Every day, we hear of “random” acts of violence, people who have everything making “senseless” decisions that cost them everything, and people who “supposedly” represent a Holy God but do unholy things. You can’t help but wonder, “How could a loving God allow this?
Well, you get the same feeling reading 2 Kings chapters 8-10. So much blood-shed and murder. And it all seems to be directed by God Himself! On top of that, Jehu commands and carries out the killings, because God has communicated to him that this is the consequence of not obeying the Lord. Yet, Jehu doesn’t obey God completely either! (2 Kings 10:31) It’s like an oncologist who has just watched his patient die of lung cancer, yet goes outside for a cigarette!
So, to understand these chapters, let’s stick with the oncology theme for a minute. Think of these chapters in terms of cancer treatment. If cancer in a body is not stopped, the malignancy mutates and grows at an alarming rate. So a physician sets out to use chemotherapy and radiation to kill the cancerous cells and prevent them from completely taking over. But even though it’s only the cancer that’s targeted, many other cells (and the body itself) suffer from this treatment.
Though it doesn’t make us feel any better about it, this what is happening in 2 Kings 8-10.
We all suffer from the cancerous, addicting effects of a destructive sinful nature, yet we become indignant that God would allow bad things to happen to us. We look with smug satisfaction when others “get what they deserve,” but get upset with God if we should get what we deserve…even though God has been more gracious to us than we deserve.
Yes, 2 Kings 8-10 are ugly chapters. They point to our ugly condition and tendencies. But despite what God may allow, He is still seeking our best…even in our worst.