Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Apr 24, 2 Kgs 9-11

Today's readings are 2 Kgs 9-11.

Elijah had been told to anoint Jehu (son of Nimshi) as king in 1 Kings 19:16 but failed to do so. Elisha takes up the charge. He sends a messenger to do the anointing with a warning to get out as soon as possible 2 Kgs 9:1-10. Apparently, as we will see, Jehu can be a little volatile. Jehu will be the only king of the Northern Kingdom that is anointed by a prophet of God.

Jehu assassinates both the king of Israel, Joram and the king of Judah, Ahaziah (2 Kgs 9:14-29). Joram is King Ahab’s son. Joram is executed on the site that once belonged to Naboth. Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, had Naboth murdered to get his vineyard for the king (1 Kgs 21:1 ff). Jehu also executes Jezebel. Before her body can be removed, dogs eat it, leaving little (2 Kgs 9:30-37). Prophecy concerning Ahab and Jezebel is precisely fulfilled.

The prophecies concerning Ahab and Ahaziah had been that both families would be wiped out. Jehu eliminates all of Ahab’s family in 2 Kgs 10:1-17. The prophecy about Ahab’s family was handed down multiple times. It was given by Elijah in 1 Kgs 21:20-24, 29, then again by Elisha’s messenger in 2 Kgs 9:7-10. In the process of eliminating Ahab’s family, Jehu also massacres Ahaziah’s family (2 Kgs 10:12-14) and all the worshippers of Baal (2 Kgs 10:18-27). Jehu is cleaning house and doing it with zeal!

The sins of the fathers, in this case, evil kings from both kingdoms, have been brought down on their entire families and the courts as well. We learn that there are no “private sins” that have no impact on those around us. This is why God calls for His people to strive for holiness. Any sin one commits affects the entire body. Ahab’s story and Ahaziah’s as well, are brutal but what’s brutal are not God’s actions—but the effects of sin.

Jehu reigns in Israel but is not thorough in eliminating idol worship by leaving golden calves in Bethel and Dan (2 Kgs 10:28-31). Nor is he completely committed to obeying God’s commandments (2 Kgs 10:31). Apparently, Jehu has not learned the lesson about Ahab’s and Ahaziah’s family and the devastation unrepentant sin can bring. Nonetheless, Jehu is the recipient of God's grace and is honored in Scripture among the kings of Israel (2 Kgs 10:30). God is merciful.

However, Jehu’s lack of total commitment comes with a price. Israel begins to lose territory. The first areas to go are the ones east of the Jordan river, where the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh settled (2 Kgs 10:32-33). They were the tribes that settled for land other than the Promised Land, which was west of the Jordan.
In 2 Kings 11:1, we see the story of Athaliah, the Judean counterpart to Jezebel. She tries to destroy all the descendants of David, but God has promised David that one of his descendants would always occupy the throne. God makes good on His promise by protecting and preserving one young boy, Joash (2 Kgs 11:2-3).

Jehoiada the priest not only protects Joash but crowns him king (2 Kgs 11:4-12).  The priest has Athaliah executed along with her followers (2 Kgs 11:13-16). Because of the work of Jehoiada and the fact that Joash becomes a godly king, there is peace in Judah (2 Kgs 11:17-20. Notice, when the king and the priest are devoted to God and His word, there is peace. One day, both offices will be filled by one person, Jesus Christ, who will bring a peace that goes beyond understanding.  

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