Reading through the books of 1 & 2 Kings is like watching a novice skier attack a double black diamond ski slope. It is a long and painful journey as he slips, slides, crashes, bounces, flips, #@*^$*@# his way down a precipitously steep, mogul-filled slope all the way to the bottom. It’s just not a pretty picture.
Over and over again, these books portray the danger of partial obedience; the rationalization of “it’s good enough.” As the kings of Israel and Judah can attest, partial obedience is the first step downward on a slippery slope to judgment, destruction, and exile.
I was struck this morning as I read about Jehu in chapter 10 of 2 Kings. His life can be summed up in the phrase, “He was good, but . . .”
“Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel. But Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam . . .” (28-29a)
“And the Lord said to Jehu, ‘Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes . . .’ But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord . . .” (30-31a)
Jehu obeyed God’s instructions, but . . . not completely. He did some things well, but . . . he didn’t follow through and complete the job.
When it comes to obeying God, close enough is not nearly enough. Partial obedience is in reality disobedience. Close enough still leaves one very far away. Just ask Jehu.