Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Key Verse Thought: As you read the Key verse for this lesson, use the following definitions to help you understand it a little better.
- keep: guard; protect; preserve
- heart: the center; the totality of man’s inner nature; the place where wisdom and understanding reside
We are to be very careful of what we allow into our hearts. We should protect not only the nature (character, or attributes) but also the wisdom that we allow into our hearts. Why? What we allow into our heart is the source for the kind of life we live; the kind of person we become. That is one reason why when someone becomes saved; we say they have asked Jesus into their heart.
Be encouraged to consider your heart as the place where a special treasure is kept — a place to be well guarded. It would also be good to understand the importance of placing God’s Word into your heart (see Psalm 119:11).
Emphasis: We are to learn from the failings of King Jehu. We are to keep our hearts with all diligence — always continuously hiding God’s Word in our hearts so we will know what to do (unlike King Jehu).
Lesson Summary: As we begin this lesson, we must remember that Jehoram (also called Joram) reigned in Israel. Elisha had sent one of the prophets to anoint a new king of Israel, Jehu, even while Jehoram was still king. When Jehu was anointed, he was also given a very grave message. He was to kill Ahab’s entire household.
We will see the process that Jehu followed being established as the new king of Israel. Jehu went to Jezreel and killed King Jehoram (and Ahaziah, king of Judah, who was visiting King Jehoram). He continued by having Jezebel killed. Ahab had 70 sons living in Samaria, and they were also killed. Jehu did not stop there, he continued by killing every Baal worshiper in Israel. He then had all of the images burned, and they broke down the house of Baal. When Jehu died, we find his son, Jehoahaz, becomes the twelfth king of Israel. He reigned for 17 years in Israel, and “followed the sins of Jeroboam.” It was a greatly oppressed nation while he was king. When he died, his son, Joash (Jehoash), became the thirteenth king of Israel.
As we read about all of the good that Jehu did, we will find an area in which he miserably failed. This is to be a lesson to us.