June 23: motives

As we read the tangled history of the kings of Judah and Israel, it appears that Jehu finally (and violently) restores the focus of the northern kingdom of Israel on the LORD God. For the next hundred years, life will go well in Israel with Jehu and his descendents on the throne. But if you already know how this story will conclude – that is the eventual total destruction and elimination of the northern kingdom and its people – there is an eary feeling that even with Jehu something is not right.

2 Kings 10:31 – Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart. I suspect that for Jehu he felt he followed God well enough, certainly better than the leaders before him. But was his motive to serve God’s purposes or Jehu’s purposes? God’s judgment on the house of Ahab put Jehu in power. Why was he not CAREFUL to keep the law of the LORD with all his heart? Could there be another motive in mind that would serve his own self-interest?

It is a question that I am pondering this morning. What is my motive in keeping the commands of God? Am I seeking something that will boost my profile? Am I careful in keeping the commands of God with my whole heart – for God’s benefit?

Today’s readings: 2 Kings 10; 2 Chronicles 22-23; 1 Timothy 5

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