2 Kings 9:14-26

Jehoram (Joram) Is Assassinated

14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. Now Joram [d]with all Israel was [e]defending Ramoth-gilead against Hazael king of Aram, 15 but King [f]Joram had returned to Jezreel to be healed of the wounds which the Arameans had [g]inflicted on him when he fought with Hazael king of Aram. So Jehu said, “If this is your mind, then let no one escape or [h]leave the city to go tell it in Jezreel.” 16 Then Jehu rode in a chariot and went to Jezreel, for Joram was lying there. Ahaziah king of Judah had come down to see Joram.

17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel and he saw the [i]company of Jehu as he came, and said, “I see a [j]company.” And Joram said, “Take a horseman and send him to meet them and let him say, ‘Is it peace?’” 18 So a horseman went to meet him and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’” And Jehu said, “What have you to do with peace? Turn behind me.” And the watchman [k]reported, “The messenger came to them, but he did not return.” 19 Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’” And Jehu [l]answered, “What have you to do with peace? Turn behind me.” 20 The watchman [m]reported, “He came even to them, and he did not return; and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously.”

21 Then [n]Joram said, “[o]Get ready.” And they made his chariot ready. [p]Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out to meet Jehu and found him in the [q]property of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 When [r]Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” And he [s]answered, “What peace, so long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” 23 So [t]Joram [u]reined about and fled and said to Ahaziah, “There is treachery, O Ahaziah!” 24 And Jehu [v]drew his bow with his full strength and [w]shot [x]Joram between his arms; and the arrow went [y]through his heart and he sank in his chariot. 25 Then Jehu said to Bidkar his officer, “Take him up and cast him into the [z]property of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite, for I remember when [aa]you and I were riding together after Ahab his father, that the Lord laid this oracle against him: 26 ‘Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will repay you in this [ab]property,’ says the Lord. Now then, take and cast him into the [ac]property, according to the word of the Lord.”

One of the most telling things in this story is when the messengers ask Jehu “Is it peace?” To those who deal treacherously there is this sort of double-standard, and what they really meant was, “are you coming to help us in our war?”

The watchman could tell his identity just by the way Jehu drove his chariot, though perhaps that was only possible to tell as he got closer. In any case, the story remains the same. Those who deal in war and dishonesty cannot recognize it properly themselves. They are so accustomed to deceit that they can no longer recognize it (in themselves or others). That is not to say that if someone fools you with a lie it was because you are a liar, for if you trust someone you might not have your defenses up.

Anyway, the place in which Joram found himself, and really his whole family had lived the lie for generations, was a terrible place to find oneself. Unable to discern friend from foe, always on guard, but not knowing who the enemy really is.

Rather, live honestly, live simply, trust God. Know that men are frail, and can fail even at the best of times. Not to distrust everyone, but to realize that even those you trust might not always be reliable. But there is one faithful, and that is our God. There is one source of truth and justice, there is no other.

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