Jehu was determined to comply with the Lord’s wishes, and he now sets out to eradicate the king’s (Ahab’s) sons. This way there would no legitimate threat to the throne of Jehu (10:1-14). Moreover, Jehu was going to eradicate the false prophets from Israel. These false prophets, prophets of Baal, were leading the people as far away from the Lord as they could get. Jehu fixed this (10:17-28)! Jehu had some devotion to the Lord, but his devotion was corrupted (10:29-36).
Application: It is hard on our ears to read what Jehu did to the prophets of Baal. One can only imagine that some were crying out for mercy, begging the assailant to spare life. A tender heart begins to waver at such thoughts. However, it is important to keep in mind what these false prophets were doing and where they were leading the nation – far more people died at the hands of this false religion than those who died in the temple complex. Though we don’t like to think about it, the way in which they died was more merciful than the “life” they were to “live” when in the Lord’s presence – from which they are going to be cast. With all the good that Jehu had done (10:30), why did he not live to please the Lord? The foundations instilled in youth are hard to shake!