2 Kings 15:8-12 – Destroyed From Within: No Need For Foreign Conquest

Posted: August 9, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 15:8-12

Zechariah Reigns in Israel

It was Nikita Kruschev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party in the former Soviet Union, equivalent of being the head of state, the president, of the USSR, once said back in 1961 that “we do not have to destroy America with missiles. America will destroy itself from within!” That statement is what I immediately thought of when I was reading this passage for today, 2 Kings 15:8-12, and already knowing what is to follow in 2 Kings. Israel had been descending into a self-centered, self-involved, idol worshiping nation since the end of Solomon’s reign. Now, here, we see the beginning of the end. With the assassination of Zechariah, it set off a chain of events that so thoroughly weakened the northern kingdom that it was easy prey for conquest by the Assyrian empire. They basically were able to walk into the northern kingdom and take over without shooting an arrow or chucking a spear. Why? Because the northern kingdom was so preoccupied with its own internal power struggles, greed and avarice and the people were so consumed with seeking their own pleasures, that the nation did not focus on its common defense or its national security.

That’s what Kruschev knew about America. We are victims of our own opulence. Just like a wealthy child, we have become spoiled to our own wants and desires. We have become so me-focused that we have lost the ability to place the needs of our country ahead of our own needs. We have become so concerned with own pleasures that we have become soft. We have become so me-centered that we believe only our way is the right way and to compromise would mean that we somehow dismissing our own beliefs. We have become so polarized that we cannot agree to disagree. We have become so polarized that we are willing to stalemate our government than compromise. It might surprise the left and the right of today’s political spectrum that it was compromise that the founding father’s built into our government – on purpose. The way they structured our government was to force compromise toward a more centrist approach to our nation’s response to issues. They wanted a government where it required us to compromise with one another, where no one got everything they wanted and everybody got a little something of what they wanted. Somewhere there in the middle lied the best interest of our country as a whole. Our parents’, grandparents’ and previous generations understood this. Beginning with my generation, with the post-World War II baby boomers forward, our country has become ridiculously wealthy by comparison to the rest of the world. Kruschev knew that our self-indulgence would lead us toward a me-centered society, toward being more concerned with our own rights than the good of our country, toward being wrapped up in our own self-seeking pleasures that we will be like the northern kingdom of Israel – so wrapped up in its own self-seeking that it was easy prey for the Assyrians.

I think it was Edmund Burke who said, “those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it!” We are the modern-day northern kingdom. We have so discounted the Bible as a source of guidance in our lives. We have so kicked God to the curb in our lives. We have so become just like the northern kingdom of Israel here in 2 Kings. Will we not recognize the similarities and the outcome that befell the northern kingdom? Will we repeat the fate that they had? Will Kruschev’s 1961 prophecy come true?

Let’s read the passage now with an eye toward what’s coming next but also how this passage is a reflection of the spiral downward, morally and nationalistically, of the northern kingdom. From here, in this passage, it only is going to get worse. Read it now:

8 In the thirty-eighth year of King Azariah of Judah, Zechariah son of Jeroboam reigned over Israel in Samaria six months. 9 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as his ancestors had done. He did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to sin. 10 Shallum son of Jabesh conspired against him, and struck him down in public and killed him, and reigned in place of him. 11 Now the rest of the deeds of Zechariah are written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 12 This was the promise of the Lord that he gave to Jehu, “Your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” And so it happened.

In this passage, we see the end of the lineage of former king Jehu in Israel. The death of this last king of the dynasty of Jehu saw the end of any legitimacy of the throne in the northern kingdom. Over the following 20 years, six different rulers attempted to govern the northern kingdom, but only one was to die naturally. Anarchy, rivalry and regicide led to terminal bloodshed which fulfilled Hosea’s prophecies (Hosea 1:4). Half a dozen ‘pseudo-kings’ would reign in rapid succession, one murderer replacing another on the throne, as the nation tottered on the brink of anarchy.

Will we ever get to the point that Israel got to here where kings are murdered and people are fighting to grab the throne? No, probably not. Our form of government was designed by our founding fathers to help prevent that. In order for us to have some despotic ruler, we would have to completely scrap the design of our government (which of course has been in placed since the Constitution was ratified by the required majority of states by December 7, 1787) – a system that has been in place for 232 years now. However, the history that we see here of the kingdom of Israel should be a mirror to us that we must return to God. We must put Him first in our lives before ourselves. When we do that, He makes us see the needs of others before the needs of myself. Then, we will be able to say, Nikita Kruschev, you were wrong. The thing that Satan likes is for history to repeat itself. He wants us not to read the Bible so that he can see the same outcomes of man’s behavior throughout history. It is only through God’s Word that we can see our mistakes through the mistakes of the biblical characters and the biblical nations.

May we return to God. May we study the mistakes of the northern kingdom so that we stop right where we are and turn toward God. May we prove Kruschev wrong.

Amen and Amen.

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