Jehu Destroys Baal Worshipers
18 Then Jehu gathered all the people and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much. 19 Now, summon all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests; let no one be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal; whoever is missing shall not live.” But Jehu did it in [r]cunning, so that he might destroy the worshipers of Baal. 20 And Jehu said, “Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal.” And they proclaimed it. 21 Then Jehu sent [s]throughout Israel and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. And when they went into the house of Baal, the house of Baal was filled from one end to the other. 22 He said to the one who was [t]in charge of the wardrobe, “Bring out garments for all the worshipers of Baal.” So he brought out garments for them. 23 Jehu went into the house of Baal with Jehonadab the son of Rechab; and he said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search and see that there is here with you none of the servants of the Lord, but only the worshipers of Baal.” 24 Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings.
Now Jehu had stationed for himself eighty men outside, and he had said, “The one who permits any of the men whom I bring into your hands to escape [u]shall give up his life in exchange.”
25 Then it came about, as soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the [v]guard and to the royal officers, “Go in, [w]kill them; let none come out.” And they [x]killed them with the edge of the sword; and the [y]guard and the royal officers threw them out, and went to the [z]inner room of the house of Baal. 26 They brought out the sacred pillars of the house of Baal and burned them. 27 They also broke down the sacred pillar of Baal and broke down the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day.
28 Thus Jehu eradicated Baal out of Israel. 29 However, as for the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin, from these Jehu did not depart, even the golden calves that were at Bethel and that were at Dan. 30 The Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in executing what is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in My heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.” 31 But Jehu [aa]was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel sin.
32 In those days the Lord began to cut off portions [ab]from Israel; and Hazael [ac]defeated them throughout the territory of Israel: 33 from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites and the Reubenites and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the valley of the Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan.
Jehoahaz Succeeds Jehu
34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu and all that he did and all his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 35 And Jehu slept with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son became king in his place. 36 Now the [ad]time which Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.
Jehu, like many in Israel, was likely disgusted by the Baal worship of Ahab and Jezebel, and he was determined to stamp it out. With his cunning plan, Baal worship was eradicated, but rather than lead the people back to God, Jehu leads them right back into idolatry with the golden calves.
This could have been a turning point, but Jehu was unwilling to forsake the deceit of Jeroboam and allow Israel to return to the temple in Judah. It could very well be that he was afraid, much like Jeroboam and those who followed, that if the people worshiped with their kin back in Jerusalem that they would desire reunification.
Alas, it was never to be, and for all Jehu’s “might”, Israel began to decline in his days. Do we have things in our own lives that we just aren’t willing to give up? Oh, we’ll stay away from those really bad sins, but is there something else God has asked you to do away with? Don’t be like Jehu, the king who could have returned Israel to God, who came so close to repentance, only to stop one step short. Follow God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and leave the results to Him.
When He asks you to do something, God knows the results, and you can trust Him through anything and anywhere.