This is part of a series. I recommend starting with the first installment.
We started this series examining an ethical dilemma that was posed in Hosea.
And the Lord said to him, “Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. (Hosea 1:4)
When one first reads the passage, the dilemma is not obvious. It is only when we explore who Jehu is and what the blood of Jezreel might mean that we find a challenge. What we find is the possibility that God asked Jehu to perform an action, then praised and rewarded him for doing what was asked, only to then punish him for it?
That should be an unsettling image of God, who is often described as good (Ps 100:5; 107:1).
We have examined numerous options that are used to address the challenge.
- Jehu exceeded what God asked when he killed those that allied with Jehoram
- Jehu exceeded what God asked when he killed Ahaziah, king of Judah
- Jehu exceeded what God asked when he killed the worshipers of Baal
- Jehu did not have the right motives, despite doing all of the right things
Numerous scholars and commentators disagree on which of these solutions is the correct one. Each of these answers has significant weaknesses when one reads through the numerous passages that relate to the events. It is reasonable to conclude that all of these actions were part of what God expected out of Jehu and were commended. It is also rationale to accept Jehu as having the right motives while performing these actions.
So where does that leave us?Continue reading