An Undivided Heart
23 June 2017
Reading: 2 Kings 10; 2 Chronicles 22-23; 1 Timothy 5
Even then, though, Jehu wasn’t careful to walk in God’s ways and honor the God of Israel from an undivided heart. He didn’t turn back from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who led Israel into a life of sin. (2 Kings 10:31 MSG)
Jehu had been chosen by God and commissioned by God’s prophet to become king of Israel and to wipe out evil Ahab’s regime. He was passionate and creative and didn’t miss a trick or an opportunity to round up and eliminate Ahab’s family and Baal’s priests and worshippers.
Jehu’s weakness seems to have been that while he had a consuming passion for this task, he didn’t really have a heart for God. His life was defined by what he hated, not by what he loved. His work was defined by what he destroyed, not by what he created.
Jehu’s attitude seems to show up again and again throughout history in the kind of legalistic religious fervor we have come to know as “Fundamentalist.” Whether it’s the passion of fundamentalists of any religion to hate and destroy those who believe differently or the tendency of legalistic or fundamentalist Christians to focus on single issues – to express hatred and call for God’s judgment on those who are caught in the particular sin they have chosen to hate – the Jehu attitude is still with us.
Jesus had strong words for religious people whose entire focus was to determine who’s in and who’s out. He spoke very harshly to the legalists of his nation’s religion. He rightly said that they judged and condemned people who didn’t measure up to their standards, but they wouldn’t lift a finger to help the poor, ease the suffering of the afflicted, or speak up for the rights of the oppressed, things that matter most to God.
I want to be passionate about God’s purpose for me and his plan for my life. I want to be defined by what I love, not what I hate, and I want my legacy to be what I build, not what I tear down! How about you?
Father, I purpose to honor you from an undivided heart. Please let your heart of love determine what I love and let your compassion determine my passions. May I be defined by what I love, not by what I hate, and may my work be defined by what I build, not by what I destroy. Amen.