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This chapter contains the anointing of Jehu: his slaughter of Joram: the death of Jezebel, and the relation of her being eaten by dogs.
The only observation I would detain the Reader with on this passage, because it should seem to be of all others the most important, is the ceremony of anointing. When we behold how this service was uniformly appointed in the church from the beginning of its being formed in the wilderness, doth it not strike the Reader's mind that the Holy Ghost evidently intended by it a matter of vast signification. The Lord Jesus himself was anointed with the Holy Ghost; and all his people are said to have an unction from the Holy One. 1 John 2:20 . Oh! thou blessed Spirit! graciously condescend to anoint me with all thy precious influences in the knowledge and enjoyment of the Lord Jesus! Let the holy oil of thy grace soften all my heart, and make the savor of his dear name be as ointment poured forth!
Is there not a sweet lesson veiled under this message and commission of the prophet? When the Lord sends his word to any individual, though he be in the midst of many, like Jehu among the captains, yet the call is personal, the grace is distinguishing, and the manifestation of it secret. The Lord spoke a word, it is said, in Samuel's ear. 1 Samuel 9:15 . So here, the errand was to Jehu. Reader! be assured that it is a personal enjoyment of God's calls, and his word, which make them precious. The master is come and calleth for thee. John 11:28 .
In the commission which Elisha had intrusted this servant among the prophets with, no doubt more was intimated to him than is related in the chapter, from the addition he made in this command, how Jehu should act in the destruction of the house of Ahab. Reader! remark in it, how sure God's judgments are. As an apostle hath said most assuredly will it be found, that the judgment of the unregenerate lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Peter 2:3 .
It should seem from the manner in which the captains received Jehu on his return from the prophet, that they were not much disposed at first to treat the prophet, or his message, with respect. But probably from a divine power accompanying Jehu's account of his anointing him king, and seeing perhaps the traces of the holy oil upon his head, their hearts were wrought upon to cooperate with the Lord's appointment in establishing Jehu to be king.
The whole design of this being from the Lord, we have only to remark how the various circumstances all concurred to insure the ruin of Ahab's house. From Ramoth-Gilead to Jezreel was no small distance, yet to prevent tidings getting there before Jehu, he hastens on to surprize Joram. And on the other hand, the alarm of Joram in sending out, upon the smallest appearance, messengers to enquire into the cause, shows the guilt of his conscience. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked! Isaiah 48:12 .
What a remarkable coincidence of circumstances must it have been to have brought those persons to the very spot of Naboth's vineyard! as if to remind Joram of the cause of his death, and his merited judgment. Reader! what greater testimony can a man require that the Lord's hand is in that visitation, when the punishment ariseth out of the very crime itself, in the consequences which follow.
The character of Jezebel is one of the most awful we meet with in history among women. So much so, that a false prophetess in the revelations, and probably by way of pointing out more emphatically her infamy, is called after her, Jezebel. And when, in the same book, the final destruction of idolators, under the type of the great whore of Babylon and the mother of harlots, is spoken of in allusion to the same horrible crimes as Jezebel excelled in, it may serve to teach in some measure how very awful in the sight of God such characters are. Revelation 2:20 . I only detain the Reader just to repeat how certain God's judgments are. Jezebel had long triumphed; but a day of reckoning did at length come. So must it be with all. Oh! for grace to keep in view the sure events awaiting. Say ye to the righteous that it shall be well with him. Woe unto the wicked, it shall be ill with him. Isaiah 3:10-11 .
READER! what an awful view doth this chapter afford of the miserable end of Ahab's race! and how is the mind struck in the contemplation, that a family such as his was in all its branches, should sell themselves to work evil with greediness. It is hardly possible to go through the review of what is related in these histories of Ahab and Jezebel, and their house hold, without being again and again prompted, as we prosecute the history, to exclaim from whence arose such determined resolute impiety!
But we read the history of Ahab to very little profit if it doth not serve to lead the mind further than to the history of a single person or family, and not to behold in it the outlines of wicked and ungodly men in all ages. In the dreadful opposition Ahab made to the God of Israel and his prophets, do we not behold the representation of all the Ahabs of every age, in their avowed hatred and opposition of the blessed gospel of the Lord Jesus? Do not some of this description of men seem as if every faculty was in league against the Lord Jesus? Their hearts boiling with implacable bitterness; their ears resolutely stopped to all the grace of the gospel; their voices uniformly raised against it. Despisers of divine things, haters of God and of his Christ! Oh! my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly mine honor be not thou united.
But, Reader! how sweet to the view is Jesus after looking at human nature, and human wickedness, in such awful characters! and farther, how increasingly so is the view of Jesus under these considerations, when we are enabled to trace our preservation and upholding from such awful examples on ourselves! Yes! dearest, almighty Jesus! it is to thy preventing and restraining grace we cheerfully ascribe all the praise and the glory. Truly must I say (and, Reader, do you not the same?) by the grace of God I am what I am! that I have been, that I now am, and that I feel confidence for the future I shall be kept; on my bended knees, in transports of rejoicing, would I give the whole glory to the adorable Redeemer. It was Jesus who committed to his Father his church for this blessed purpose in the close of his ministry, and just before his death. And it is to this one source the preservation of his people must be everlastingly ascribed. Keep (said the gracious Redeemer as he placed his dearly purchased flock in the hands of the Lord) keep, Holy Father, through thine own name those whom thou hast given me. And hence under the unquestionable evidence of this great truth, would I cry out with the apostle, and say, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy hath be gotten to this lively hope all his people, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany