Jehu

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Jonah

Unexpectedly anointed king of Israel, a general kills everyone in his path who will not get behind him and takes control of the palace.
I act. I don’t think. I don’t feel. I act. I move forward by God’s command, true as my arrows, powerful as my chariot, clear as a reflection from my shining sword.

Author’s Notes

I didn’t know anything about Jehu when his name came up as the subject for this story. I knew that there was a band named Drive Like Jehu, which I assumed was a Biblical reference, but that was about it.

Jehu’s story in 2 Kings is quite action-packed and straightforward. In writing this, I just had to tell it from his point of view.

Capturing that point of view, though, was a challenge. Unlike many of the characters in the book, Jehu didn’t seem talkative or prone to introspection. Discussing it with my friend Vee, I complained that he didn’t think or feel, but just acted. She said “That’s your opening line.” The story took off from there.

Since I didn’t write the stories in the order that they finally appeared, I only discovered upon rereading the book as a whole that I had two stories in a row, those of Hazael and Jehu, that both concern military leaders who are surprised at being anointed by prophets and proceed to go off on killing sprees. We’re told, though, that each had better results than whatever else might have happened, at least according to whoever wrote those sections of the Bible.

Questions

Have you ever found yourself taking significant action instinctively, without thinking? Did it turn out to be the right thing to do? Had you considered the situation in advance, and acted from what you had figured out beforehand, or was the situation completely new for you? Had you thought the action and consequences through, would you have done the same thing?

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