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23. Israel’s Next 5 Kings

October 13, 2010

Text:    II Kings 13:1-24; 14:23-29;15:6-15 

Outline:           I.     Jehoahaz                                                  II Kings 13:1-7

                              II.   Jehoash                                                     II Kings 13:8-24

                             III. Jeroboam II                                             II Kings 14:23-29

                             IV. Zechariah                                                  II Kings 15:8-9

                            V.   Shallum                                                       II Kings 10-15 

Context/Discussion/Comments: 

                These 5 kings cover the period of time from 814-752 BC.  Elisha still is ministering but dies during the reign of Joash.  Jonah is the other known prophet ministering during the long reign of Jeroboam II.  He ruled 41 years,  growing Israel’s military strength.  During this time, Israel worshipped idols and continued to ignore God.  They are going downhill at a faster rate because they have lost all interest in the Lord God. 

                Jehoahaz became king of Israel in the 23rd year of Joash’s reign in Judah.  He reigned 17 years or until the end of Joash’s reign which lasted 40 years.  He did evil by promoting idolatry so God was angry and kept them under the thumb of Hazael,  king of Aram, and his sons.  Jehoahaz decides to seek the Lord.  And the Lord listens and enables Israel to get out from under Aram.  But the people continued to worship idols resulting in a reduction of their army to a total of 10,000 soldiers.

                 Jehoahaz dies and his son, Jehoash takes the throne in the 37th year of Joash’s reign in Judah.  Jehoash reigned 16 years and also did evil in the eyes of the Lord by promoting idolatry and making war against Judah.  Jehoash dies and Jeroboam II succeeds him. 

                Elisha is ill and Jehoash visits him to honor him and to consult with him about what to do about Aram.  [Perhaps he was considered a co-ruler or it was early in his kingship.  [Note II Kings 13:7].  Elisha tells Jehoash to get a bow, places his hand on the king, and has him shoot arrows out the window.  Elisha declares Israel will be victorious over Aram but only three times.  Elisha dies and is buried.  A dead man comes to life after being thrown in Elisha’s tomb.  Israel did defeat Aram 3 times during Jehoash’s reign, freeing themselves of oppression because God was merciful. 

                Amaziah is now king of Judah when Jeroboam II becomes king of Israel.  Jeroboam  ruled for 41 years, longer than any other king of Israel.  He also did evil because he promoted idolatry.  He did, however, restore Israel’s boundaries as prophesied by Jonah who ministered during his reign.  Israel is suffering but the Lord is mercifully saving them from further oppression through Jeroboam’s gifted military prowess.  During his reign, Amos came from Judah to prophesy to Israel at Bethel warning them to repent or else God will exercise His right to crush them. 

                Zechariah becomes king in the 30th year of Azariah, king of Judah.  He did evil in God’s eyes too even though he reigned only 6 months.

                Shallum conspires against Zechariah, assassinates him in front of the people, and takes the throne.  He reigned for only one month before he was assassinated by Manahem. 

Lessons/Applications: 

  1. God may be patient with us when we ignore Him and refuse to follow His Word but He does not ignore us.  His anger rises and He raises up others to discipline us, to punish us, and even to judge us to get our attention and turn back to Him.  Consider what’s happening in your own life.  Do you have a joy and peace or is God trying to get your attention to repent?
  2. God is merciful and even chooses to give us the benefit of doubt when we seek Him for advice  instead of our false gods.  But be true to your intentions so as not to anger God all the more.
  3. The length of time on earth or in a leadership position does not prove our goodness/acceptance from the Lord God.  God is sovereign and the length of our lives and time of service is in His hands.
  4. Even after one dies, we can have a positive witness and effect on the living.  Our legacy can be used by God for the benefit of others.  Be steadfast and faithful in your faith to the end and let God use your faithfulness as a blessing to others.
  5. Length of life and service doesn’t guarantee you will be honored with a long list of accomplishments.
  6. Evil begets evil.  Those who engage in evil usually are personally affected by the same evil they practiced.  Do not be vengeful of those who do wrong.  Give it over to the Lord to handle.
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