Next, Jehu got all the people together and addressed them: Ahab served Baal small-time; Jehu will serve him big-time.
"Get all the prophets of Baal here - everyone who served him, all his priests. Get everyone here; don't leave anyone out. I have a great sacrifice to offer Baal. If you don't show up, you won't live to tell about it." (Jehu was lying, of course. He planned to destroy all the worshipers of Baal.)
Jehu ordered, "Make preparation for a holy convocation for Baal." They did and posted the date.
Jehu then summoned everyone in Israel. They came in droves - every worshiper of Baal in the country. Nobody stayed home. They came and packed the temple of Baal to capacity.
Jehu directed the keeper of the wardrobe, "Get robes for all the servants of Baal." He brought out their robes.
Jehu and Jehonadab the Recabite now entered the temple of Baal and said, "Double-check and make sure that there are no worshipers of God in here; only Baal-worshipers are allowed."
Then they launched the worship, making the sacrifices and burnt offerings. Meanwhile, Jehu had stationed eighty men outside with orders: "Don't let a single person escape; if you do, it's your life for his life."
When Jehu had finished with the sacrificial solemnities, he signaled to the officers and guards, "Enter and kill! No survivors!"
They hauled out the sacred phallic stone from the temple of Baal and pulverized it.
They smashed the Baal altars and tore down the Baal temple. It's been a public toilet ever since.
And that's the story of Jehu's wasting of Baal in Israel.
But for all that, Jehu didn't turn back from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, the sins that had dragged Israel into a life of sin - the golden calves in Bethel and Dan stayed.
God commended Jehu: "You did well to do what I saw was best. You did what I ordered against the family of Ahab. As reward, your sons will occupy the throne of Israel for four generations."
Even then, though, Jehu wasn't careful to walk in God's ways and honor the God of Israel from an undivided heart. He didn't turn back from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who led Israel into a life of sin.
It was about this time that God began to shrink Israel. Hazael hacked away at the borders of Israel
from the Jordan to the east - all the territory of Gilead, Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh from Aroer near the Brook Arnon. In effect, all Gilead and Bashan.
The rest of the life and times of Jehu, his accomplishments and fame, are written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.
Jehu died and was buried in the family plot in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz was the next king.
Jehu ruled Israel from Samaria for twenty-eight years.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)