Prophets have never been treated with respect. It is easy to look back at their lives and admire their boldness and overlook their mistreatment. Elijah had a price on his head. Elisha was called a baldhead. Jeremiah was thrown into a well. Isaiah was sawn in two. And this unnamed prophet was considered a madman. God's men who speak on God's behalf have never been popular.
Following Christ isn't a popularity contest. Just as Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this world, so the rewards of this kingdom are not of this world. Prophets live for a different set of rewards, answer to a different master, and walk contrary to the culture of this world. The prophet does, however, have a message that this world cannot do without. As God's mouthpiece he must deliver the word of God, announce the glory of the kingdom and the worth of the King, without the fear of man or consequence. Nothing suspends or cripples usefulness to God more than becoming proud or worrying about what others think.
Through Jehu the LORD avenges the blood of his servants the prophets and the blood of all the LORD's servants shed by Jezebel (2 Kings 9:7-10) . Other prophets died and have yet to be avenged, however, Jesus promises that day will come, "Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar" (Matthew 23:34-35).
History teaches us that prophets receive little respect in this world, but in the world to come, they will receive their reward.
Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
2 Kings 9:1-37; 2 Chronicles 22:7-9
- Why does the LORD pronounce judgment on Ahab's descendants?
- How does the LORD use Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, to destroy Ahab's descendants?
- What does this tell you about the LORD and His ways?
- What relationship has brought King Ahaziah and King Joram?
- Describe the response of the palace administrator, the city governor, the elders, and the guardians of King Ahab's kingdom to Jehu. Why are they so afraid?
- How does Jehu trick the prophets, ministers, and priests of of Baal into coming together so that he might kill them?
- Who is Athaliah and why does she kill all of the male heirs?
- What happens in the midst of this terrible situation that reveals God's providential work?
- What does this tell you about the LORD? What does this tell you about how God works?
Pray for your pastor. Pray that he will fear God more than man.