2 Kings 13:1–14:29
Below we have a chart of the kings of Israel and Judah. In today’s section of our reading we will cover the reigns of Jehoahaz, Joash, and Jeroboam II in Israel. We will also cover the reign of Amaziah in Judah.
Jehoahaz reigned seventeen years in Israel. He did evil in the sight of the LORD. During his reign Israel was severely disciplined by God who used the Syrians to the degree of describing Israel as the dust at the threshing floor (2 Kings 13:7).
After Jehoahaz, his son Joash reigned in his place. As we see with all the kings of Israel, he did evil in the sight of the LORD; both him and his father walked in the sins and idolatry of Jeroboam the first king of Israel. Joash even named his son Jeroboam, who succeeded him on his throne.
There’s an interlude of Elisha becoming sick with the illness of which he would die. But before he dies, he calls the king of Israel to him, for in God’s mercy He wants bless the nation. Elisha asks the king to grab a bow and arrow. Elisha puts his hands on the kings hands and they shoot an arrow out the east window.
2 Kings 13:17b (NKJV) “…and he said, ‘The arrow of the LORD’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them.’”
Then Elisha asks King Joash to take the arrows and strike the ground with it.
I can’t say for certain, but the king may have done this nonchalantly, with no enthusiasm, maybe even wondering what this strange request was all about. The reason I say that, is because Elisha was upset.
2 Kings 13:19 (NKJV) “And the man of God was angry with him, and said, ‘You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times.’”
Might it be our lack of passion, enthusiasm, diligence, and faith that get in the way of what God wants to do? Israel would only experience partial and temporary victory.
Elisha’s ministry continued even after he died. When a dead man’s body touched Elisha’s bones – the man was brought to life. God testifying to the fact that this was indeed a special man of God.
In the second year of the reign of King Joash of Israel, Amaziah was crowned king of Judah. Amaziah reigned twenty nine years in Jerusalem. Amaziah was a comparatively good king who did what was right in the sight of the LORD. We have an example of him doing things according to God’s Word, which is all God asks of rulers and those in positions of authority. Unfortunately Amaziah’s heart was lifted up in pride after a few victories (it can happen to any of us) and he picked a fight with Israel that he shouldn’t have. He was soundly defeated, but not killed – Judah suffered great loss.
In the fifteenth year of Amaziah, Jeroboam II became king of Israel. His reign was extensive – forty one-years. He did evil in the sight of the LORD and did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam I. God did use him to restore land to Israel, but it wasn’t because it was something they merited. It was due to God’s grace, and mercy, and covenant with his ancestors. We see that in 2 Kings 14:27 and earlier in:
2 Kings 13:23 (NKJV) “But the LORD was gracious to them, had compassion on them, and regarded them, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not yet destroy them or cast them from His presence.”
Amaziah, king of Judah was tragically killed by a conspiracy against him. The people took his son Azariah and make him in his stead.
It’s the history of Israel and Judah. So many kings. So much heartache. Even today the politics and politicians muster up the same emotions, some good, most not so good. We’ll do our best and pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2) but don’t you look and long for the day when King Jesus will rule? I know I do.
We now enter in to Paul’s Third Missionary Journey. He’s on the road again, “strengthening all the disciples.” (Acts 18:23) The Greek word translated “strengthening” has a lot to do with infusing confidence and encouragement into the church. How important it is to convincingly tell the people, “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!” (Philippians 4:13)
Paul is not the only one being used by God, next thing you know there’s a man named Apollos, who’s gifted and passionate, and mighty in the Old Testament Scriptures, but needs some guidance on the New Covenant. So, there’s Aquila and Priscilla, faithful, and loving, taking him aside and taking the time to teach him accurately. Afterwards, when he’s got the gospel down, they vouch for him as he heads to Corinth, where God will use him mightily.
Paul finally arrived in Ephesus. It was a great city, some say it had over 300,000 inhabitants. Paul had attempted to minister there during his 2nd Missionary Journey, but he was forbidden by the Holy Spirit (Acts 16:6)…finally, it’s God’s perfect timing.
When he arrived in Ephesus, Paul found some men who claimed to be disciples, but Paul noticed that there was something missing in their lives. He asked them if they’d received the Holy Spirit when they believed. They hadn’t even heard of the Holy Spirit. It turns out they had only gone as far as the baptism of John. So Paul shared the Gospel with them, the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. They believed and were baptized; afterwards Paul laid hands on them to pray over them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them.
This is an important section of Scripture, for this is one of the keys to the Christian life; that prior to conversion, the Holy Spirit is “with” you when He attempts to convict and draw you to the Lord. At the moment of conversion, the Holy Spirit comes to live “in” you and the believer becomes the Temple of God. But there is also a distinct experience of the Holy Spirit coming “upon” you, this is the beginning of something that should take place daily, the Personal power of the Holy Spirit. We need His power to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:18).
As the disciples were saved and filled, God did an absolutely wonderful work in Ephesus. As usual, Paul spoke boldly in the Synagogue. As usual some believed, and many opposed speaking evil of the Way (Christianity). Paul then did something different. He reasoned and taught in the school of Tyrannus. Notice the results:
Acts 19:10 (NKJV) “And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.”
Acts 19:11-12 reveals some fascinating miracles God did through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons worn by him were used to heal people. No doubt a special time of grace – and a testimony to the faith of those who were healed.
Hallelujah is Hebrew for, “Praise the LORD.”
We will praise Him in heaven, but then it won’t be by faith – it will be by sight. It’s only here, “while I live,” on this side of time that I can praise Him by faith.
May we praise God from the heart, with our whole being.
We love all people and honor our leaders but we must not put our trust in them. Our trust and happiness come only from God.
Psalm 146:5 (NKJV) “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his God.”
Our hope and helper is the same One who made the heavens and the earth, who keeps truth and justice, who gives food to the hungry and freedom to prisoner.
The latter is a literal truth, but it’s also a deeper truth. Before I was a Christian, I was a prisoner to drugs, alcohol, and so much more, I was in bondage to sin. I was headed for an eternal prison, a home forever in hell. But Jesus set me free from every prison I was in – this is who He is. And this is why we praise Him.
He gives sight to the blind. He lifts up the lowly, He loves us and watches over us all. He takes special care of the orphans and widows.
He will bring justice to the wicked…on that day when He makes every wrong right and reigns, forever and ever.
V. 2 – We’ve all met people like this, they don’t really want to understand others, they only want to express themselves. These are usually the same people who are not interested in what God’s Word shares, they simply want to share their heart (that can be very scary – Jeremiah 17:9).
V. 3 – When wickedness arrives, contempt, or lack of respect does too.
That inevitably leads to dishonorable conduct, which is accompanied by shame, or reproach.
We will always have the wicked in this world, so it’s not something we can (or should) altogether avoid on this side of time. Let’s just make sure to do our best not to be wicked ourselves, and not to allow such people “in” to such a degree that they influence us, our families and flocks, for evil.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.