– Jehu was so on fire for God that he obeyed completely God’s instructions to wipe out Ahab’s family, friends and relatives, Jezebel and baal worship and its worshipers in Israel. For this, God promised Jehu that his sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.
– But Jehu didn’t walk with God with all his heart as he didn’t destroy the golden calves that were made by Jeroboam. For this, God caused Israel to lose significant territory to the Syrians.
God is just and we will always reap the rewards of the seeds we sow, good or bad, even if it takes time. Our repentance from sin also doesn’t absolve us of the consequences of what we did in the past. For example although David repented quickly and deeply after his adultery, he still lost his child, many of his sons died gruesomely and his son slept with his wives – according to God’s curse.
There were however some exceptional Bible examples where people prayed/repented and God changed His mind about their punishment:
1) Moses prayer to God for mercy on the people in Exodus 32:11-14…”So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people”.
2) In 2 Kings 20:1-6, Hezekiah who was sick had just been told by Isaiah that he would die. But Hezekiah told God to remember his obedience and loyalty, and wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had even left the building, God changed His mind and gave Hezekiah 15 more years to live.
What is instructive from these examples is that these men who prayed were very loyal and obedient to God. Considering the totality of the Bible, these are however exceptional situations and surely not the rule with God.
That said, we should not fear the discipline of God as the Lord reproves whom He loves and disciplines us in just measure! See: Psalm 94:12; Psalm 118:18; Proverbs 3:11–12; Jeremiah 30:11; Jeremiah 46:28; Hebrews 12:3–11.
Ultimately, God is gracious and merciful and He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities (Ps. 103:10). God is the ultimate judge and He determines the if, how, when, and how long/intense, and we are called to stay faithful to Him through our trials so that we can come out safely on the other side.