As we move through the book of 2 Kings, we’ve seen a lot of deceit, mayhem, conniving, and war. We see who was, and who wasn’t, on God’s side.
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It’s always bad when you sin. It’s worse when you sin and cause someone else to sin right along with you. And that’s just what Joash did. Seventeen years, he reigned, and kept right on sinning.
God’s anger with Israel finally came to the point that he allowed the king of Syria to come up against them.
This line continued for quite some time, with Israel continuing to sin.
Elisha Becomes Sick
It came to be that Elisha got sick, and eventually died from the sickness. While he was still on his deathbed, however, Joash came and cried over him, calling him father.
Elisha instructed him to take a bow and arrow and shoot them, and Elisha put his hands over Joash’s hands while he shot. Elisha prophesied the victory he would have over Syria and told Joash to take arrows and strike the ground.
Joash did just that, but only hit the ground three times. Elisha rebuked him for it, telling him he should have hit the ground five or six times, but because he only did so three times, then that is all the victory they would have over Syria.
Miracles After Death
After Elisha died and was buried, the Moabites invaded the land the next year. At some point, about that time, there was a man that had died and he was cast into Elisha’s resting place. When that dead man made contact with Elisha’s bones, something amazing happened!
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 13:21
Nothing else is said about that man… who he was, what he did afterward, or whether or not he realized what had happened to him. Doesn’t it make you wonder, though?
Can you imagine? Finding yourself gasping in a second life’s breath, already in the grave, and realizing what had happened? I can only imagine there were many questions asked to someone nearby!
No Destruction Yet
Even in the midst of massive persecution by Syria, God’s grace never ran out. His compassion, as is common, FAILED NOT. He remembered the covenant He had made with Abraham, and with Isaac, and with Jacob, and he spared them and allowed them to remain in their presence.
Aren’t you glad that’s even more so the case now?
Amaziah came to power at the ripe old age of 25 and the second verse of this chapter says he reigned for 29 years. He did the right thing, in God’s eyes, but it makes a point to say that he did not do it as David had done. Instead, he did the things he had seen his father Joash do.
As soon as he became king, Amaziah killed every servant that had had a hand in killing his father when his father was king. However, he didn’t kill their children.
He remembered that the law of Moses said that fathers shouldn’t be killed for their children, nor children for their fathers. Every man would have to be put to death for his own sins alone.
Attempting to Meet with Jehoash
Amaziah sent word to Jehoash, to try to arrange a meeting, but it appears that Jehoash was not in a hurry to do that. When he did, however, he wound up breaking down the wall of Jerusalem and plundering all the gold, silver, vessels, and treasures. Then he took hostages and went back to Samaria.
After Jehoash died, Amaziah lived another 15 years.
However, the people conspired against him and killed him and buried him in Jerusalem.
Azariah Becomes King
After killing and burying Amaziah, they took his son, Azariah and made him king. Azariah was all of 16 years old at the time.
Shifting back to Israel, we see that God still refuses to blot out Israel’s name from under heaven. He chose to save them, using Jeroboam, the son of Joash.
Jeroboam managed to win back Damascus and Hamath, which had previously belonged to Judah.
When Jeroboam died, Zachariah, his son, became king in his place.
It’s sometimes hard to keep up with all the kings, especially when trying to figure out which ones were kings of Israel, and which ones were Kings of Judah. Do you think this is a parallel between today’s “Israel” and “Palestine”?
I often think that all of this goes back to Isaac and Ishmael. Isaac, the true and promised son of Abraham and Sarah, was the rightful son. His lineage would be pure and refined before God. Ishmael, on the other hand, was the son of flesh, conceived when Sarah, in her impatience, gave her servant to Abraham, so that he might have a chance to have this “son” God had promised him.
And THAT is just a reminder, we should never let our flesh try to rush what God has already promised. After all… though the vision tarries… wait for it!
What do you think?
Father, we thank You for Your faithfulness in all things! We thank You that You remembered Your covenant then, and You still remember it today, for us! Help us, then, to remember too! Help us to remember Your faithfulness, Your steadfastness, but most of all, help us to remember that You won’t give up on us. In Jesus mighty Name we pray, Amen.