King Joram demanded, “Do you come in peace, Jehu?”
Jehu replied, “How can there be peace as long as the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother, Jezebel, are all around us?”
(2 Kings 9:22)
Relate: Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God. In their blind conceit they cannot see how wicked they really are. Everything they say is crooked and deceitful. They refuse to act wisely or do good. Those who reject God are like the restless sea which is never still but continuously churns up mud and dirt. God says, “There is no peace for the wicked.” (Psalm 36:1-3, Isaiah 57:20,21)
Joram and Jehu are using the same word but speaking very different languages. Jehu was supposed to be out fighting the Arameans and Joram is asking, “Did the battle go well?” Or, if he was a little more perceptive, “Are you still my subject?” The two met up and the question was asked at Naboth’s vineyard. This land had been made famous a couple decades before when Joram’s father, through his mother’s conniving, had Naboth killed and took the land for himself. So Jehu was speaking literally when he answered, “How can there be peace (shalom – peace through justice) when the evil of your mother is all around us?”
As a child Joram could not be held responsible for the sins of his parents. God makes that clear more than once in scripture. He had now, however, grown to a man. He had taken on the responsibility of kingship. But he had done nothing to set things right. His mother still carried on as she always did. The people still followed her in doing evil. Joram had become king, but he was not worthy to lead. For that, he must die. Just because a man assumes a position of leadership does not mean he has a right to be there or that God has backed him.
React: “We are a chosen people. We are a royal priesthood, a holy nation. We are God’s possession. As a result, we can show others the goodness of God.” (1 Peter 2:9 paraphrased) We are a royal priesthood. The priest’s job was to intercede between God and men. The King’s job was to lead the nation in doing right. As a child and follower of God I am called to do both. How intentional have I been in interceding before God on behalf of my neighbors, my community, my nation? They are my responsibility. How strong of an example have I been in leading others to do right? Who is following? How can they if I am not giving them opportunities to see and experience a life lived out for God?
There may be a lack of war in our backyard. We’ve managed to segregate that to the other side of the planet and shut our minds and hearts off from it. But a lack of conflict does not mean there is peace. There is evil and wickedness everywhere we turn. We’ve even allowed it to ooze into our homes through the idiot box and the sinternet. There is no peace and there will not be until we, until I, until you… take responsibility given to us by God to lead.
God, how can there be peace in my land, in my world with evil and wickedness everywhere we turn. Help me to understand that the perpetuation of a culture evil is not the fault of evildoers. They are simply acting according to their nature. No, it is our responsibility. It is my responsibility. Help me to rise up and be the light You have called me to be. Help me to be a bearer of peace in a world tormented by injustice.