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Midweek Devotionals

Published weekly on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

Midweek Devotional 9/24/2015

Robert Chen

Dear Church:

2 KINGS 9:1-16

1Then the prophet Elisha called a member of the company of prophets and said to him, “Gird up your loins; take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead. 2When you arrive, look there for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi; go in and get him to leave his companions, and take him into an inner chamber.3Then take the flask of oil, pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says the LORD: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee; do not linger.”

4So the young man, the young prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. 5He arrived while the commanders of the army were in council, and he announced, “I have a message for you, commander.” “For which one of us?” asked Jehu. “For you, commander.” 6So Jehu got up and went inside; the young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him, “Thus says the LORD the God of Israel: I anoint you king over the people of the LORD, over Israel. 7You shall strike down the house of your master Ahab, so that I may avenge on Jezebel the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD. 8For the whole house of Ahab shall perish; I will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. 9I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. 10The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and no one shall bury her.” Then he opened the door and fled.

11When Jehu came back to his master’s officers, they said to him, “Is everything all right? Why did that madman come to you?” He answered them, “You know the sort and how they babble.” 12They said, “Liar! Come on, tell us!” So he said, “This is just what he said to me: ‘Thus says the LORD, I anoint you king over Israel.’”13Then hurriedly they all took their cloaks and spread them for him on the bare steps; and they blew the trumpet, and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.”

14Thus Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. Joram with all Israel had been on guard at Ramoth-gilead against King Hazael of Aram; 15but King Joram had returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him, when he fought against King Hazael of Aram. So Jehu said, “If this is your wish, then let no one slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel.” 16Then Jehu mounted his chariot and went to Jezreel, where Joram was lying ill. King Ahaziah of Judah had come down to visit Joram.

The Hebrew verb for "to anoint" or "to smear" is מָשַׁח mashach; the Hebrew for "anointed" is מָשִׁ֫יחַ mashiach. That's the key word in this passage. Elisha tells a young prophet to go to Jehu and "anoint" him King of Israel, for he will replace Joram, the son of Ahab, in keeping with the prophetic word given by Elijah that the house of Ahab will be judged because of the wickedness committed by Ahab and his wife Jezebel.


And that's how things unfold. 


We must understand that the anointing is not a human thing, meaning that the idea and the authority to anoint someone does not come from a mere mortal, even a great mortal like Elijah. All true anointing comes from YHWH. The LORD is the one who sets someone in place and the LORD is the one who commissions that someone to carry out certain tasks. The basic idea of "anointing" is the setting apart to God for a particular task and being spiritually equipped for that task.


The first time the word/concept of an "anointed king" goes back to 1 Samuel 2:10 in Hannah's prayer. Before that, the word/concept of being anointed for God's service is applied to priests, in Exodus 28:41 and Leviticus 4:3. The most important use of "anointed" is applied later to Jesus. And by that time, the "anointed" becomes synonymous with "king." The Greek translation of the Hebrew mashiach is christos, from which we derive "Christ."


What happens after Christ? Do people still get "anointed" for particular tasks and are they spiritually equipped for those tasks?


The answer is, "Yes." 


First, there is the general anointing of every believer, as we read in 2 Corinthians 1:20-22:


20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.


Second, there is the more specific anointing -- which is the same as "calling" -- for every believer, e.g., Ephesians 4:10-13:


11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature,attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.


One of life's great joys and revelations is to discover one's calling and having the Lord anoint us for that calling, fully empowered and equipped to fulfill the tasks entailed in that calling. 


As we grow as individuals and as a church, let us encourage one another in our callings and ask the Lord for his greater empowering and equipping. 


Let's pray: O Lord God, we thank you that you call us all in the context of our lives for your glory and for your kingdom advancement. May you reveal your calling on those who are on their road of discovering who they are in you and what they are called or anointed to be. For those who know what they are called to be, help them to track with you with conviction, prayer, intelligence, discipline, and energy. What a great joy to know that our lives are purposeful! In Jesus' name, amen.