Ever gone somewhere for a purpose? Ever visited a friend or a neighbor? Ever gone on a trip for a visit? How long did you stay? What drove the decision on when to leave? What is your motivation for going? What is your motivation for staying? How do you know when it is time to go?
Proverbs 25:17 says:
Don’t visit your neighbors too often, or you will wear out your welcome.
Jesus tells us in Mark 6:
10And He told them, “When you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11If anyone will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that place, as a testimony against them.”
Today’s reading starts with a story of being sent and after delivering the message to leave quickly…
Jehu Avenges Naboth
1Then Elisha the prophet summoned one of the sons of the prophets and told him, “Strap up your cloak, take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead. 2When you arrive there, look out there for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi. Then go in, get him to rise up from among his fellows, and bring him to an inner room. 3Then take the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say, thus says Adonai: ‘I have anointed you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee—don’t wait around.” 4So the young man, a young prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. 5Now when he arrived, behold, the army commanders were sitting. So he said, “I have a word for you, commander.” Jehu asked, “For which one of us?” He replied, “For you, commander.” 6Then he rose and went inside the house, and the prophet poured the oil on his head and said to him, “Thus says Adonai, God of Israel: I have anointed you king over the people of Adonai, over Israel. 7So you will strike down the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of Adonai shed by Jezebel. 8For the whole house of Ahab will perish, and I will cut off from Ahab every male, slave or free, in Israel. 9I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasa son of Ahijah. 10The dogs will eat Jezebel in the field of Jezreel, and there will be none to bury her.” Then he opened the door and fled. 11Then Jehu came out to the officers of his master, and one asked him, “Is everything all right? Why did this crazy fellow come to you?” He said to them, “You know the man and his babbling.” 12But they said, “It’s a lie! Tell us now.” So he said, “He said something like this to me, saying ‘Thus says Adonai, I have anointed you king over Israel.’” 13Then they hurried and every man took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and blew the shofar, saying, “Jehu is king!” 14So Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. Now Joram had been defending Ramoth-gilead, he and all Israel, against King Hazael of Aram. 15But King Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him, when he fought with King Hazael of Aram. Then Jehu said, “If this is your wish, then let no one escape and go out of the city to go to tell the news in Jezreel.” 16So Jehu mounted a chariot and went to Jezreel, for Joram was lying there. Meanwhile, King Ahaziah of Judah came down to see Joram. 17Now the watchman stationed on the tower in Jezreel saw Jehu’s troop approaching and said, “I am seeing a troop.” Then Joram said, “Take a horseman and dispatch him to meet them, and let him ask: ‘Is it peace?’” 18So the horse rider went to meet him, and said, “Thus says the king: ‘Is it peace?’” But Jehu said, “What do you have to do with peace? Turn behind me.” So the watchman reported, saying, “The messenger reached them, but didn’t come back.” 19Then he dispatched out another horseman, who went to them and said, “Thus says the king: ‘Is it peace?’” But Jehu answered, “What do you have to do with peace? Turn behind me.” 20So the watchman reported, saying, “He reached them, but didn’t come back—and the driving is like the driving of Jehu son of Nimshi, for he is driving on like a maniac!” 21Then Joram ordered, “Hitch up the chariot!” So he hitched up his chariot. Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah went out each in his chariot to meet Jehu, and found him at the field of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22Now when Joram saw Jehu, he asked, “Is it peace, Jehu?” So he answered, “What peace, so long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” 23So Joram turned his horses around and fled, crying out to Ahaziah, “Treason, Ahaziah!” 24But Jehu drew his bow with his full strength and shot Joram between his arms, and the arrow went out through his heart, and he collapsed in his chariot. 25Then he said to Bidkar his aide, “Pick him up and throw him on the property of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite. Remember how you and I were riding together behind Ahab his father, when Adonai took up this burden against him: 26‘As surely as I have seen the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons yesterday—it is a declaration of Adonai—I will repay you on this property—it is a declaration of Adonai.’ So now pick him up and throw him onto the property, just as in the word of Adonai.” 27When King Ahaziah of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. But Jehu pursued him, and said, “Shoot him too!” They shot him in the chariot at Gur Pass near Ibleam. Then he fled to Megiddo, but he died there. 28Then his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his tomb with his fathers in the city of David. 29(Ahaziah had become king over Judah in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab.) 30Now when Jehu arrived at Jezreel, Jezebel heard about it. So she painted her eyes and dressed her hair, and looked out the window. 31As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it peace, Zimri, your master’s assassin?” 32Then he lifted up his face to the window and called out, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked down toward him. 33Then he said, “Throw her down!” So they threw her down—then her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, and they trampled her. 34Then he went inside, ate and drank. Then he said, “Attend now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.” 35But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull, the feet, and the palms of her hands. 36So they came back and told him. He said, “This is the word of Adonai, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying: ‘In the field of Jezreel will the dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel, 37and the carcass of Jezebel will be as dung upon the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so that they will not say, “This was Jezebel.”’”
–from 2 Kings 9
If you are called will you answer? If you are directed will you go? If you are instructed will you learn? Will you be fully obedient? Partial obedience is disobedience!
Jehu Destroys Ahab’s Sons and Baal Worshippers
1Now Ahab had 70 sons in Samaria. Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, the elders, and to the guardians of Ahab’s sons, saying: 2“Now as soon as this letter reaches you—since your master’s sons are with you, and you also have chariots and horses, a fortified city and weapons— 3choose the best and the most worthy of your master’s sons, set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.” 4But they were very terrified and said, “Look, two kings couldn’t stand before him, how then can we?” 5So the steward of the palace, the governor of the city, the elders, and the guardians sent word to Jehu saying, “We are your servants, and will do whatever you tell us to. We won’t make any man king. Do whatever is good in your eyes.” 6Then he wrote a second letter to them saying, “If you are on my side, and if you will obey me, then bring the heads of the men, your master’s sons, and come to me to Jezreel at this time tomorrow.” Now the king’s sons, 70 people, were with the city’s prominent men. 7When it came to pass that the letter reached them, they took the king’s 70 sons and slaughtered them, put their heads in baskets and sent them to him at Jezreel. 8When a messenger came and told him saying, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” he said, “Put them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning.” 9It came to pass in the morning that he went out and stood and addressed all the people, “You are innocent. Behold, I conspired against my master and killed him, but who struck down all these? 10Know then that not a word of Adonai will fall to the earth—which Adonai spoke about the house of Ahab—for Adonai has done what He spoke through His servant Elijah.” 11So Jehu struck down all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel—all his nobles, his acquaintances, his priests—until he left him not a survivor. 12Then he arose and went on his way to Samaria. As he was at Shearing House of the Shepherds along the way, 13Jehu met with the kinsmen of King Ahaziah of Judah and asked, “Who are you?” “We are the kinsmen of Ahaziah,” they replied, “We’ve come down to greet the children of the king and the children of the queen mother.” 14“Take them alive!” he said. So they took them alive, then struck them down at the pit of Shearing House, 42 men—he spared not a single one of them. 15Now when he left from there, he met Jehonadab son of Rechab coming to meet him. So he greeted him and said to him, “Is your heart right as my heart is with your heart?” “It is,” Jehonadab replied. “If it is, give me your hand.” So he gave him his hand, and Jehu helped him up into the chariot. 16Then he said, “Come with me and see my zeal for Adonai.” So he let him ride in his chariot. 17When he came to Samaria, he struck down all who remained from Ahab in Samaria, until he had destroyed him, according to the word of Adonai spoken to Elijah. 18Then Jehu gathered all the people together and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him much! 19Now therefore, summon to me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshippers, and all his priests, let none be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal—whoever is missing will not live.” But Jehu did it in cunning, in order to destroy the worshippers of Baal. 20Then Jehu said, “Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal.” So they proclaimed it. 21Then Jehu sent throughout Israel and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. When they went into the temple of Baal, the temple of Baal was filled from one end to another. 22Then he said to the one over the wardrobe, “Bring out vestments for all the worshippers of Baal.” So he brought out vestments for them. 23Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rechab went into the temple of Baal, and he said to the worshippers of Baal, “Search and look that there is here with you none of the servants of Adonai—only servants of Baal.” 24Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had already stationed 80 of his men outside and said, “If any of the men whom I am bringing into your hands escapes, your life will be for his life.” 25Then it came to pass, as soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, “Go in, strike them down—let none get out.” So they struck them down with the edge of the sword, and the guard and the captains threw them out. Then they proceeded to the inner room of the temple of Baal, 26brought out the pillars of the temple of Baal, and burned them. 27Then they demolished the pillar of Baal, tore down the temple of Baal and turned it into latrines—as it is to this day. 28Thus Jehu eradicated Baal from Israel. 29However, from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to commit, from these Jehu did not turn away—-the golden calves in Bethel and in Dan. 30Now Adonai had said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in executing what is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in My heart, your sons of the fourth generation will sit on the throne of Israel.” 31Yet Jehu was not careful to walk in the Torah of Adonai, God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he caused Israel to commit. 32In those days Adonai began to reduce the size of Israel. For Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel, 33from the Jordan eastward in all the land of Gilead—the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manassites—from Aroer by the Arnon Valley up to Gilead and Bashan. 34Now the rest of the acts of Jehu and all that he did and all his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 35Then Jehu slept with his fathers and they buried him in Samaria. And his son Jehoahaz became king in his place. 36The days of Jehu’s reign over Israel in Samaria were 28 years.
–from 2 Kings 10
The battle belongs to the Lord! The victory is His! The battle has been won! The victory in His hand! So let’s rejoice and celebrate the victory of the Lord! Let’s not live like we are losing or have lost, for He has already won the battle! Let’s get ready! Let’s be ready! Let’s be prepared! Let’s get prepared! Let’s not miss out because of laziness or distractions! Let’s not grow weary in doing good! Let’s not miss out because we weren’t prepared! Let the hope that is within you shine! Let’s the faith that is within you lead you and guide you! Put on the full armor of God!
Victory Songs in Heaven
1After these things, I heard something like the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, shouting: “Halleluyah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God. 2For His judgments are true and just. For He has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her whoring, and has avenged the blood of His servants caused by her hand.” 3And a second time they shouted, “Halleluyah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever!” 4Then the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who is seated on the throne, saying, “Amen! Halleluyah!” 5Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you His servants and all who fear Him, both the small and the great!”
Wedding of the Lamb
6Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude—like the roar of rushing waters or like the rumbling of powerful thunder—saying, “Halleluyah! For Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot reigns! 7Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready, 8She was given fine linen to wear, bright and clean! For the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the kedoshim.” 9Then the angel tells me, “Write: How fortunate are those who have been invited to the wedding banquet of the Lamb!” He also tells me, “These are the true words of God.” 10Then I fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that—for I am only a fellow servant with you and your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Yeshua. Worship God! For the testimony of Yeshua is the Spirit of Prophesy.”
Final Battle of this Age
11Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The One riding on it is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness. 12His eyes are like a flame of fire, and many royal crowns are on His head. He has a name written that no one knows except Himself. 13He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is “the Word of God.” 14And the armies of heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15From His mouth comes a sharp sword—so that with it He may strike down the nations—and He shall rule them with an iron rod, and He treads the winepress of the furious wrath of Elohei-Tzva’ot. 16On His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” 17Then I saw a single angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he cried out to all the birds flying high in the sky, “Come, gather for the great banquet of God— 18to eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of generals and the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and those riding on them, the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great!” 19Also I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the One who sat on the horse and against His army. 20Then the beast was captured, and along with him the false prophet who had performed the signs before him by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast, as well as those who had worshiped his image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the One riding on the horse. And all the birds gorged themselves with their flesh.
–from The Revelation 19