – Immanuel: “God with Us.”
In addition, it also reminds us of the Second coming of Christ and God building His Tabernacle in the midst of His people.
3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (Revelation 21, 3)
Saints, as I told you earlier, these seven festivals of the LORD Almighty represent and remind us of the Most important events related to Christ and His church. But the people who call themselves Born-again, Bible believing Christians have completely ignored and neglected these feasts.
Contrary to the instructions of God Almighty, they have chosen their own Festivals and their own ways to honour HIM.
Of course, it is true that festivals like Christmas and Easter are celebrated in the name of Christ and for Christ; however, they are not endorsed by God Almighty but by man. Actually, if you examine the origins of these celebrations, you will find that they have pagan roots and many of the activities associated with these celebrations also have pagan elements involved.
Well, I have given you a brief idea about some of the unbiblical practices that are prevalent among Bible believing Christians. Of course, these are not the complete list of those practices. In this article, I just focused on two of them and may be, if God willing, I will cover more in my future articles.
Also, another thing we need to keep in mind is – these deviations and corruptions are not something that Church Leaders, Preachers and Pastors are ignorant about. They are fully aware of these corruptions that have been handed down from generation to generation and from leaders to leaders. However, they are not willing to address them or correct them.
The main reason is; these practices are well entrenched in the life of believers and trying to change them or correct them might cost their job, reputation and authority. So, for the sake of protecting their own interests they maintain the status quo. Like king Jehu, they too want to keep their sheep within their reach so that their thrones will not be shaken.
But, one thing that these Church Leaders should bear in mind is – Compromising with the Word of God has not helped the church to become stronger, but instead, it has made the church weaker.
Now, if we examine the Western Church, we could find that; it is going through a very serious existential crisis and many, both sheep and the shepherds alike, are falling away from their faith. So, it is time for those Church Leaders who care about their sheep to look inwardly and find the areas that need to be fixed.
I am sure, from the behaviour of King Jehu, contemporary Church Leaders have many things to learn. Saints, please remember – God will definitely speak to those who are willing to listen to Him.