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THE NEBULOUS VAPORS OF SPIRITUAL CHANGE

Arizona sunsets reflect the spiritual realm in a visible format to the natural world.  I began a walk looking at a dreary cloudy sky that you see here.  It reflects the despair of our times and reveals little of a future of hope.  The world of Elisha may have looked the same, but he sees workings before they manifest.  He is setting the wheels of change in motion according to directions indicated from the beginnings of time.

And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramothgilead:  And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber;  Then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not.  So the young man, even the young man the prophet, went to Ramothgilead.  And when he came, behold, the captains of the host were sitting; and he said, I have an errand to thee, O captain. And Jehu said, Unto which of all us? And he said, To thee, O captain.  2 Kings 9:1-5

By now everyone knows that when the prophet anoints a new king it will be so.  Nothing stopped the ascent of David, and it is a sure sign of change.  These soldiers were gathered and one is about to receive a telegram.

And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel.  And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel.  For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel:  And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah:  And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled.  2 Kings 9:6-10

 

An anonymous child of the prophets delivers a message, oil of anointing, and a dramatic prophesy.  Perhaps he is young and a bit frightened because he flees the scene.  But the message is not to be forgotten or ignored.  His credentials are established.

Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, Is all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication.  And they said, It is false; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel.  Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king.  So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramothgilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria.  But king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, If it be your minds, then let none go forth nor escape out of the city to go to tell it in Jezreel.  2 Kings 9:11-15

In just a few blocks my sunset had rolled up into this twisting cloud formation, flowing with a design that continued to change.  These soldiers questioned Jehu about his encounter and he knew that they were fully aware of the news already.  Did he see them listening through a keyhole, or did men recognize the gifting of young prophets back then?  They admitted that they heard the message, and insisted that it wasn’t true.  But Jehu told them he was anointed king, and they did not hesitate to acknowledge the authority of this anointing.  I wonder if this young prophet reappears in scripture later. 

Jehu goes on his mission to burn down the house of Ahab.  Joram (Jehoram) The king of Israel is recovering from battle wounds in Jezreel, and sees his approach.  Ahaziah the king of Judah is with him there too. 

So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah was come down to see Joram.  And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, Is it peace?  So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again.  Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me.  And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.  2 Kings 9:16-20

Common sense is not part of life in this day or in the time of these kings.  If your watchman does not return from a patrol, there may be a problem.  These watchmen have sense to recognize the danger and flee.  The watchmen on the wall recognize the road rage that Jehu is famous for.  I hope that is not my fame in church!

And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.  And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?  And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah.  And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot.  2 Kings 9:21-24

 

Instead of sending bodyguards or maybe the Delta Force, these kings go out to meet their trusted captain in person.  Joram is inclined to repeat his (dumb?) question about Jehu’s peaceful intentions.  The answer is clear and the two kings try to flee to no avail.

Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the LORD laid this burden upon him;  Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, saith the LORD; and I will requite thee in this plat, saith the LORD. Now therefore take and cast him into the plat of ground, according to the word of the LORD.  But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there.  And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David.  And in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah.  2 Kings 9:25-29

Now the stories of past prophesies and present battles swirls into full battle, as does my sunset.  They knew the prophesy against the house of Ahab, and it was known to Jehu and his captains.  They also knew the prophesy that this son could share Ahab’s burial ground that was stolen by Jezebel.  Ahaziah was at least buried in Jerusalem.

And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.  1 Kings 21:19

And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.  And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?  And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs.  And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot.  2 Kings 9:30-33

Now Jezebel is truly brazen, pointing to the death of Zimri the murderous servant of Baasha from an earlier lesson.  The rebellion of Zimri was also against God so he too perished.  But Jezebel has no righteousness to protect her from a similar fate.  She might have remembered that it was another Jehu, a prophet, who delivered that prophesy. 

And also by the hand of the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani came the word of the LORD against Baasha, and against his house, even for all the evil that he did in the sight of the LORD, in provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam; and because he killed him.  In the twenty and sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah the son of Baasha to reign over Israel in Tirzah, two years.  And his servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him, as he was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza steward of his house in Tirzah.  And Zimri went in and smote him, and killed him, in the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his stead.  1 Kings 16:7-10

Servants in her house wanted none of the fury of Jehu, so they let her pay for her own crimes.  She did not get an honorable burial.

And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king’s daughter.  And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands.  Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:  And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.  2 Kings 9:34-37

The canvas of every person’s life is a variable as the sky at the end of our days.  It is always changing and flowing among the promises made from the beginning of time.  But the artist is the Lord who never changes, and never misses an appointment.  When the smoke of battle clears, only true gold remains.  The death of the righteous is by appointment, never a disappointment.

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