11 Kings

Posted: July 8, 2010 in 2 Kings

2 Kings 13-15, “11 Kings”
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The title pretty much sums it up – we’ll be looking at 11 Kings in Ch 13-15, hitting them fast, and seeing some pretty common ground between them. In Israel (to the north), the kings are evil, and most of them kill each other off. In Judah (to the south), the kings are mostly good, yet still open to compromise down the road. Both are on the road to captivity due to their rebellion against the Lord…but Israel is much further along in their open apostasy.

The question tonight for each of these kings is pretty simple: will they be faithful to God? God was the One to allow each of them to be king – God is the One to whom they owe their allegiance – God is the One who consistently proves Himself to be faithful. But will the kings show themselves to be faithful in return? That’s the question for the kings & that’s the question for us as well…

2 Kings 13 (NKJV)
1 In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years. 2 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin. He did not depart from them. 3 Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel, and He delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Ben-Hadad the son of Hazael, all their days. 4 So Jehoahaz pleaded with the LORD, and the LORD listened to him; for He saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them. 5 Then the LORD gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped from under the hand of the Syrians; and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents as before. 6 Nevertheless they did not depart from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin, but walked in them; and the wooden image also remained in Samaria. 7 For He left of the army of Jehoahaz only fifty horsemen, ten chariots, and ten thousand foot soldiers; for the king of Syria had destroyed them and made them like the dust at threshing. 8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, all that he did, and his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 9 So Jehoahaz rested with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. Then Joash his son reigned in his place.

A. Jehoahaz was a typically evil king of Israel. As with most of the Israelite kings who came before him, he continued in the pagan worship practices of Jeroboam I. This wasn’t out & out Baal worship (which had flourished under Ahab & temporarily been eradicated under Jehu); this was a form of pseudo-hebrew worship, attempting to “adapt” the things God had commanded at the Tabernacle/Temple to a place outside of Jerusalem, using pagan imagery in the process. From a modern point-of-view, some might not see too much wrong with that – after all, what’s the difference between worshipping at a church on Broadway & one on Lindsey Lane? Unfortunately, location wasn’t the primary difference; content was. A modern equivalent might be something more along the lines of Mormonism or JW, where certain aspects of Christianity are affirmed, but a lot of false ideas & worship is mixed in. When it’s not the pure gospel handed to us through the apostles & the Scriptures, it’s not the gospel at all!

B. In response to Jehoahaz’s sin, God showed His righteous anger & “delivered them into the hand” of Syria. Was this a punishment? Certainly. Was this a demonstration of the mercy of God? Absolutely! By disciplining His people, God gave them an opportunity to repent from their sins & to seek His face in true worship. Unfortunately, their seeking was temporary. As in the time of the Judges, the people (Jehoahaz) cried out to the Lord God for deliverance, and God sent a deliverer to take them out of the hand of their enemy. (Who the deliverer was is unknown…there’s a bit of debate on it, but the Scripture is silent. But God knows their name!)

a. Do we value the discipline of God? Do we understand that when God disciplines us, it’s an indication for His great love for us? (Heb 12:6) God’s great desire for each of us is that we would be restored to relationship with Him in order to give Him honor & glory… Don’t waste that opportunity! If you’re experiencing the discipline of God, don’t complain about it – thank God for it! And then ask God to show you what He would have you to do in response…

C. Again, the saddest part here is that their opportunity for national repentance was wasted. (vs 6) “Nevertheless they did not depart from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin, but walked in them; and the wooden image also remained in Samaria.” Like so many others, Jehoahaz had experienced a foxhole conversion (repented under pressure; forgot about it in relief)… As a result, he & Israel missed out on God’s grace. Their army (though free) was left decimated & the people were left weakened.

10 In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned sixteen years. 11 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD. He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, but walked in them. 12 Now the rest of the acts of Joash, all that he did, and his might with which he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 13 So Joash rested with his fathers. Then Jeroboam sat on his throne. And Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.

A. Joash was yet another king of Israel who continued in false worship. The writer doesn’t say too much about Joash here, because he continues Joash’s story with King Amaziah of Judah (in Ch 14), and also with Elisha in the next verses…

14 Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, “O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!” 15 And Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and some arrows.” So he took himself a bow and some arrows. 16 Then he said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” So he put his hand on it, and Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. 17 And he said, “Open the east window”; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot”; and he shot. And he said, “The arrow of the LORD’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them.” 18 Then he said, “Take the arrows”; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground”; so he struck three times, and stopped. 19 And the man of God was angry with him, and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times.”

A. It’s worth noting that Elisha was sick & almost ready to die. His mentor Elijah had not suffered death; God basically raptured him to heaven in full view of Elisha. Yet Elisha, with as many miracles as he performed (twice the amount as Elijah), was about to die. [] Bad things happen to godly people… Just because someone is sick doesn’t mean that they’ve sinned. Sometimes God allows evil people to be extraordinarily healthy & godly people to suffer in extraordinary ways. Why? Good question – ask Job (and he didn’t get an answer either!). The simple answer is that God’s ways are not our ways. If we did things according to our way (usually the easy way), then Jesus would never have suffered & died for us on the cross – after all, that’s too bloody & too hard. Yet of course, we’d then never know the salvation of the Lord. …

a. When you don’t understand the things God is doing in your life or allowing to take place in your life, the best thing we can do is trust God in the midst of it! Resolve today to trust God…

B. At some point during Elisha’s sickness, he was visited by King Joash. Whether Joash’s grief was real or faked, we’ll never truly know. It’s possible that his grief was brought on more through superstition than anything else – he seemed to have a grain of faith, but not enough to truly trust the Lord God. Elisha prophesied to Joash that God would deliver Syria into the hands of Israel, but 1st Israel must strike out at Syria in battle. It was symbolized by Joash striking the arrows on the ground. One problem: Joash didn’t have the faith to do as Elisha had told him specifically (vs. 17), “strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them.” Yet when given the opportunity to strike the ground in faith, Joash only strikes three times with the arrows, rather than striking enough to destroy them. As a result, he (and Israel) is going to miss out on what God would have done through him.

a. Question: was God capable of destroying the Syrians without Israel? Of course. Nothing is too hard for God! God could have done it with a word, but God wanted to use Israel in the process. God gave Joash an opportunity, and then expected Joash to take a step of faith. [] Often, that’s the part that we fail at as well. It’s not that we don’t think God is going to be good to His word (at least, we proclaim that He is!), but perhaps we don’t trust God enough to actually step out in faith & put it into practice. Do we really trust God to provide for our needs when we seek Him first? Do we really trust God to fill us with the Spirit when we ask? Do we really trust God to be faithful to each of His promises in the Scripture? If so, we’ll demonstrate that by taking a step of faith…

20 Then Elisha died, and they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year. 21 So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.

A. You gotta wonder if the man was surprised at all to revive & find himself looking at the bones of Elisha. 🙂 Obviously, this is not a standard practice for medicine today – but a unique instance in how God worked through Elisha, even after he was long dead (likely dead at least 2 years for bones to be all that remained). It’s not that anything was special about the bones; it’s that God worked through him – not unlike how God healed people who sat under the shadow of Peter, or got the sweat-rags from Paul. The faith isn’t so much in the object used; it’s in the God who showed Himself powerful through that object. [woman with the flow of blood – Luke 8:44] Her faith wasn’t in Jesus’ clothing; it was in Jesus Himself. (So it is with us!)

22 And Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz. 23 But the LORD was gracious to them, had compassion on them, and regarded them, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not yet destroy them or cast them from His presence. 24 Now Hazael king of Syria died. Then Ben-Hadad his son reigned in his place. 25 And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz recaptured from the hand of Ben-Hadad, the son of Hazael, the cities which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. Three times Joash defeated him and recaptured the cities of Israel.

A. Was God’s word true? To the letter! God prophesied through Elisha that Joash would strike Syria three times, and that’s exactly what happened. Syria was not destroyed, but at least some cities were recaptured & put under Israel’s rule.

B. Why did God even show this amount of mercy? Because of His great promise. God had made an unconditional covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and God was going to be true to His word, even if His people were being completely unfaithful. Granted, His promise will ultimately be fulfilled through the kingdom of Judah (to the south), but God is showing immense mercy to the kingdom of Israel based upon His love & promise to the patriarchs.

a. We need to understand that this is the basis for our salvation as well. We are not saved by Jesus Christ because we deserve it (we don’t!). We have not been forgiven & given everlasting life because we’re such good people (we aren’t!). We are saved because of the promises & covenant of GOD. Because GOD has promised to save all those who come to Him through Jesus, God is faithful to His word. … What mercies we have in the promises of God!

2 Kings 14 (NKJV)
1 In the second year of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel, Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, became king. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. 3 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like his father David; he did everything as his father Joash had done. 4 However the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. 5 Now it happened, as soon as the kingdom was established in his hand, that he executed his servants who had murdered his father the king. 6 But the children of the murderers he did not execute, according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, in which the LORD commanded, saying, “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; but a person shall be put to death for his own sin.”

A. Turning to the south, Amaziah becomes king of Judah. He is a fairly good king, though he was not as devoted to the Lord as King David was. Amaziah was typical of most of the “good” kings in Judah in that they worshipped God, but they left up the “high places” – potential places of compromise & idolatry among the people. Even in Amaziah’s reign, we see people forsaking the proper sacrifices at the Temple for sacrifices at the high places.

a. We mentioned it last week as well…we need to be willing to burn some bridges to the past. Certain things just leave us open for compromise, but when we commit our lives to following Jesus, we WANT to leave everything else in the past. Those are the things we died to; we live to follow Christ!

B. One thing Amaziah did really well? He obeyed the word of God! He executed the men who killed his father (Joash of Judah), but did not go beyond the realm of justice into the wilderness of revenge. Sticking to Deut 24:16, Amaziah killed only the perpetrators of the crime & not their children (which was the general custom at the time). Vengeance belongs to the Lord (Ps 94:1); not to us!

a. It would have been easy for Amaziah to proclaim that the word of God applied to someone else, but not for him – after all, he was the king! But even in a most personal circumstance, Amaziah allowed himself to be governed by the Scripture. We ought to do likewise. It’s easy for us to see how certain Bible verses might apply to someone else…but what we ought to be doing is asking God how the Bible applies to us.

7 He killed ten thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt, and took Sela by war, and called its name Joktheel to this day. 8 Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, “Come, let us face one another in battle.” 9 And Jehoash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, “The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son as wife’; and a wild beast that was in Lebanon passed by and trampled the thistle. 10 You have indeed defeated Edom, and your heart has lifted you up. Glory in that, and stay at home; for why should you meddle with trouble so that you fall—you and Judah with you?” 11 But Amaziah would not heed. Therefore Jehoash king of Israel went out; so he and Amaziah king of Judah faced one another at Beth Shemesh, which belongs to Judah. 12 And Judah was defeated by Israel, and every man fled to his tent. 13 Then Jehoash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash, the son of Ahaziah, at Beth Shemesh; and he went to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate— four hundred cubits. 14 And he took all the gold and silver, all the articles that were found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king’s house, and hostages, and returned to Samaria.

A. Amaziah started off well, but unfortunately he didn’t end well. After experiencing a miraculous victory over the Edomites (2 Chr 25:5-12), Amaziah became prideful & actually began to turn away from the Lord to worship other gods (2 Chr 25:14). In his pride, he forgot that it was God who gave him the victory over the Edomites, and he thought he could take on Jehoash & Israel in his own might & strength.

B. Joash’s (Jehoash) response to Amaziah was pretty arrogant in its own right, but likely much more accurate. Under Joash’s reign, Israel had a fairly powerful army (who with God’s help, defeated Syria 3 times) – Judah was pretty tiny by comparison. For the thistle to take on the mighty cedar tree was an act of foolishness, if not inspired by God (as David with Goliath), and there’s no indication that God ever told Amaziah to attack Israel. Despite the warning, Amaziah went on in his prideful foolishness & ended up with his tail between his legs. Amaziah was captured & placed under arrest by Joash, and Joash went so far as to plunder the Temple in Jerusalem.

a. If you haven’t learned it yet, learn it quick: pride will always get you into trouble! “Pride goes before destruction & a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Pro 16:18) – Amaziah provides a pretty clear illustration of the proverb! … Instead of boasting in all of the great things WE can do, we ought to be more like Paul & boast in the great things GOD does. After all, anything good that we do in our lives ultimately is because of what the Lord has done in us first…HE’s the one that deserves the glory; not us. Boast in God.

15 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash which he did—his might, and how he fought with Amaziah king of Judah—are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 16 So Jehoash rested with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. Then Jeroboam his son reigned in his place. 17 Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, lived fifteen years after the death of Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 19 And they formed a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish and killed him there. 20 Then they brought him on horses, and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the City of David.

A. Many scholars note that it was Amaziah’s massive defeat that potentially brought the murderous conspiracy against him. Whereas that surely played a part in it, ultimately it was God who allowed the conspiracy to take place. [Chastising the prophet for chastising his idolatry] 2 Chronicles 25:16 (16) So it was, as he talked with him, that the king said to him, “Have we made you the king’s counselor? Cease! Why should you be killed?” Then the prophet ceased, and said, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not heeded my advice.” [] Sin always has consequences – its wages are death. Sadly, there’s no indication that Amaziah attempted to repent in any of the time from the prophet’s declaration until his death. Yet another wasted opportunity of repentance.

a. Don’t waste the time God gives you! The time to deal with sin is NOW; not sometime-down-the-road… Repent, confess it, and be done with it.

21 And all the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah. 22 He built Elath and restored it to Judah, after the king rested with his fathers. 23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, became king in Samaria, and reigned forty-one years. 24 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD; he did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin. 25 He restored the territory of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which He had spoken through His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet who was from Gath Hepher. 26 For the LORD saw that the affliction of Israel was very bitter; and whether bond or free, there was no helper for Israel. 27 And the LORD did not say that He would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven; but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash. 28 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did—his might, how he made war, and how he recaptured for Israel, from Damascus and Hamath, what had belonged to Judah—are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 29 So Jeroboam rested with his fathers, the kings of Israel. Then Zechariah his son reigned in his place.

A. Back to Israel – Jeroboam II. Yet another evil king in the north who continued in the false worship practices of his namesake.

B. Yet as evil as he was, he seems to have been fairly successful & prosperous as a leader. He expanded the lands of Israel, and historical artifacts indicate a pretty wealthy nation, economically speaking. Why did the wicked king prosper? Great question…the psalmist asks the same thing. Psalm 73:1-3 (1) A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, To such as are pure in heart. (2) But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped. (3) For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked. [] Ultimately, the psalmist went to the house of the Lord & understood the ultimate justice of God. The wicked may prosper temporarily – but we need to remember that even a long life (90+ years) is ‘temporary’ when compared with eternity. God WILL judge, and God is righteous.

a. Keep in mind God did not ignore the evil that was taking place in Israel. As successful as Jeroboam was, it didn’t last. He may have reigned for 41 years, but it was only 60 years afterwards that Israel was taken into captivity.

C. BTW – note Jonah was a contemporary of Jeroboam II. (As was Amos & Hosea), but the same prophet that preached repentance to Ninevah spoke a word of God to Israel. It’s interesting that Ninevah repented; Israel didn’t.

2 Kings 15 (NKJV)
1 In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah the son of Amaziah, king of Judah, became king. 2 He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem. 3 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done, 4 except that the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. 5 Then the LORD struck the king, so that he was a leper until the day of his death; so he dwelt in an isolated house. And Jotham the king’s son was over the royal house, judging the people of the land. 6 Now the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 7 So Azariah rested with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the City of David. Then Jotham his son reigned in his place.

A. Back to Judah. Azariah = Uzziah (of Isaiah’s vision – “In the year that King Uzziah died…” Isa 6:1). Uzziah was a good king (a great king overall) – yet he committed the same mistake as many others, by leaving the high places up. And like his father, people still sacrificed at the high places. (Burn those bridges!)

B. Question: if King Azariah was such a good king, why did God strike him & give him leprosy. The author of 2 Kings doesn’t tell us, but the author of 2 Chronicles does. Azariah (like his father) had become prideful & attempted to go into the Temple & burn incense in the holy place. The priests attempted to stop him, but when he persisted, God struck him with leprosy – which remained upon him until he died. … So why couldn’t Azariah burn incense in the Temple? Because he was a king; not a priest. To burn incense was a priestly duty, symbolizing the prayers of the people rising up to God – and only priests were allowed within the holy place of the Temple. A priest could be a prophet (Ezekiel) & a king could be a prophet (David), but a king could never be a priest…the two offices are completely separated except in one man: Christ Jesus. He alone is our King AND High Priest, as He fulfills the kingly line by being of the line of David, and the priestly line by being of the order of Melchizedek.

a. Like Moses striking the rock instead of speaking to it, Azariah had misrepresented God…and that carries lasting consequences.

– the next few kings are going to pass by pretty quickly as chaos reigns in Israel…
8 In the thirty-eighth year of Azariah king of Judah, Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reigned over Israel in Samaria six months. 9 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, as his fathers had done; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin. 10 Then Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and struck and killed him in front of the people; and he reigned in his place. 11 Now the rest of the acts of Zechariah, indeed they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 12 This was the word of the LORD which He spoke to Jehu, saying, “Your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” And so it was.

A. Zechariah = another evil king. Not much is mentioned about him other than he only reigned for 6 months & was murdered. Zechariah was the end of the dynasty of Jehu, of whom it was prophesied that his dynasty would last 4 generations (2 Kings 10:30). (Jehu…the father + Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam II, Zechariah) God’s word is absolutely true! To a man, every single king that followed Jehu did evil in the sight of the Lord, but God was true to His promise. Let God be true & every man a liar!

a. God is faithful when we are unfaithful. God is true when we are undeserving.

13 Shallum the son of Jabesh became king in the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned a full month in Samaria. 14 For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, came to Samaria, and struck Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria and killed him; and he reigned in his place. 15 Now the rest of the acts of Shallum, and the conspiracy which he led, indeed they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

A. Shallum likely has the shortest reign of any king of Israel…only a month! Author doesn’t say much about him, because he didn’t have time to do anything except to murder the previous king & get murdered by the next king.

16 Then from Tirzah, Menahem attacked Tiphsah, all who were there, and its territory. Because they did not surrender, therefore he attacked it. All the women there who were with child he ripped open. 17 In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah, Menahem the son of Gadi became king over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria. 18 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD; he did not depart all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin. 19 Pul king of Assyria came against the land; and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to strengthen the kingdom under his control. 20 And Menahem exacted the money from Israel, from all the very wealthy, from each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and did not stay there in the land. 21 Now the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 22 So Menahem rested with his fathers. Then Pekahiah his son reigned in his place.

A. Menahem wasn’t just an evil king in Israel; he was horrendous. Not only did he continue in false worship, but he committed gross acts of terror against cities that did not receive him as king. … During his reign, Israel became even more of a puppet state of Assyria (setting the stage for the final captivity) as Menahem had to pay tribute to Assyria’s king Pul in order to remain on the throne himself. (And he had to raise taxes in order to do it…)

23 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekahiah the son of Menahem became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years. 24 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin. 25 Then Pekah the son of Remaliah, an officer of his, conspired against him and killed him in Samaria, in the citadel of the king’s house, along with Argob and Arieh; and with him were fifty men of Gilead. He killed him and reigned in his place. 26 Now the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, indeed they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

A. Pekahiah was another evil king. He was killed by yet another conspiracy. (It was a dangerous thing to live in the palace at Samaria!)

27 In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah the son of Remaliah became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years. 28 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin. 29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came and took Ijon, Abel Beth Maachah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried them captive to Assyria. 30 Then Hoshea the son of Elah led a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and struck and killed him; so he reigned in his place in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah. 31 Now the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all that he did, indeed they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

A. Pekah was yet another link in the chain of evil kings in Israel. Note the further encroachment of Assyria. Assyria is taking more & more control of Israel, and start takign the leadership of Israel captive in order to “breed out” the people. Their strategy is ultimately successful as those in Israel are eventually known as the “Samaritans”…

32 In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, Jotham the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, began to reign. 33 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerusha the daughter of Zadok. 34 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD; he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done. 35 However the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. He built the Upper Gate of the house of the LORD. 36 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 37 In those days the LORD began to send Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah against Judah. 38 So Jotham rested with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the City of David his father. Then Ahaz his son reigned in his place.

A. Finally back to a good king in Judah – the only problem with Jotham is that he still didn’t tear down the high places & people continued in the improper sacrifices. In his days, Syria starts making threats towards Judah…that’s only going to continue into the future for Judah.

Conclusion:
So let’s sum it up with some statistics: 11 kings – 8 did what was evil; 4 did what was right – 5 were murdered – 1 was struck with leprosy…not exactly a track record most of us would want to have recorded about ourselves for all time. Yet that’s exactly what the Bible does…the Bible is painfully honest about the people who claim to follow God, and the people who don’t make any attempt to follow God whatsoever.

But it’s in the honesty of the Scripture that we ought to find a lot of hope. If people like Amaziah & Uzziah could have it said about them that they did what was right in the sight of the Lord, then that says a lot about us. People like you & me with all our failings are still called by God through Jesus Christ to serve Him. And it’s never in our work that God sees us worthy (thank God!), but it’s in the perfect work of Jesus Christ. …

Take heart in the word & promises of God! Because of Jesus, we are seated in heavenly places (Eph 1:20). Because of Jesus, have been given the spirit of adoption. (Rom 8:15) Because of Jesus, nothing shall ever separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:39). Those are wonderful promises…and we can trust them because of marvelous faithfulness of our God & King!

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