Why do people fall into sin after God uses them to do great things? Consider Jehu, a man whom God uses as an instrument of judgement against the house of Ahab. After God works clearly on Jehu’s behalf, we read these unfortunate words, “Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the Lord” (2 Kings 10:31).

Time after time this happens to leaders in Israel. God does mighty deeds for them, through them, and before them, then they fail to obey God’s laws. The reasons why certainly vary from person to person. From the history of Israel and their repeat disloyalty to God, we may glean that we are not all rational as we imagine. If someone were to ask Jehu if YHWH is God alone and superior to the gods of the nations, he would certainly say so and believe so. Jehu knows the right answers and has solid reason to trust God’s power and right to judge. Yet Jehu behaves wickedly.

Jehu’s actions as well as those of many before and after him invite the reader to agree with the prophet Jeremiah’s words, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)