July 4 (Daily reading: 2 Kings 9-11) On our country’s birthday, we talk about peace and the importance of independence and freedom. But to have spiritual peace, we emphasize dependence (on God), and submission (to Him). The events in today’s reading are hard to read. Peace in that time, as in any time, did not come without cost. Our peace with God came at the cost of His Son’s death on a cross! The path for God’s people has always been obedience, trusting that God always knows what He is doing! This may sound naïve to the one who does not have faith, but it is only by faith that we can understand and apply God’s principles to our lives.
A principle that comes from today’s reading is that God takes sin very seriously. He will never be at peace with sin, and neither should we. When the messengers asked Jehu if he came in peace, he answered, “What have you to do with peace?” His reply to King Joram was ever more succinct: “What peace, so long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” It is a mistake for us to try to make terms of peace with what God Himself does not accept! Compromise may work in politics, but compromise is wrong when it is intended to make something acceptable that God has already condemned. We may chuckle at 10:19, “They also broke down the sacred pillar of Baal and broke down the house of Baal and made it a latrine to this day.” But I think the point is clear, and it was not a joke! After God had judged the sin in the land, “All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet” (11:20). This was the peace that came from being faithful to God!
– Al Gary
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