If our family is anything to go by, a number of Christians are having trouble processing the difference between their feelings about the presidential election and the presidential transition. Before the election, I could scarcely bear to watch Trump for more than a few minutes. I understood the entertainment value that some found there, but was not myself capable of bearing it like a man. Since the election, watching the news has become fun again. What goeth on?
THE RISE OF JEHU
The closest thing to our situation I can find in Scripture is the rise of Jehu, and a little reflection there might help us understand how to process all this. Things were bad in Judah and worse in Israel. The Omride dynasty had brought Baal worship into Israel in a big way. A prophet was sent by Elisha to deliver a message to a young military man named Jehu. He was given the message that he was to be king, and the young prophet anointed him and ran. When Jehu’s companions found out about it, they were all in, instantly. This indicates that the political situation was ripe for change.
A WRECKING BALL
Jehu came in a like a man on fire.
He killed Joram, the king of Israel, and Ahaziah, the king of Judah, and Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, and the seventy sons of Ahab in Samaria. He then promised, where Ahab had served Baal “little,” that he would serve him much. He rounded up all the priests of Baal for a big service at the National Cathedral, and when they all came, he had them all slaughtered, and turned the whole thing into a neo-Gothic latrine.
Now there is no way that a faithful worshiper of Jehovah would be anything but delighted with what Jehu did to the institution of Baal worship in Israel. So that’s the first part.
Jehu did what Elisha’s man told him to do. He went after it. He was an instrument in the hand of God to destroy some things that very much needed destroying. At the same time, all was not entirely well.
“But Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin—that is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan” (2 Kings 10:29, ESV).And centuries later, the Lord had a judgment to pronounce on the house of Jehu.
“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. And on that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel”” (Hosea 1:4–5, ESV).God used Jehu to destroy, thus fulfilling His Word. But at the same time, God judged Jehu for how he destroyed.
Political factions want everything to be a simple binary choice on the human level. You either are all in for Jezebel or all in for Jehu. What Scripture invites us to is qualified support, or perhaps qualified disapproval. You either are all in for Jezebel or all in for Jehu. What Scripture invites us to is qualified support, or perhaps qualified disapproval. So and so was a good king, but did not remove the high places. Jehu removed much that needed to be removed, but God brought judgment on him later because he did not do all that needed to be done. Our foundational allegiance is to God and His ways, and is not to be wholly given over to any man.
At the same time, you would need to have a heart of stone not to be delighted by some of what is going down.
SO THEN . . .
There are elements of what is happening that delight me no end. But I do not say this because I have altered my views of Trump’s character, thinking that he should be placed in charge of any catechism classes. At the same time, it looks as though—undisciplined and erratic utterances and all—he is actually going to destroy some things that needed to go. He is likely to destroy some things that other conservatives, whose rhetoric of destruction was much more responsible and level-headed, would never get around to destroying. Now it has not happened yet, so I am not counting my chickens, but it looks as though these things are now happening. What is coming apart as a result of the capture of Jezreel? What may soon be thrown from the window and eaten by dogs? Planned Parenthood. Obamacare. The mainstream media monopoly. The politicized intelligence agencies. Common core. The EPA. Foreign oil.
Like I say, it hasn’t happened yet. But a bunch of it looks likely, and anybody who wants me to be sad about it is holding their breath over the wrong issues. At the same time, God is not mocked and a man reaps what he sows. This proverb is true in the middle of the field, it is true over on the left wing of the field, and it is true on the right wing.
So wherever you are, love God and hate sin.