2 Kings 14:15-27 – Watching The Car Wreck About To Happen

Posted: August 2, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 14:15-27

Jeroboam II in Israel & Amaziah in Judah

Reading about this seemingly unending spiral downward of the holiness of the people of Israel and Judah and how they thought they were doing what was right in their own eyes while the decline continued has been completely depressing at times. Has it not? With the advantage of being this far into the future from the events depicted in 2 Kings, it is like, for us, watching a car wreck about to happen and there is nothing you can do about it.

From the height of Israel’s power under David and Solomon to the split kingdoms with all their infighting, the decline is noticeable to us as readers. And it’s not over yet. It will ultimately continue when the northern kingdom is conquered and swallowed up by the Assyrian empire (with its capital in Ninevah). That is followed by the conquering of the southern kingdom by the Babylonian empire (with its capital in Babylon and what is now modern-day Iraq and Jordan). The Parthians (previously limited to what is now northern Saudi Arabia and all of Iran) then conquered the Babylonians. The Parthians allowed the Judeans to return to Judah during the time of Nehemiah.

However, they were still under Parthian rule. The next thing that happens is Alexander the Great conquers all of the Middle East (deposing the empires of Assyria and the Parthians). After the death of Alexander the Great, his vast empire was split into four kingdoms by his four top generals. So the Greek rule of the Middle East continued for quite a while. Next up was the Roman Empire that ruled the Middle East. They took over the Middle East when the Greeks were defeated at Corinth (yeah that Corinth from 1 & 2 Corinthians) in 146 BC. Judea and Israel (Israel becomes named Samaria) then soon after become tightly under Roman rule with them installing the local kings that they wanted and then have a Roman governor in the region. Israel and Judah rebel against Roman rule and there is always unrest there as they chaff under another foreign occupying force. That’s the historical timeline that brings us the world of Israel and Judah at the time Jesus was born, lived, preached, and was crucified in approximately 33-36AD.

Just as Jesus predicted, the ultimate end to Judah and Israel began with the Jewish revolt in 66AD. That revolt lasted far longer than Rome wanted it to and they ultimately had enough and crushed what was Judah/Israel in 70AD with the destruction of the Temple that Jesus predicted. After that, what we know of ancient Israel and Judah is no more. The Israelites that were not killed in the revolt of 66-70AD were dispersed throughout the Roman Empire and never allowed to return to their ancestral homelands after that.

That is what happened to the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The decline is happening right here before our eyes in all the pettiness since the death of Solomon, all of the evil, all the idol worship, all the doing of what was right in their own eyes. These are the things that I thought about when I read this passage is how Israel and Judah got so consumed with themselves and their desires that they forgot about God. It is a warning to us all as we watch this steady decline of Israel and Judah through the pages of Bible. Let’s read the passage, 2 Kings 14:15-27, now:

15 Now the rest of the acts that Jehoash did, his might, and how he fought with King Amaziah of Judah, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel? 16 Jehoash slept with his ancestors, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel; then his son Jeroboam succeeded him.

17 King Amaziah son of Joash of Judah lived fifteen years after the death of King Jehoash son of Jehoahaz of Israel. 18 Now the rest of the deeds of Amaziah, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? 19 They made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But they sent after him to Lachish, and killed him there. 20 They brought him on horses; he was buried in Jerusalem with his ancestors in the city of David. 21 All the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king to succeed his father Amaziah. 22 He rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah, after King Amaziah[a] slept with his ancestors.

23 In the fifteenth year of King Amaziah son of Joash of Judah, King Jeroboam son of Joash of Israel began to reign in Samaria; he reigned forty-one years. 24 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord; he did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to sin. 25 He restored the border of Israel from Lebo-hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, which he spoke by his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet, who was from Gath-hepher. 26 For the Lord saw that the distress of Israel was very bitter; there was no one left, bond or free, and no one to help Israel. 27 But the Lord had not said that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, so he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Joash.

In this passage, we see that during this period, many prophets – such as Hosea, Amos, Jonah, Micah and Isaiah – began collecting their prophecies and writing them down under the Holy Spirit’s supervision. They continued to preach about the worldwide significance of God’s work as they looked forward to the future spiritual Kingdom of God. God would use Israel’s moral and spiritual decline to prepare the way for coming of the Messiah. Because the kingdom and military power of the combined northern and southern kingdoms of Israel and Judah would be stripped away, many people would be ready to hear the Good News that Jesus would bring. If only they would listen.

Here, we see how far the kingdoms have fallen from the height of its regional power under David and Solomon. There was no limit to what Israel could do under David and Solomon. If you remember, under David and Solomon, foreign kings paid visits and made alliances with Israel. All things were going pretty doggone good for the kingdom. However, sinful selfishness led to a split in the kingdom and to idolatry and to disobedience to God’s Word and to moral decline and to, ultimately, as we shall see in the rest of the Bible a slow painful decline of these two kingdoms into nothingness and unimportance on the world stage. They are simply satellite, puppet kingdoms of their occupying overlords from Assyria, Babylon, Parthia, Greece and Rome. Then the various variations of the Arabic/Islamic kingdoms ruled what was Israel and Judah until the Post-World War II push to re-establish the Jewish state that we know today.

That’s what I thought about today is the long history of occupation of the Holy Land by other empires that is about to happen and it was because of the moral decay and the internal pettiness of Israel and Judah right here in 2 Kings. There is a warning to us in the United States here. I see so much of us as a nation in biblical Israel and Judah. We have advanced as a nation so quickly when you compare our history to those of other nations. It is because God blesses nations that follow Him. Sure, America was never perfect and still isn’t but in general over the first three centuries since we landed on the east coast of North America, we have been mightily blessed. By the time the 20th century rolled around the United States though a young country was a major player on the world stage. By the end of World War II, we are the big kid on the block. However, here in the 21st century, you see a nation very similar to Israel and Judah of the biblical era – chasing after what pleases us and disregarding God when his commands get in the way of us pleasing ourselves.

Let us pray that there will be a spiritual awakening in America. Let us pray that there will be a revival of belief in what the Bible teaches us. Let us pray that our self-seeking will be replaced with God-seeking. Let us pray that we do not continue down the path that is so very much like that of biblical Israel and Judah. Let us pray for a return to God.

Amen and Amen.

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