Tuesday, July 7, 2015

half heart

But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin.
2 Kings 10:31

God wants wholehearted devotion. He deserves it. Worshipping the LORD and living to please Him is not a part-time hobby. It is not a casual amusement. It isn't a personal preference. It is a lifestyle requiring all I am. It requires all of a person's heart commitment. It is a life passion and purpose.

Jehu was chosen by God to end the wicked reign of the house of Ahab and to purge idolatry from the land of Israel. He was by his own desciption possesed by a "zeal for the LORD" (2 Kings 10:16). He wiped out all of Ahab's descendents, killed Jezebel the queen mother of Israel's idolatry, and in a shrewd conspiracy, slaughtered all the priests and leaders of Baal worship in one single day. He tore down altars to Baal and turned the temple to Baal into a public latrine. He was indeed quite the reformer. But for some reason, he did not extend his heart to repent of Israel's original defining apostasy. There were golden calves (probably somehow connected with an offshoot worship of Yahweh) in Israel used in worship in Bethal and Dan (see 2 Kings 10:29). God considered them idols. Probably because they were associated with the unique identity of the Northern Ten ribes, Jehu deliberately chose to keep these places of worship and idol structures intact, in direct violation of the first commandment.

Jehu's incomplete obedience was quite obvious. But I have to ask myself, "What about my heart?" I am no better than a calf worshipper if I treasure some possession or relationship above God! Do I pigeonhole God into private practice with no public Christian life? The fight over idolatry is a fight against half heartedness. It is a battle I must fight inside of me. It is easy to look good on the outside (particularly on Sundays), to carry the externals of a Christian appearance well. It is humbling and hard to let God have ALL MY HEART. And that is what He wants and deserves.

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