Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Hot and Cold (04/09/09)
By Leah Nichols
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Trembling hands had hastily poured the flask over his head as the boy breathlessly recited the words as directed by the prophet of God. Then, as quickly as he had entered, the boy departed, running as fast as he could, leaving the men outside confused and muttering. But for the oil still rolling down the side of his face, he would have thought that the whole incident had been imagined.
<i>King of Israel!</i>
The words shouted in his mind, a virtual impossibility for a man of his birth. Yes, he had risen through the ranks as a commander in the army, but the wicked king had many supporters. They would never follow him, until he killed the king himself.
<i>That is what God wants me to do. </i>Had he heard correctly? <i> “You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master....”</i>
“Commander? Are you alright?” One of his officers called from outside the house.
Wiping oil away from his eyes, Jehu strode from the inner room to the group of men gathered outside.
“You alright?” The officer repeated. “What did that madman say to you?”
Jehu smiled, rolling his eyes dramatically. “You know what crazy things those 'prophets' are always talking about. Always trying to get us to 'turn back to God.' ”
For a moment the men stood dumbly, pondering Jehu's uncharacteristic reply. One of the men finally ventured, “That isn't true. Tell us what he really said.”
Jehu felt his heartbeat pounding faster, echoing in his ears. An unusual surge of power began coming from deep inside him, both energizing and awe-inspiring. <i>Is this the 'anointing' of God?</i> His people believed in a power that came from God when one had oil poured upon their head and words of prophesy spoken over their life. Until now, he had doubted that concept.
Yet the fire began in his toes, rising through his thighs, his torso, his arms, until it reflected in his eyes.
“Here is what he told me,” Jehu spoke plainly. “ 'This is what the LORD says: I anoint you king over Israel.' ”
* * * * * * *
“Jehu is KING!”
The cry echoed through the camp. Men yelled the report to each other, as others grabbed trumpets to blow them in a haphazard ceremonial manner. Within moments nearly everyone had heard the news, except King Joram, who had left the camp the day before.
“Don't let anyone slip out and tell the news in Jezreel. I'm going there myself,” Jehu warned the officers, as he quickly readied his chariot.
Driving furiously, he headed for Jezreel, where Joram, the son of Ahab, had retreated to tend to his wounds from the recent battle. Also at Jezreel was Ahaziah, King of Judah, a decendant of Ahab. If Jehu had to destroy the entire house of Ahab, then striking both kings at once would certainly accomplish the beginning of that task.
Suddenly a horseman appeared at the side of his chariot. The young man shouted, “This is what the king says: 'Do you come in peace?' ”
“What have you to do with peace?” Jehu shouted back. “Fall in behind me!”
The Word of the LORD consumed his mind and thoughts as he pondered the course of action. If he must destroy the house of Ahab, he must destroy every trace of the disgusting Baal worship which Ahab had popularized throughout the kingdom of Israel. Not one worshipper of Baal should remain.
A second horseman appeared, shouting the same word. “Do you come in peace?”
“Fall in behind me!” Yes, this was the reason God had selected him. The fire burned white hot in his heart, and others would follow that fire.
He would carry out the task with the deepest conviction. Every male of the house of Ahab would die. Even the wicked Jezebel would be completely destroyed. All traces of Baal worship would disappear from the kingdom of Israel.
<i>Thus Jehu destroyed Baal from Israel. However Jehu....took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin.</i>*
*2 Kings 10:28,31 NKJV
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