Thursday, November 10
2 Kings chapter 15 includes multiple assassinations of rulers, a one month rule, a 6 month rule and a twenty year reign of an evil king. . . makes our U.S. terms of office and system of voting look pretty good – far from perfect – but better than the political system of the Divided Kingdoms.
Of the 7 kings listed in Chapter 15, only two of them are said to have done what is right in the eyes of the Lord: Azariah and Jotham. It is curious that those are the only two kings listed here in which the author gives the name of the king’s mother. Young women – never underestimate the importance of the job of raising up a new Godly generation. Yes, young men – your children will need a Godly daddy, too!!
There is a repeated phrase that we have heard over and over again describing the kings of Israel: “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord…he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam.” I think it is worth reminding ourselves what were the sins of Jeroboam? When Israel divided after the reign of Solomon, Jeroboam became the ruler of the larger 10 tribes in the north, who would keep the name Israel. However, they lost the two southern tribes which would be called Judah – as well as the holy city Jerusalem, the home of God’s special temple. Jeroboam didn’t want his subjects trying to travel to Jerusalem to worship, as prescribed by God. So he (not God) created new “holy places” for Israel which included golden calves and he selected new priests not from the tribe of Levi. God’s whole system of worship (which had been carefully laid out in the books of Law) were replaced by Jeroboam – for convenience and ease. But there would be a price to pay.
In Chapter 17 God sends the Assyrians to capture Israel. They have used up their chances. God is fed up with their disobedience. Scripture says,”They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, ‘Do not do as they do’.” (17:15) There is often great ungodliness – and danger – in blending in with those around us. God’s people are to stand out as different – dedicated to His Word and commands rather than to what others are doing or what is currently convenient and accepted. Who are you following? Any guesses what the consequences (good or bad) are going to be?