TODAY’S READING: II KINGS 13-16
Israel delivered into hand of Syria; Death of Elisha; Three good kings in Judah; Final kings of Israel
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
During this period of time, it is tricky to keep the kings of Judah and Israel straight. Both kingdoms have a king named Ahaziah. And, both kingdoms have a king named Joash, whose name is sometimes spelled Jehoash. They can be identified by carefully reading the name of their kingdom or their father. King Joash of Judah, the son of Ahaziah, began his reign in chapter 12 and did right in the sight of the Lord. King Joash of Israel, the son of Jehoahaz, began his reign in II Kings 13:9 – 11 and did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. Another awkward aspect to our mind is that the stories of two kingdoms are being told in parallel. Everything cannot be recorded in chronological order. The history of one king may overlap one or more kings in the other kingdom. The death of Joash, king of Israel is told in both II Kings 13:13 and II Kings 14:16, because chapter 13 is telling the story in Israel and chapter 14 is telling the story in Judah. Careful reading of t!
he context is required.
At the end of chapter 13, we have an example of the enduring faithfulness of the Lord. Though Israel has worshipped Baal repeatedly and the golden calves continually, the Lord is gracious and has compassion on them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The beginning of chapter 14 gives an interesting insight into the effect of a father on his son. Joash had started his reign as a good king, through the influence of the priest Jehoiada. Evidently, the teaching of Jehoiada not only affected Joash, but was also given to his son Amaziah. Verse 3 says he did as his father did and in verse 6, he followed the commandment of the Lord from the book of Deuteronomy.
Chapter 15 continues with two more good kings of Judah: Azariah, also called Uzziah and Jotham. Both did right in the sight of the Lord as his father had done. II Chronicles 26 tells us that as long as Uzziah sought the Lord, God made him to prosper, but warns that after much success, Uzziah’s heart was lifted up to his destruction.
Though Judah has a series of good kings, Israel is spiraling downward. Though Jeroboam has outward success, he did that which was evil and never departed from idol worship. Zachariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah and Pekah continue in the evil and bring Israel near captivity. Most of these kings are murdered, one after only one month on the throne. Menahem is a ruthless and cruel leader. Pekah and his army kill 120,000 men in one day of battle. Yet, in such a dark time, Isaiah prophesies that a virgin will conceive and bear a son, Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14). Isaiah 9 is written at this time to a people in darkness that have seen a great light. “A son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As SAVIOUR – II Kings 13:5 (Luke 2:11; Acts 5:31; 13:23) As THE RESURRECTION – II Kings 13:21 (John 11:25) As THE BRASEN ALTAR – II Kings 16:14 (Hebrews 9:14)