Elisha the prophet sends a messenger to pronounce the judgment on Israel, and his present king. Very specific instructions are given to anoint the replacement:
“Then take the box of oil, and pour it on his(Jehu’s) head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not.” (2 Kings 9:3)
The messenger comes to the house of Jehu and, as he was directed, takes Jehu aside privately, and tells him the word of the Lord. But this messenger does more than just anoint Jehu to be king.He describes details about being king that were not told him by Elisha. He expounds the message from a single verse, to five!
“And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel. And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel: And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah: And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled.”
(2 Kings 9:6-10)
Was the messenger speaking out of place? Were his words unnecessary? This guy ‘took a verse and took a fit’ if ever anyone had! I believe with all of my heart, that when a man is charged to deliver the word of God (and he takes his job seriously) that he will do just what the messenger did. Let me explain:
The word of the Lord carries the weight of responsibility. Jehu was not hand-picked by God to be the king he had always wanted to be. The word of the Lord commissioned him to be the avenger of the prophets. He may never have considered that before, but because he was God’s king, therefore the messenger laid the burden of this responsibility on his shoulders.
Also, the word of the Lord merits an explanation. Jehu was not only told what, but how he was to rid Israel of God’s enemies. God was finished with the house of Ahab, just as he had finished with Jeroboam and Baasha years ago. There could be no mistaking the intention of the word of the Lord with the brutally specific details that the messenger delivered.
The sermon preached to Jehu by the word of the Lord discloses the future. The truth of his words was verified by the fulfillment of his grisly prophecy about Jezebel. Had Jehu declined from any of the messenger’s words, he would have not seen his faith come to sight. “The commandments of the Lord are pure, enlightening the eyes.” It is only when you obey those commands that you are enlightened. The word of God will always come to pass; when you heed it, your confidence in the certainty of the word will increase; and you, like Jehu will have a part in it.
The word of the Lord from Elisha the prophet to the messenger was simple enough to be understood. The message he brought was longer than at first intended, mentioned details that were not at first perceived, and condemned by name a person known for resisting and hindering the word of God. It was adorned differently than what Elisha had known, but it was THE WORD OF THE LORD, nonetheless— and when the messenger finishes his duties, Jehu the son of Nimshi takes the leadership of the Israelite army and says: