2 Kings 15
December 7, 2022Day 342
____________________________________________________________________________________________ Prayer: O Father of us all, help us to remember that all people are sisters and brothers, no matter what country or race or religion or belief system divides us. September 5 Chapter: 2 Kings 15 Theme: A Series of Kings Study Verse: 2 Kings 15:3, 34 STATEMENT: Notice the first verses of each of the sections in this chapter. The kings in Judah last longer, no doubt because they “did right in the sight of the Lord” (though they still didn’t take down the pagan high places). Meanwhile, king follows king in Israel, as they fight and squabble and conspire against each other, or even ally with enemies as in v. 19. Notice who that enemy is: Assyria. Israel’s cup of wickedness is getting full. Eventually, God will allow them to fall to Assyria and cease to exist as a country. How do you think God feels about this? (For a hint, see Ezekiel 18:31.)
2 Kings 14
December 6, 2022Day 341
Amaziah, son of Joash of Judah, started his reign well. Not only did he (mostly) follow God, he even went against the bloody custom of killing the entire family of someone who had done wrong. Notice v. 6: it means Amaziah had at least some familiarity with God’s law, which certainly is not true of many of these kings! But then, because he vanquished Edom, he incited war against Israel. Even though they were now two separate kingdoms, this was like a civil war. He spent most of the rest of his life in captivity.
2 Kings 13
December 5, 2022Day 340
During Joash’s long reign in Judah, two more evil kings ruled over Israel in the north, one of which had the same name—Joash, or sometimes Jehoash. The people would occasionally beg for mercy and God would grant it (see v. 5), but they still clung stubbornly to their unfaithfulness (v. 6). Then Elisha, now growing very old, died, but first Joash of Israel visited him and was given a prophecy of his victory over the forces of the Arameans. There is also a curious little story, mentioned nowhere else in the Bible, in verses 20-21. What do you think of this?
2 Kings 12
December 4, 2022Day 339
Joash was not only a wise and faithful king, he also set about repairing the damage to the temple. At first, the priests collected the money but still didn’t fix the temple. Then the high priest put up an offering chest where people could bring their offerings (above and beyond tithes and sin offerings, which were for the priests). They used all this money to hire workers to mend the temple. Notice verses 15 and 16: they didn’t even have to keep an accounting because the workers were so faithful. If only that were true more often!
2 Kings 11
December 3, 2022Day 338
Down in Judah, wicked Queen Mother Athaliah completed the destruction of her own family so that she could rule. But in the midst of all this calamity, God still had a plan. Jehosheba, a faithful woman, stole baby Joash and his nurse, and hid them in the house of God with the high priest, Jehoiada. For seven years, they raised the little boy to be faithful and God-following. Then (getting lots of soldiers ready because they knew the “queen” would fight it), they made Joash king in his dead father’s place. The priest made a covenant between the people and God, and they destroyed the Baals and all their altars.
2 Kings 9
December 1, 2022Day 336
This is a grim chapter. It begins with Elisha sending one of the sons of the prophets to anoint a new king. But that king then takes matters into his own hands and assassinates kings and officials right and left to stabilize his kingdom. The fates of Jezebel and Ahab and his sons were prophesied by God well in advance, but it is a sorry tale when humans make these things come true. The most interesting part of the story is when the watchmen keep coming out to ask news of Jehu, and then turning to follow him. That tells you something about what they thought of their own evil king.
2 Kings 8
November 30, 2022Day 335
The famine mentioned must have happened earlier. It is ending now, and the Shunamite woman, who showed her faith by obeying Elisha without question when he warned her to get her family out of Israel, comes back. We get a rare glimpse of the later life of one of the people who has received miracles from God. Even the wicked king is impressed with her, and she receives her family land back. The rest of the chapter shows several more wicked kings, both in Israel and in Judah after Jehoshaphat dies. His son even marries Ahab’s daughter. How sorrowful God must have been!
2 Kings 5
November 27, 2022Day 332
Here are some startling contrasts: a little girl taken from her family into slavery is an instrument of God in a foreign land; some pagan men listen to and obey the God of Israel; and a man who lives and works with the prophet himself is overtaken by greed! Why do you think Naaman was healed? Do you think you could be that kind and faithful if you were taken into slavery? Did you know that statistically, there are more enslaved people on the planet now than ever in history? Let’s pray and work for those people to be set free, but until they are, let’s pray that they may be faithful servants of God where they are.
2 Kings 4
November 26, 2022Day 331
The beautiful stories in this chapter are a nice relief from stories of ungodly kings and wars. They clearly take place over a period of several years. The main lesson we can learn from all these stories is that God always cares for His own. What more specific lessons can you learn from each individual story? For instance, in the first one, one lesson is that God can work with whatever we have that we dedicate to Him, no matter how small. Do you see others? Write down the other lessons you find.