At this point Jehu has wiped out “all who were left of Ahab’s relatives living in Jezreel and all his important officials, his personal friends, and his priests. So Ahab was left without a single survivor” (II Kings 10:11, NLT). Then he headed for Israel’s capital city. “When Jehu arrived in Samaria, he killed everyone who was left there from Ahab’s family, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah” (II Kings 10:17).
Then Jehu went to work on the Baal worshipers in the land. Under the pretense of holding a gathering to honor Baal, he ordered every Baal worshiper in Israel to show up and then used his military forces to eradicate all of them and then destroy Baal’s temple.
Jehu had a shot at starting Israel over with a clean slate. “Jehu destroyed every trace of Baal worship from Israel. He did not, however, destroy the gold calves at Bethel and Dan, with which Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to sin” (II Kings 28-29).
“He did not, however destroy the gold calves.” How often do we as believers in Jesus Christ come under conviction about the “pet sins” in our lives only to repent of one and hang onto another? Jehu apparently had his own pet sin.
“Nonetheless the Lord said to Jehu, ‘You have done well in following My instructions to destroy the family of Ahab. Therefore, your descendants will be kings of Israel down to the fourth generation’” (II Kings 10:30).
“But Jehu did not obey the Law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit” (II Kings 10:31).
What sins had “Jeroboam led Israel to commit?” The worship of “the gold calves.” Jehu cleansed the land of all evil – except for the part he wanted to keep. Like leaving the one bad apple in the basket.
Meanwhile back in Judah, what was happening? Jehu had also killed their king, Ahaziah. Remember, there was an Ahaziah in Israel who ruled prior to his brother Joram whom Jehu killed. There was an Ahaziah ruling in Judah at the same time Joram was ruling Israel. He’s the other king Jehu killed. So now who was running the country? Ahaziah’s mother, Athaliah.
“When Athaliah, the mother of King Ahaziah of Judah, learned that her son was dead, she began to destroy the rest of Judah’s royal family” (II Chronicles 22:10).
Athaliah was wicked and ambitious. She not only wanted to rule Judah, but she wanted to be certain she had no competition, even from her own family.
“But Ahaziah’s sister Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, took Ahaziah’s infant son, Joash, and stole him away from among the rest of the king’s children, who were about to be killed. She put Joash and his nurse in a bedroom. In this way, Jehosheba, wife of Jehoiada the priest and sister of Ahaziah, hid the child so that Athaliah could not murder him. Joash remained hidden in the Temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled over the land” (II Chronicles 22:11-12).
Athaliah was Ahab and Jezebel’s daughter. She wasn’t of the lineage of David. But Joash was. And nothing and no one was going to interfere with God’s plan for the house of David. Athaliah’s reign was going to be short and with an unpleasant ending.
Folks, we can’t outsmart the One who created the brains we have to work with. The will of God will always prevail. Far better to be in it than in its way.