Saturday, May 25, 2024

May 25, 2024

When Hoshea, son of Elah, began to reign in Israel, devastation and unrelenting judgment from God also began. Even though he was less evil than some previous kings and allowed the people to go to Jerusalem to worship, he didn’t forbid the worship of other gods. Hoshea, who was subject to the king of Assyria, sent him gifts. However, he must have been tired of his subjection to him because he had contacted So, the king of Egypt. Assyria’s king found out and locked up Hoshea and carried Israel into captivity, pouring them into the cities of Assyria. Not realizing that it was God who allowed their capture because they rejected his authority, their worship of other gods only became worse. Hoshea was the last king of Israel. The king of Assyria replaced the people of Israel in Samaria with his people. However, they didn’t realize that God was in charge of that land, and lions came in and ate the people. Thinking that God might help defeat the lions, Assyria’s king sent back a priest to teach his people God’s laws, except instead of leaving their idols behind and worshiping only God, they began to fear God but love their idols. 

We must have a healthy balance between our fear of God and our love of him; we must do both. If we do what’s right in His eyes, we do not need to fear Him and can passionately love him with all our hearts, souls, and minds. When we venture outside of His will, it causes us devastation; our disobedience brings His retribution. Therefore, we can only blame ourselves if we receive consequences. A good rule of thumb is to love God and love people; everything else falls subject to that command. 

And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the LORD: therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which slew some of them. 2 Kings 17:25

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40

Friday, May 24, 2024

May 24, 2024

Ahaz became king of Judah and followed after the ways of the kings of Israel and worshipped the golden calves and fake gods. I am most disturbed by his actions because he passed his sons through the fire as a sacrifice to Molech. Even Hezekiah, who would follow him as king, was passed through the fire, but he survived. Israel and Syria came against Ahaz in war but failed in overtaking Jerusalem, but were able to recover Elath, the port city. However, because they caused trouble, Ahaz asked the king of Assyria for help against Israel and Syria and sent him the treasures from the temple and the king’s house as payment. When he visited the king of Assyria to thank him for his help, he saw an altar he liked and sent the design ahead of him to Urijah, the priest, to have it built. Urijah followed his orders. Ahaz then rearranged the artifacts in the temple to his liking, going against God and His design that he had given Moses, and ordered the priests to begin using the new altar to make sacrifices. Ahaz only lived to age thirty-six, and Hezekiah, a better man, would reign in his place.

When God tells us in His word that we should honor His Son and his sacrifice for our salvation, we must follow his instructions. As we see in this story, Ahaz was cut off early because of his blatant destruction of the temple, his worshipping of the false gods, and the burning of human sacrifices. This type of worship is not a thing of the past; it’s just carefully covered up; abor**on only scratches the surface of satanic worship. 

And king Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brasen oxen that were under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones. 2 Kings 16:17

Thursday, May 23, 2024

May 23, 2024

The last couple of chapters of 2 Kings have been daunting to try and summarize, but there are a couple of keys to help our understanding.

Azariah, also known as Uzziah, was a good king who reigned in place of his father, Amaziah, king of Judah. God gave him leprosy, presumably because he invaded the priest's office. He had to live in a house separated from the palace. Uzziah's son, Jotham, reigned over Judah after him. 

A string of kings of Israel came after the end of Jehu's family's reign. They were usurpers of the throne, but God allowed it to happen. Some significant-sounding names were Zechariah and Hoshea; these kings had the same name as two well-known prophets, but they were evil, so we shouldn't confuse them. 

As we can see from king Azariah/Uzziah, even though we are considered to be good, when we sin there are consequences for our actions. It's important that we stay tuned into the Holy Spirit's voice. He will give us a way to help prevent our sin, but we must obey Him and stop before entering into it. 

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

And the LORD smote the king, so that he was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house. And Jotham the king's son was over the house, judging the people of the land. 1 Kings 15:5

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

Joash, king of Judah, died, and Amaziah, his son, reigned in his place. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. However, that didn't mean he was secure. He was only 25 when he took over the kingdom, killed the servants that had murdered his father, then got Judah in trouble because they oppressed and took over Edom, thought he was mighty, and decided to go against Israel. Ahaziah sent word to Joash, king of Israel, challenging him to a face-to-face battle, and Joash acquiesced, knowing it was like a cedar against a thistle. Joash beat Judah, broke down the wall in Jerusalem, and took all of Judah's treasures from the house of the Lord and the king's house and brought it back to Samaria. Ahaziah lived fifteen years longer than Joash but was run out of Jerusalem and lived in Lachish until he died. Azariah, Ahaziah's son, was made king in his place. Azariah was notable for building Elath, a port town, and restoring Jerusalem. 

Jeroboam II, the son of Joash king of Israel began his reign, but was an evil king. Jonah lived during this time period, but so did Amos and Hosea. Even though it seemed like darkness during that time, God never left himself without a witness. Hosea was the first to write down his prophecy, and then the others came thereafter. 

The lesson in this 14th chapter of 2 Kings is never to think you are mightier than you are. Even a good king had his limits, faced an uphill battle, and was ultimately taken out. Things might be rough, even for good people, but because of Jesus, our eternity is secure with him. Bide your time, and learn your lessons. God never promised that life would be easy; easy comes in our eternity.

And the LORD said not 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. 2 Kings 14:27

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

While Joash, king of Judah, was still alive, Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, began to reign over Israel in Samaria. Jehoahaz was a lousy king, just like his father, Jehu, and worshipped the golden calves. This situation angered God and sent the Syrian king and his son to oppress Israel. Jehoahaz died, and his son, Jehoash, took over the kingship of Israel. Another Joash/Jehoash to add to our confusion of the kings. He died, and now we have another Jeroboam as king of Israel. 

One notable thing Joash, king of Israel, did before he died was to honor Elisha. He was sick, and Joash visited him. Elisha told him he would defeat the Syrians. With Elisha's hand upon his, he had him shoot an arrow towards Syria to act out the prophecy. Then Elisha told him to smack the ground like he was smashing Syria to smithereens, but he only beat it three times. Joash's lack of enthusiasm angered Elisha because he should have shown more anger and expressed his belief that God was with him. Elisha died, and they buried him.

A side story that you've probably heard is that the Moabites had invaded during the new year and were near where a dead man was to be buried. The people carrying him got scared and placed his body into the tomb of Elisha. When his body touched Elisha's bones, he stood up. In the end, Joash beat Syria three times and recovered the cities in Israel. 

The Bible can be confusing if you don't know the other chapters. That's why it's so vital that we learn to read it in context and under the direction of the Holy Spirit. You should not pick and use Bible verses without knowing the whole story. If you do that, you will get it wrong every time. Ask God for wisdom, and for goodness' sake, stop eating foods processed with chemicals that could dull your brain! 

And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet. 2 Kings 13:20-21

Monday, May 20, 2024

May 20, 2024

Joash was a good king, while Jehoiada, the priest, advised him. Joash commanded the priests to collect money from the people to repair the temple. However, they failed to raise enough money, and the temple deteriorated. The people must not have trusted the priests to use the money wisely. So, Joash ordered them to put a collection box in the temple, which was a great idea because people like to be seen giving; we see it all the time on social media, where people record themselves giving money to the poor for their self-gratification and the praises of others. They collected enough to make the repairs, and Joash oversaw the construction. Jehoiada, the priest, was 130 years old when he died. Things got bad after that. Hazael, king of Syria, planned on overtaking Jerusalem, but instead of fighting and relying on God to save them, Joash gave the king all the gold and silver in the treasury, thus preventing war. The country's princes came to Joash and asked permission to serve groves and idols, and they left the boring worship at the temple for a more exciting religious type of worship. In a moment of passion brought on by the Holy Spirit, one of the sons of Jehoiada, Zechariah, condemned what Joash had allowed. It infuriated Joash, and he had him stoned. Joash's servants, who must have been loyal to Jehoiada, killed Joash for killing Jehoiada's son. 

We can see from this story how important it is to have godly counsel and friends who love the Lord. It only seemed that it took a moment for things to go awry when evil princes began counseling the king. Joash was a good king until Jehoiada died, and then he became susceptible to the wiles of evil. Never let your guard down; stay loyal to the Lord to stave off the forces of evil. Another point is that if your worship bores you, who are you worshiping? The religious practice? Or your itchy ears? Put God first and foremost, and it will never become boring. 

And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you. And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD. 2 Chronicles 24:20-21

And his servants arose, and made a conspiracy, and slew Joash in the house of Millo, which goeth down to Silla. 2 Kings 12:20

Sunday, May 19, 2024

May 19, 2024

In 2 Kings 9, we find that Ahaziah, king of Judah, was shot by Jeho's men and died in Megiddo. Now that the king of Judah was dead, in 2 Kings 11, Athaliah, Ahaziah's mother and sister to Jezebel, wanted to rule the kingdom, so she killed everyone related to the king so there would be no heirs to the throne. However, Ahaziah's sister, who was also the wife of the priest, Jehoiada, stole Joash, the one-year-old son of Ahaziah, and hid him in the temple to save his life. When Joash was seven years old, Jehoiada, who helped raise Joash, began arranging the military to help secure the temple and the king's home so it wouldn't be destroyed in anger by Athaliah and her sympathizers when she found out she could no longer rule. Then, in a ceremony at the temple, Jehoiada anointed the young man's head with oil and crowned him king of Judah. Athaliah heard the commotion, ran into the temple, and saw Joash was crowned, then she tore her clothes and cried treason. Isn't it funny that the usurper and treasonous queen called the rightful king a usurper? The guilty always try to make the innocent look like they are the ones who are guilty, but the truth always comes to light. Jehoiada didn't want her blood spilled in the temple, so they chased her back to the king's house and killed her with the sword at the horse gate. Jehoiada made a covenant with the Lord, and all the idols of Baal and their priests were destroyed. Joash began to rule, being advised by Jehoiada, the priest, who was also his father figure. 

God only allows the wicked to rule for so long before he sets a good king on the throne because of the cries of his people and one who will follow his ways and bring the government and His house together as one. Wait for it; it will surely come. 

And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was in quiet: and they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the king's house. Seven years old was Jehoash when he began to reign. 2 Kings 11:20-21