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26. Judah’s 2 Kings During Israel’s Last Years

October 13, 2010

Text:    II Chronicles 27:1-28:27

Harmony Text:            II Kings 15:32-16:20

Outline:           I.     King Jotham                                            II Chronicles 27:1-9

II.   King Ahaz                                                  II Chronicles 28:1-27

Context/Discussion/Comments:

During this time both Israel and Judah are seen fighting for their lives.  More so for Israel in that shortly after Ahaz’s reign in Judah was over, Israel was deported to Assyria and intermixed with other nations so that they lost their identity as God’s chosen people.  For Judah,  Isaiah is the major prophet of the Lord God and Micah is the minor prophet.  They should be studied together with these last two lessons to understand both the political and the spiritual condition of the people.

Jotham succeeded Uzziah at age 25 and was the king of Judah for 16 years.  He did what was right in  God’s eyes, respecting the priest’s role in Temple worship.  However, the people continued to practice idolatry.  Jotham rebuilt the Temple’s upper gate, repaired Jerusalem’s wall, and built towns and forts in the Judean hills and forests respectively.  He went to war against the Ammonites and collected yearly taxes from them for 3 years.  His power and prosperity was a result of God’s blessing because he walked with God.  He died at age 41 and his son Ahaz succeeded him.

Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king and he also reigned for 16 years.  He did not follow God’s Law but walked in the evil idolatrous ways of Israel.  The king of Aram defeated Judah and took many people to Damascus.  Israel also fought Judah and in one day killed 120,000 soldiers of Judah.  Israel also captured 200,000 wives and children and took plunder from Judah  back to Samaria.  Oded, a prophet of the Lord, advised Israel to send the prisoners back to Judah because they too have angered the Lord with their killing rage against Judah.  Some of Israel’s leaders supported Oded’s assessment so Israel returned their prisoners with their plunder back to Jericho.  King Ahaz sought help from Assyria against the attacks from  Aram, Israel, Edom, and the Philistines.  But these attacks were of the Lord’s doing in order to humble Ahaz and Judah for their wicked behavior.  Instead of help, Assyria gave Judah more trouble.  Even paying tribute from Judah’s treasury and the Temple did not change Assyria’s mind.

Instead of being humbled, Ahaz turns to Aram for help, going to Damascus and sacrificing to their gods.  According to II Kings 16, he even duplicated the pagan altar at Damascus and placed it in the Temple for Judah’s sacrifices to the Lord.  The original altar was moved aside for only Ahaz’s use.  Ahaz definitely thought the pagan gods were more powerful than the Lord God Almighty.  Therefore, Ahaz turned from the Lord even more, sacrificing more and more to the idols of the pagans.  He built many altars to idols and closed up the Temple.  When he died, he was not buried in the tomb reserved for the kings.

Consequently, during this period Judah had 16 years of blessing and prosperity followed by 16 years of trouble.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. Once again we are reminded that God blesses [honors] those who honor Him and are obedient to His Law and His Will.  If we want true joy and peace, we are to worship the Lord and serve Him with all our heart, mind, strength, and soul.
  2. Wicked and ungodly behavior quickly removes the past blessings of God.  Remember, God blesses our faithfulness and is angered by our unfaithfulness.  God punishes us for our evil ways in an attempt to get our attention and repent of our sin. Let us seek the Lord, repent of our sin, and obey His Will.
  3. Faith in God is individual and personal.  It is not inherited from our fathers.  We as individuals have a choice of who we will worship.  God blesses us when we choose to worship Him, the one true Creator Lord God Almighty.
  4. May others be influenced by our faithfulness and not our wickedness.
  5. Depend on the Lord for help in time of trouble because it is unwise to depend on man who is more interested in himself than in others.  Remember, God loves us and is interested in our salvation and well being.

 

Worship the Lord God only!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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