2 Kings 14:28-29 – When There Is Nothing Spiritually Remarkable to Report

Posted: August 3, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 14:28-29

The End of Jeroboam II’s Reign in Israel

Show me your checkbook and I will show you what you worship. It is an old saying that packs a punch. I think too we should add the sentence, show me your calendar and I will show you what you worship. Between these two phrases, it pretty much sums it up. Whatever our spending priorities are and whatever our time priorities are go a long way toward showing what we worship.

If our finances show that we spend a lot of money on certain things, trinkets, toys, activities, and then give God what’s leftover. Who is it or what is it that we worship? If we purchase houses and cars and jet skis and vacations and other toys that demand so much of our income that we can’t work giving to the Lord into our budget, what is it that we worship. If we are so strapped financially that we cannot assist a friend or even a stranger in need and rationalize it away by saying that the government will help them, what is it that we are worshiping? If a college or pro football team is a determiner as to whether you attend church on Sunday morning, what is it that you worship? If your child’s sports activities prevent you from going to church regularly or participating in weeknight bible study or small group, what is it that we worship? If we cannot spend time with a friend who needs us to listen because we are always on the go, what is it that we are worshiping? If we would love to volunteer for a good cause but we cannot work it into our schedule. What is it that we are worshiping?

That’s the culture that Jeroboam II created in the northern kingdom. Sure, the kingdom did better economically and from a national security standpoint than any other time after Solomon’s reign, but the society had lost its soul. All it cared about was material gain and whoever has the best toys is the winner. That society that he created is the society that we live in now in the grand pursuit of The American Dream. Whomever has the most toys in the end wins. We are seeking things instead of God. We pursue activities that are intended to fulfill us rather than honoring God in how we spend our time. I am not saying that God does not want us to have toys and does not want us to have fun in our lives. He wants us to have a well-balanced life and He is not against us having nice things. However, when we push Him out of the way and make pursuit of things our god, then, it becomes idolatry. We worship what we place greatest importance on.

With that in my mind, we now read of Jeroboam II’s death. It is clear that the period of his reign was unremarkable from a spiritual standpoint. As we have seen, when there is nothing glorifying to God, the author of 2 Kings defers to the secular Jewish history book of the time, The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel and quickly moves onto the next king. There is a lesson for that in and of itself. Let’s read the passage, 2 Kings 14:28-29, now:

28 The rest of the events in the reign of Jeroboam II and everything he did—including the extent of his power, his wars, and how he recovered for Israel both Damascus and Hamath, which had belonged to Judah[a]—are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. 29 When Jeroboam II died, he was buried in Samaria[b] with the kings of Israel. Then his son Zechariah became the next king.

In this passage, we see Jeroboam II’s death. We know more from other OT books about him that we do from the chronology of kings in 2 Kings. We understand from the books of Hosea and Amos, that Jeroboam II had no devotion to God, yet under his warlike policies and skillful administration, Israel enjoyed a renaissance of sorts for a while in its power and material prosperity. It was the best period for the northern kingdom from an economic sense and from a national security standpoint since the days of Solomon. The prophets Amos and Hosea tell us, however, what was really happening within the kingdom. Jeroboam’s policies ran roughshod over the rights of the poor and oppressed. As a result, the rich became richer and the poor became poorer. The people became self-centered relying more on their own sense of self-reliance (power, security, possessions) than on God. The poor were so oppressed that it was hard for them to believe God noticed their plight.

Material prosperity is not always an indication of God blessing. It can also be a result of self-centeredness. If you are experiencing prosperity, remember that God holds us accountable for how we attain and how we use our wealth. Everything we have really belongs to Him. We must always put God first in our financial thought patterns. We should honor Him first. Give Him our first and best of our resources before satisfying our personal desires. Even in meeting our personal desires, we should ask the question as to whether we are honoring God in how we spend our money after having given to God. Will this be the legacy that we leave?

What are we going to be remembered for? Are we going to be remembered for the toys that we gathered while we were here on earth and the time we spent on gathering them? Are we going to be remembered for the time we spent on selfish desires? Will we be like the long line of kings of Israel and Judah where there was nothing spiritually remarkable to report? How will we be remembered?

May our legacy be one where there are people that are left behind after our death that know Jesus Christ because we were there. May our legacy be one where there are people that see their intersection with our lives as the pivotal moment in their lives where everything changed. That moment where they met Jesus through our witness and everything changed. May our legacy be one that people looked to us for godly advice. May our legacy be one that people knew that God came first in our time and came first in our finances. May our legacy be one where there will be something spiritually remarkable to report.

Amen and Amen.

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