Let’s turn to II Kings, chapter fourteen. In the book of first and second Kings, we are following the history of two nations, in chronological order. So we jump back from the story of one kingdom, to the story of the other kingdom, and back and forth. For there was at the death of Solomon, a division of the kingdom of Israel, into the northern and southern; the northern kingdom being called Israel, the southern kingdom being called Judah. We’re trying to follow now the history of these two kingdoms, as we look at the kings and certain aspects of their reign. So it’s a lot of gear shifting, as we shift from the north to the south, from the south to the north, and back again. You have to sort of concentrate to keep up. “Are we in the north, or are we in the south?” Right now, in chapter fourteen, we’re in the south. We’re dealing with the reign of Amaziah.
And it was during the second year of the reign of Joash [In the north.] the son of Jehoahaz that Amaziah the son of Joash the king of Judah began to reign (14:1).
Now, there’s the problem is that, there are kings by same names, both in the north and the south, close to each other. The king in the north, Joash the son of Jehoahaz, and then Amaziah, who was the son of Joash, the king of the south.
He was twenty five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for twenty nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, yet not like David his father: he did according to all of the things as Joash his father did. Howbeit the high places were not taken away: as yet the people did sacrifice and burn incense on the high places (14:2-4).
Now under the law, it was commanded that they should bring their sacrifices unto the place that God would appoint. They weren’t to just offer sacrifices unto the Lord anywhere. But it developed that it was sort of an inconvenience to come to Jerusalem to sacrifice. So they had set these various altars in the high places, where they would sacrifice, and burn incense unto Jehovah. They weren’t worshiping pagan gods, they were worshiping Jehovah, but not in precisely the prescribed way. Thus it was a sign of weakness, and of disobedience, that the kings would allow these traditions to remain. This business of establishing other places of worship, high places, began back in the period of the judges. It became deeply ingrained into the traditions. The family would have their own altar and all, and it was hard to root out.
Only king Asa did that which was like his father, David. Then of course, later Hezekiah, the high places were removed. But, most all the way through you’ll find that he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, yet he didn’t remove the high places where the people burnt their sacrifices, and offered their incense. So it was always a sign of a partial, not complete commitment to the Lord. A compromise, in spiritual things. But, compromises in spiritual things are always a sign of spiritual weakness, when you begin to make compromises.
Now, the kingdom of course, was divided between the northern and the southern. The northern kingdom, known as Samaria, often, and from whence of course you have the Samaritans, which were sort of a mixed breed of people. You remember that at the time that Jesus was here, that as He went through Samaria, He met the woman of Samaria, who, after He had disarmed her, and she realized that He was a prophet, and could see right through her mask, she said, “Our fathers say that we are to worship God on this mountain”. The high place was Gerizim, where the Samaritans offered their sacrifice, where they have their yearly Passover. “You say Jerusalem?”, and what she was really asking is, “Where is the proper place to worship God?”, and Jesus answered, “Woman the day is coming, and now is, when they that worship God will neither worship in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, for God is a spirit, and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and truth”. God is seeking such to worship Him. But, the establishing of the high places. Other places to worship God, rather than the place prescribed by God, in Jerusalem. The sign of the compromises, it was a sign of spiritual weakness of the king. Though they did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not fully after the Lord. There was that compromise that was there. So, his father had been assassinated. Joash had been assassinated by his servants.
And it came to pass, as soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand, [As soon as he had established himself.] that he slew the servants which had slain the king his father. But the children of the murderers he did not slay: according to that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin (14:5-6).
Now an interesting thing about verse six, is that here Amaziah is following a command that is in the book of Deuteronomy. There were some scholars, biblical eggheads! Who had developed a theory that Deuteronomy was written much later in the history of the nation. It was suggested that the book of Deuteronomy was written during the time that Hezekiah was king, or even periods after that. These fellows sought to offer all kinds of proofs that the book of Deuteronomy was not an original part of the original Pentateuch, not written by Moses, but came along much later. Interesting that here in II Kings that they should quote from Deuteronomy, before it was ever written. Quite an amazing thing indeed!
He then fought against the Edomites in the valley of salt, and there he killed ten thousand, [Of the Edomites.] and he took Selah [Which is Petra.] by war, and he called the name of it Joktheel until this day. [Until the day that the guy was writing. However, later on it’s called Selah again by Isaiah, who lived not too much longer after this. So, the fellow who was originally recorded this, up until his day, it was still called Joktheel. But that name didn’t stick, and it went back to the city of Petra, which of course means, “rock”, in Greek.] Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, [Now there is a part of the history here, that we pick up in Chronicles, that isn’t recorded here, and we don’t understand fully, this particular portion of the story, except we have it from the book of Chronicles. Edom had about a hundred years earlier, rebelled against the uh, kingdom of Judah, which had subjugated it, and they were paying tribute. So he decided to go down and take Edom again. He gathered together an army of three hundred thousand men, and they hired a hundred thousand mercenaries from Israel to go with them. As they were going down to Edom, a prophet of God said, “Why would you lean upon an arm of flesh for victory over Edom? Why would you hire these mercenaries? God is able to deliver them unto you”. So, he sent the mercenaries home to Israel, but they were angry for being sent home. So as they went back home, they ripped up some of the cities of Judah. So when he came back from the victory over Edom, he sent messengers to the king of Israel, and really it was because of what these mercenaries from Israel had done. He said, Come and let’s look one another in the face, [In other words, he was challenging him to a fight. Challenging him to warfare.] And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah the king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son for a wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle (14:7-9).
Now it is a parable, and of course in the parable, the thistle was Amaziah, the cedar tree was Jehoash, and the desire to have his daughter as the husband’s bride was setting himself on an equal, with Jehoash. But Jehoash said, “A wild animal came by, and knocked over, trode down the thistle”. In other words, “You’re nothing man! You know, you’re a thistle trying to find equality with a cedar tree, but a little wild animal can knock you over!”.
You have indeed [he said] smitten Edom, and your heart has lifted you up: glory in this, and stay home: for why should you meddle to your hurt, that you should fall, even you, and Judah with you (14:10)?
Jehoash sent back a message with a parable, and said, “Look, you’re excited, you’re proud, because you’ve had a victory over Edom. Don’t get carried away. Just enjoy the victory that you have. Stay at home, and glory in your past accomplishments, but don’t meddle to your own hurt, to your own defeat”.
Oh that we would learn the lesson of the danger of meddling. How often we, as Christians even meddle in areas that we have no business being, with things which we have no business meddling with. The result of meddling is usually hurt, defeat. We meddle around with things the Lord specifically tells us we’re not to have anything to do with it. You meddle around in the world. The Lord said, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, for he that hath the love of the world in his heart, hath not the love of the Father”. Yet we see Christians meddling with things of the world. But it’s only to your own hurt. But we read…
Amaziah would not listen. Therefore Jehoash the king of Israel went up; [He took the aggressive. He rather than waiting to be attacked, he sent his troops south, to the area of Bethshemesh, which is the area where Samson hung out, in the earlier days.] and Amaziah the king of Judah looked one another in the face at Bethshemesh, [With Jehoash, the two of them.] And Judah was put to the worse before Israel; and they fled every man to his tents. And Jehoash the king of Israel took Amaziah the king of Judah, the son of Jehoash and he came to Jerusalem, and he broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, about six hundred feet. And he took all of the gold and the silver, and all of the vessels that were found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king’s house, and he took hostages, and returned to Samaria (14:11-14).
He had been warned not to meddle. He wouldn’t listen to the warning, and as a result he was defeated. As the result, he lost part of his defenses, as the wall of Jerusalem was torn down on the north side. His defenses destroyed, and his treasures were taken. Just because he wouldn’t listen, but insisted on meddling. So often is the case with us. We insist on meddling around, until we are defeated by the enemy. With that defeat comes the destruction of our defenses. You’re not as strong as you once were, having once given in, you don’t have the same defenses against it the second time, or the third, or the fourth. A valuable treasure is lost.
Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash [And that is going back north. This fellow who just wiped out Amaziah.] which he did, his might, and how he fought with Amaziah the king of Judah, are they not written in the book of chronicles of the kings of Israel? And Jehoash slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel; and Jeroboam his son reigned in his stead. And Amaziah the son of Joash the king of Judah lived after the death of Jehoash for fifteen years. And the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are not they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Now there was a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: [Against Amaziah.] and so he fled to Lachish; but they pursued after him to Lachish, and they killed him there. And they brought his body on horses: and buried him in Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David (14:15-20).
Now his father had been assassinated, and now he, is assassinated.
And all of the people of Judah took Azariah, who was only sixteen years old, and they made him the king instead of his father Amaziah. And Azariah built Elath, and restored it to Judah, and after that the king slept with his fathers (14:21-22).
Now Elath was down on the Red sea. It is in the area of the gulf of Aqabah, it is across from present Elat, which means that he again went into the area of Edom, and conquered the area of Edom. Now the name Azariah, may be more familiar with you, by the name of Uziah. He is called by both names. The name Azariah means, “The Lord is my help”. Uziah means, “The Lord is my strength”. We have a much more complete history of him in II Chronicles, than we have here in II Kings. He did reign for fifty two years. He was a popular king, and he had a powerful rule. During his reign, Judah prospered immensely. At the death of Azariah, is when Isaiah began to prophecy.
So we’re now beginning to put some of the prophets in perspective, as we come into this particular period of history. Around the year 26 B.C., and on down, we’re gonna be dealing with the area of the prophets of which books we have. So, thus as you read Isaiah, in chapter six, he said, “In the year that king Uziah died, and this would be the Azariah here, also known as Uziah. “I saw the Lord high and lifted up, and His train did fill the temple, then said I, ‘Woe is me!’, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell amongst people of unclean lips”. And this, the story of how the Seraphim came with a coal from the altar, and touched his lips, and the Lord said, “Who will go for me?”, and Isaiah said, “Here am I, send me”, and Isaiah’s commission to be the prophet came in the year that king Uziah died. So we’re beginning to move into the period of the prophets.
Now in the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash the king of Judah [And we’re introduced to Azariah here, and then we pop back to the northern kingdom, where we go back to Jeroboam. “In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash the king of Judah”,] Jeroboam the son of Joash the king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and he reigned for forty one years. He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord: [As did all of the other kings in the northern kingdom. Jeroboam, this would be the second, because the first king of the northern kingdom, was Jeroboam. “He did that which was evil”,] he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam [The first king.] the son of Nebat, [And he however, was a strong king from a military standpoint.] He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the Jehovah, God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah (14:23-25),
This is the Jonah that you know, from the book by his name. So this is the time of the prophet of Jonah, and the time of his prophecy. Also in the northern kingdom, during the reign of Jeroboam, there came Amos from Tekoa. Now Tekoa is south, and east of Bethlehem. And Amos came up to Jeroboam, and prophesied, concerning Jeroboam, and all. Thus, for extra credit, you should read the book of Amos, at this point. You’ll now get the prophecies of Amos in historic perspective, if you will read them and think of them in light of Jeroboam’s reign. Also, during this time, Hosea also was prophesying. So that’s another book that you’ll have to read. You don’t have to read Isaiah until next week. Because as we get into the son of Azariah, then you get into the time of Isaiah’s prophecy. But, it helps if you can, in the reading of these prophets, put them in their historic setting. Because, then you can understand so much better, the things that they are talking about, as they speak concerning the deterioration, spiritually of the kingdom and all. When you’re reading the historic part, along with the prophets, it helps immensely in getting the whole picture in perspective.
So, “Jeroboam began to reign, he did that which was evil, but he did have a powerful kingdom. And Jonah had prophesied that they were gonna expand the kingdom which they did.
And the Lord saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel. And the Lord said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash (14:26-27).
Without seeking to be disrespectful, or sounding blasphemous, it should be noted that, in a way, God is sort of a softie, in regards to His people. Very tender, very patient, very soft. Jeroboam was not a good king, he was doing that which was evil, but God looked upon the nation of Israel, “They’re my people”. Though they had turned their backs on God, and had forsaken the Lord, God had not yet forsaken them.
Wonderful thing about God. He is so slow to forsake His people. He saw them in their pitiful condition. Even though the pitiful condition was brought about by their own sin! Their own rebellion against God! Yet, God seeing them in this pitiful state, no one would stand with them. They had no allies, everybody was against them, which touched the heart of God. And, because everybody was against them, God was for them, and God helped them, reached out His hand to help them. O how patient, how loving, how kind, is the God that we serve! How quick to forgive, how slow to react in judgement. So the Lord saw the affliction. It was bitter. They had been shut up. Their enemies, they were surrounded by enemies. There was no one left to help them. God felt sorry for them. He didn’t say that He wouldn’t blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam, this king.
Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, all that he did, his might, how he warred, how he recovered Damascus, and Hamath, which belonged to Judah, for Israel, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? So Jeroboam slept with his fathers, even with the kings of Israel; and Zachariah his son reigned in his stead (14:28-29).
Now, the northern kingdom goes through some real times of anarchy.
But before we get to that we come back to Judah.
In the twenty seventh year of Jeroboam [Now remember he reigned for forty two years. “In the twenty seventh year”,] Azariah, [Or Uziah.] the son of Amaziah the king of Judah began to reign. He was sixteen years old when he began to reign, he reigned for fifty two years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem. He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done; Except that the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places. And the Lord smote the king, so that he was a leper unto the day of his death, and so he had to dwell in an isolated house. And Jotham the king’s son was over the house, judging the people of the land (15:1-5).
So there was a co-reigning of Uziah, with his son, Jotham. Now the Lord smote Uziah, it says, with leprosy. In II Chronicles, we are given the story of how it happened. He was a very popular king. He was a powerful king. He went into the temple, into the holy place, to burn incense before the altar of incense. The high priest, along with eighty other priests, came in and challenged him, and said, “What are you doing in here? It’s not been appointed for you to burn incense before the Lord. That’s the job of the priest. Get out of here!”, and Uziah raised his hand against the high priest, but as he did, they were amazed, because they saw this leprosy just break out all over his body. So the Lord smote him with this leprosy, because of his intrusion into an office to which he was not called. Now God called him to be a king. God did not call him to be a priest. And thus he had no right intruding into the area of the priesthood.
It’s important to know what God has called you to be, it’s important to be what God has called you to be, and it’s important not to try to be something God didn’t make you. I think that one of the many frustrations of the Christian experience, is created by our endeavor to be something that God didn’t make us. We hear people testify who God has called to be evangelists, and they have the gift of evangelism. They just are able to very easily, very naturally, share Christ on the airplane, in the airport, and at the ticket counter, and to the gal who sells them the tickets, and to the gal who takes the tickets. I mean, they just have the gift of evangelism. As they’re sharing how they witness to this one, and that one, and the other one, and all, we think, “My I’m such a, a failure for God, I don’t witness!”, or “I don’t talk to people like that everywhere I go”, you know, and so I think I’m failing God and so we then endeavor to be an evangelist. If God hasn’t called you to be an evangelist, you’re gonna be out of, out of your territory trying to be an evangelist. You’re gonna be frustrated, you’re gonna be miserable. It’s always frustrating to try to be something God didn’t make me. I know that, because for years I sought to be an evangelist. I wanted to be an evangelist. I just felt that I wanted to, and I tried to be an evangelist. Oh the struggle, and oh the effort, and the frustrations of trying to be something didn’t call me to be!
The same is true, trying to do something God hasn’t called you to do. That’s one of the problems with the churches that have the theory that, you need to get everybody involved! So after they’re there the second Sunday, you hand them a Sunday school book, and say, “We need a teacher for second grade, and you know, we’ve chosen you. Go teach the second graders”. Well, you’re terrified of kids! But they’re pushing you into an area where God hasn’t called you. I’ll tell you when you’re trying to do something that God hasn’t called you to do, burn out comes fast.
I’ve heard an awful lot lately, about burn out, in fact there’s even been books written concerning ministerial burn out. A lot of seminars for pastors who are experiencing burn out. I don’t understand it, and I don’t have an understanding for it, and thus, I really don’t have much sympathy for it, because I don’t understand it. I just, it’s, it’s an area that, you talk about burn out, you think, “Burn out?”, you know. What are you burned out for? Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, my burden is light. He also said, “I delight to do thy will O Lord”. How can you get burned out in doing something that is your joy, your delight, and brings you more pleasure than anything else in all the world? It’s like a surfer saying, “Oh I’m getting burned out on surfing”, you know. Or a gourmet saying, “I’m getting burned out on hot fudge sundaes”, you know. Something you enjoy, something you delight in, how do you get burned out in it? I don’t know. The excitement, and the joy, just keeps you going.
So, Azariah attempted to do something that God had not called him to do. Going in to offer incense. Thus we read here, “Only that the Lord smote the king, so that he was a leper unto the day of his death”.
And the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? [Yes they are, and we’ll be looking at them when we get to the twenty sixth chapter of II Chronicles.] So Azariah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead (15:6-7).
Popular king, we’re gonna find that everybody was talking about him. He had developed a very strong and powerful reign.
Now back to the north, and chaos, chaos. Here’s fifty two years that the one fellow is king down there in Judah. But, up in the north, man they’re going through kings like they’re going out of style. So back in the north…
In the thirty eighth year of Azariah [Or Uziah] the king of Judah did Zachariah the son of Jeroboam [That is the previous king.] began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned for six months. He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as his fathers had done: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and assassinated him in the public before the people, he slew him, and he reigned in his stead (15:8-10).
So this fellow Shallum assassinated him and took over the throne.
And the rest of the acts of Zachariah, they’re written in the book of the chronicles. This was the word of the Lord which he spoke to Jehu, [You remember earlier, when Jehu wiped out the worship of Baal, and Jezebel, the Lord said, “Because of your zeal in doing this, I will give you four generations to sit upon the throne”. It was a longer dynasty than any other dynasty in the nation of Israel. The others were only three generations at the most. He had more generations, and so this was the fulfillment of the word of the Lord, from Elisha to Jehu.] saying, You sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation. And so it came to pass. Now Shallum [Who murdered the king to get the throne.] began to reign in the thirty ninth year of Uzziah the king of Judah; and he reigned for a full month in Samaria. [Things are getting bad.] For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and he smote Shallum the son of Jabesh, and he slew him, and reigned in his stead. And the rest of the acts of Shallum, and the conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel (15:11-15).
So uh, real anarchy is setting in as, you know they’re just murdering off the kings, one after another, and taking over the throne. A real period of deterioration, as far as the nation goes. They’re, they’re heading downhill fast, and they’re heading on out to the end of the history of the northern kingdom. It’s rapidly approaching. In this period of spiritual and civil confusion.
Then Menahem smote Tiphsah, and all that were therein, [Because the city of Tiphsah would not submit to him, but then he was brutal.] and because they would not open to him, therefore he smote it; and he ripped up the women who were with child. [The pregnant women.] And in the thirty ninth year of Azariah the king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned for ten years. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord: [And you get the same old sad story. During that time,] Pul the king of Assyria came against the land: and Menahem [Bought him off.] he gave Pul two thousand talents of silver, [About two million dollars,] which he exacted from the wealthy men of Israel.(15:16-19).
Fifty talents from each he exacted from them, and uh, paid off Pul, the Assyrian king. This is the first mention of Assyria, but it begins to rise now, in power. The king, Pul, took the title of Tiglathpileser, and so we will be looking at him again soon, under the title Tiglathpileser, but his name was actually, Pul. From history, we have learned that they are one and the same. So there is an account, and the history records of Assyrian that were discovered by the archeologists, in which he makes mention of this Menahem, king of Samaria, paying him tribute. So a historic confirmation of what the bible declares here, “The thousand talents of silver that were paid to the Assyrian king, so that he would not attack them.
And Menahem exacted the money from the mighty men of wealth, each man paid fifty shekels, [He went to Forbes 200 and got the money. Ha, ha!] So the king of Assyria turned back, and did not invade the land. The rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of chronicles of the kings of Israel? And Menahem slept with his fathers; and Pekahiah his son reigned in his stead. And in the fiftieth year of Azariah the king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, he reigned for two years. He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord: continued in the sins of the first king Jeroboam. But Pekah the son of Remaliah, the [Captain of his counsel.] captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king’s house, with Arbog and Arieh, and with him the fifty men of the Gileadites: so he was assassinated. [Pekahiah was assassinated by Pekah, so it gets again, a little confusing.] In the fifty second year of Azariah [That is the year that he died.] Pekah began to reign in Samaria over Israel, he reigned for twenty years. Did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord: and during his reign, Tiglathpileser the king of Assyria, took some of the cities, [Began to wipe them out.] Ijon, Abelbethmaachaah, and Jenoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and all of the Galilee region, the area that belonged to the tribe of Naphtali, and he began to carry them away captives to Assyria (15:20-29).
Now, this is the Assyria that Jonah was called to go and prophesy to. Now you begin to see why Jonah didn’t want to go. Because Assyria had begun to attack Israel, and they were the enemies of Israel. The Assyrians were extremely cruel. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria. They were extremely cruel. They would carry off the people from the land, and then they would bring other people to inhabit the land. They sought to completely demoralize the people, by taking them away from their homes. They would replant them in other areas, so that they would not have the strength of unity. There’d be just little pockets of them, completely outnumbered in other areas. They lost the sense of national identity. The purpose was to wipe out national identity, and to wipe out any thought of rebellion.
The Assyrians also would brutalize their captives, mutilating their bodies, cutting off their noses, or gouging out their eyes, or cutting off their tongues. They were extremely cruel, and thus, Jonah had no desire to go to Nineveh. His fear was, he knew God was gracious and merciful, and if he prophesied and preached there, he might be successful, and then Ninevites might repent, and he knew that God was soft, and if they repented, God wouldn’t wipe them out! He was just determined he wasn’t gonna go. Because, it might be a successful campaign and they might be saved, and he didn’t want that. So he decided to head to Tarsus. Just the jumping off place of the world. “No place but Nineveh Lord, I won’t go”.
Of course, we know then the story of Nineveh, but you remember in the story, when the Ninevites repented, the king put on sackcloth, and ashes, and dust on him, and he repented before the Lord. The Lord was merciful and He spared Nineveh, and Jonah was out sitting under the tree, waiting really to see the judgement fall, and it didn’t come. He was pouting, and he was angry, and the Lord says, “Hey, what are you so angry about?”, he said, “I knew this was gonna happen! I knew that you’re merciful and gracious, and I just figured this was gonna happen, you know! Why didn’t you kill em’!”. He was really angry, because God didn’t kill the people he preached to. I know some ministers that are sort of that way too. Ha, ha! But, upset with God because the people had repented and were saved. He wanted to see them wiped out. That of course, was his reluctance in going.
But now, Assyria begins to come upon the scene, and the northern kingdom of Israel ultimately falls to Assyria completely. Here, they are greatly weakened. In time Assyria will come and destroy them completely, in a short time. We’re getting out to the end of Israel soon, and Assyria will be the one who will come and conquer over them. So during the time that Pekah was reigning, is when Assyria, under Tiglathpileser began to really move against the nation of Israel.
Now Hoshea made a conspiracy against Pekah, and he smote him, and killed him, and he reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah. [So we see how really dangerous it was to become the king over Israel. You’re really sort of signing your death warrant, because someone’s out to get you!] And the rest of the acts of Pekah, all that he did, behold, they’re written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel (15:30-31).
Now, going back to the south.
In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel began Jotham the son of Uzziah the king of Judah to reign. He was twenty five years old when he began to reign. he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok. And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord: he did all that his father Uzziah had done. Howbeit he still allowed the high places to remain: and the people sacrificed and burned the incense in the high places. He built the higher gate of the house of the Lord. The rest of the acts of Jotham, all that he did, are written in the book of chronicles. And the Lord began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah. And Jotham slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David (15:32-38).
So we come to the beginning of the reign of Ahaz over Judah, and Ahaz was one of the exceptions, as far as Judah is concerned. He was a wicked king, and we’ll get into his reign in our next lesson. But, following back and forth, not the easiest thing in the world, but, you guys are doing great! I must commend you. You’re hanging in there, and I’m proud of you, I really am. Shall we stand.
May the Lord be your strength, as you go in His name. May He guide you with His counsels, with His wisdom. May you experience the joy of the Lord in your heart this week, as you see the blessings of God, and the work of His Spirit. May the peace of Christ, which passes human understanding, just fill your heart and your life, as you give thanksgiving unto God, for all of His goodness, and His blessings. May you have a glorious time, as you worship the Lord, and give thanks around the table, and as you remember, and recount, the wonderful things that God has done for us. May it be just a special week, of the work of God’s Spirit within your life, as you’re enriched in your walk with Jesus Christ. God bless you, and keep you in His love, always.