It’s Not a Scale To Be Balanced

I had two summary thoughts from 2 Kings 10. They both explain a God pattern and Scriptural principle to remember.

Jehu was the ruthless warrior God anointed to be king over all of Israel by killing both Joram (king of the northern Israel tribes) and Ahaziah (king of Judah) and all their descendants. God actually commissioned Jehu, through Elijah’s prophecy, to do this.

Yet, even as Jehu obeyed God, including totally destroying the worship of Baal throughout the kingdom, he was not everything God wants us to be. In verse 29, it says,

“However, Yehu [Jehu] did not turn away from the sins of Yarov‘am [Jeroboam] the son of N’vat, with which he had led Isra’el into sin, the gold calves that were in Beit-El and Dan.”

Baal was a completely different (and non-existent) god that the people chose to worship, and excluded Jehovah God. This violated the first commandment to not have any gods before me. This behavior was a serious violation of the most basic principle of God’s supremacy.

In verse 29, Jehu still sinned against God, breaking another commandment of having graven images (the calves) of a god or even of God. The worship of these golden calves started during Jeroboam’s reign because Jeroboam didn’t want the people of the northern tribes of Israel to travel to his rival Judah and the Temple in Jerusalem. He had the calves made to represent Jehovah God and placed them in two places in the northern kingdom so the people could more easily access them rather than having to go to Jerusalem. The calves were not completely different gods, so worshiping at those sites was not as grievous as worshiping Baal.

Yet, to get to my first point, in verse 30, God commends Jehu although Jehu committed sins against God.

Adonai said to Yehu, “Because you did well in accomplishing what is right from my perspective, and have done to the house of Ach’av [Ahab] everything that was in my heart, your descendants down to the fourth generation will sit on the throne of Isra’el.”

So just like Abraham, David and several other Old Testament favorites, bad behavior doesn’t cancel good behavior. Judgment will surely come as it will for all people, but it is not like a weight balance where more good stuff has to be added to balance the scale with the bad stuff.

Another way of looking at this is that faithfulness and faith are deemed as righteousness in spite of our sins. The commentator explained it further by saying that good behavior doesn’t create salvation and bad behavior by the godly doesn’t cancel salvation.

This brought me a lot of comfort as I recognize my own failings to be all God wants me to be, and yet my salvation can’t be outweighed by that sin. God says that it is faith and faithfulness that reconciles us with Him.

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