A devotional for your kids this week: Chapter 15 from Bizarre Bible Stories 2!
The Madman Chariot Driver
Scripture Passage: 2 Kings 9
So What? So you can overcome fear with obedience!
[anything in brackets are notes for parents]
Do you remember the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal? Do you remember who was upset at Elijah for what he had done? Do you remember her name? [Queen Jezebel]
It’s possible to trust and obey God when we’re frightened. Even Jesus was troubled before going to the cross. Being scared isn’t sin. When we conquer our fear and obey God, in spite of our fear, that’s obedience. And obedience results in victory!
LET’S CONQUER OUR FEARS…
Israel was going through an extremely rough time. Queen Jezebel had killed most of the priests, pastors, and prophets of God. The people were worshipping a false God called Baal. Elijah, a prophet of God, challenged the 450 prophets of Baal to a showdown. When it was over, Baal hadn’t shown up, but God did and the 450 prophets of Baal died that day. That would be the end of the story except for one person – Queen Jezebel.
Ahab was king, but he wasn’t as powerful as Queen Jezebel. Jezebel worshipped Baal, she loved the prophets who died, and she hated Elijah. She was so powerful and terrifying, that when Elijah heard that she wanted him dead, he ran! He traveled until he was nearly dead. Elijah, who killed 450 prophets of Baal, who believed in God, ran from one woman. [You can read more about that story in the first Bizarre Bible Stories]
Have you ever wanted something someone else had? What was it?
Jezebel scared off God’s greatest prophet of the time – Elijah. She not only knew how to run off whom she didn’t like – she also knew how to get what she wanted. One day King Ahab was pouting. When Queen Jezebel asked what was wrong, Ahab said, “I wanted the farm next to our castle. I tried to buy it; the selfish owner won’t sell it. He said it had been in his family for years and he wants to keep it in the family. But I want it!”
Queen Jezebel said, “Don’t worry about that farm, Ahab. I’ll get it for you.” Do you know what she did? Jezebel had the owner of the farm and his sons all killed so she could steal the farm for her husband. You wouldn’t want her for your neighbor.
Do you have to obey someone you don’t like?
One day God sent a prophet to appoint a new king. The reign of Ahab and Jezebel was finally going to end. Where would God find a person strong enough to go up against Queen Jezebel? Even the great prophet Elijah had run from her. She had killed hundreds of people who believed in God. [1 Kings 18:4] She coveted power and killed all who got in her way. She was a terrifying tyrant. Who would God find to follow Him against her?
God found Jehu. Jehu was a general in the army. God had a prophet pull Jehu aside; pour oil on his head and say, “God wants you to be the next king!” Pouring oil on Jehu’s head was God’s way of showing Jehu that God’s power was going to flow through him. Jehu could now depend on God to protect him from Jezebel – but would he? Would Jehu be brave enough to confront Jezebel?
When the officers in the army heard the prophet had poured oil on his head, they blew their trumpets and yelled, “Jehu is king! Jehu is king!” There would be no backing out for Jehu now.
Do you know anyone who drives too fast? Do you think it would be fun to ride or drive a police car and go as fast as you wanted? [YES!]
Jehu said, “If the army is with me then don’t go to the castle and tell Queen Jezebel what happened. I want to surprise her!” Jehu wasn’t going to run away. He was going to run right at Jezebel.
Jehu got into his chariot, strapped on his seat belt, set the radio for the local Christian rock station, and hit the gas. Actually, his chariot would have looked like a large two-wheeled cart pulled by horses – looking a bit like Santa driving his sleigh on land. Only this was no normal sleigh. Most chariots had one to four horses pulling them. Jehu’s was probably a rare six-horse chariot pulled with three pairs of horses. This was an extremely fast chariot – almost impossible to control. It was like trying to fly a jet down a crowded neighborhood street. [Due to how fast he was driving, they knew it was his chariot. If Jehu lived today, he’d have a Ferrari!]
There was a lookout standing on the castle tower. He yelled down, “Hey, I see troops coming!” A short time later he yelled, “It must be Jehu – the guy in front is driving like a madman!” [2 Kings 9:20]
One of Jezebel’s wicked sons went out to confront Jehu. Someone shot him with an arrow, and he fell and died in the neighbor’s farm. God made certain Jezebel’s son died in the very farm she had stolen.
What do you think will happen to Jezebel?
Jehu rushed up to the castle. He could see Jezebel looking out an upstairs window at him. She was shouting at Jehu, calling him a murderer. Evil people often accuse others of what they have been doing. She had killed more innocent people than anyone alive, and she called Jehu a murderer!
Jehu yelled, “Hey, up in the castle, who is on my side?” A couple people looked out and yelled, “We are!”
“Then throw the Queen out the window!” Jehu yelled.
They did! They threw the wicked witch queen, Jezebel, out the window. Then it got gross.
Jehu rode his six-horse chariot over Jezebel’s dead body. Later, when they went outside to bury her, there was nothing left. Wild dogs had eaten her. Yuck. First the window, then the chariot, then the dogs – why did God make her death so gross?
God had said Jezebel was so wicked she didn’t deserve to be buried. [1 Kings 21:23] God was right.
SO, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
OVERCOME FEAR WITH OBEDIENCE
For some reason, the prophets of Baal didn’t scare Elijah, but Jezebel did. For some reason Jezebel didn’t frighten Jehu, but other things would. Just because we believe in Jesus, and we know God is all-powerful, doesn’t mean we won’t get scared. When someone wants what we have and is willing to hurt us to get it – that’s scary!
It’s possible to trust God, and obey Him, even when we’re frightened. Jonah was scared to go to Nineveh, Daniel was scared to go into the lions’ den, and even Jesus was troubled before going to the cross. Being scared isn’t sin. It’s only when we follow our fear and disobey that it’s sin. [Like when Jonah ran away and ended up in the fish.] When we conquer our fear and obey God, in spite of our fear, that’s obedience. And obedience results in victory!
REMEMBER: YOU’VE GOT HIS WORD ON IT
Deuteronomy 6:2 You and your children and grandchildren must fear the Lord your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life.
Deuteronomy 13:4 Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.
Psalms 111:10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!
1 Samuel 12:14 “Now if you fear and worship the Lord and listen to his voice, and if you do not rebel against the Lord’s commands, then both you and your king will show that you recognize the Lord as your God.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13 That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.