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15th April

2 Kings 15-17; Psalm 105

Bible in a Year
6 minutes
In this article
15th April

2 Kings 15-17; Psalm 105

Bible in a Year
6 minutes


So far in 1-2 Kings, we've read through Solomon's reign, the splitting of the kingdom, and the era of kings and prophets. Solomon's reign began with eliminating his rivals. He then asked God for wisdom, which led to peace and prosperity in Israel. Solomon built the temple and his palace but disobeyed God by accumulating wealth, horses, and marrying foreign wives, leading to idol worship.

God told Solomon his kingdom would be divided after his death: Israel in the north under Jeroboam and Judah in the south under Rehoboam. Jeroboam led the northern tribes in worship of other gods. After Jeroboam, leaders like Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, and Ahab followed in Israel, all doing evil. In Judah, Rehoboam also did evil, as did his son Abijam. Then came Asa, who returned the people to God but relied on Syria instead of God when attacked. He was replaced by his son, Jehoshaphat.

The story shifted to Elijah, a prophet who condemned Ahab for idolatry and predicted a drought. Elijah performed miracles, defeated Baal's prophets, and fled from Jezebel. He met God, anointed new leaders, and chose Elisha as his successor. We read as Elijah was taken to heaven, and Elisha stepped up to fill his place. We saw Elisha performing many of the miracles Elijah had done.

Syria started warring against Israel. They tried to capture Elisha so he couldn't help Israel, but he blinded them. They then sieged the capital Samaria, and the people turn to cannibalism as was predicted back in Deuteronomy 28:53. But God was still in control and the siege was lifted. Elisha then visited the king of Syria to predict his death, and saw the terrible things that the new king, Hazael, would do to Israel.

This then started the section of the book focused on Israel's journey to exile. Elisha anoints Jehu as king in the north who process to kill Joram king of Israel, Ahaziah king of Judah, Jezebel, and all the Baal worshipers in Israel. In Judah, Ahaziah's mother, Athaliah, led wickedly before one of Ahaziah’s son, Joash, was old enough to reclaim the throne. Yesterday, we read as Joash sought to rebuild the temple, only to take all the wealth of the temple and give it to Hazael to stop Syria from attacking. Hazael and the northern kings waged war against each other. After Hazael died, Jehoash king of Israel won three battles against his son Ben-hadad. In Judah, Joash died and his son Amaziah led the people well but picked a fight with Jehoash king of Israel and Jerusalem was sacked. Amaziah was murdered and replaced by his son, Azariah.

2 Kings 15-17

Yesterday we read how, in Judah, Amaziah served God well, but then got over confident, picked a fight with Israel, and got defeated. Because of this, some of his servants killed him and replaced him with his son Azariah. Meanwhile, in Israel, Jeroboam was king, and though he was evil, God was using him to build up Israel once again.

Today we read how Azariah was a good king in Judah, but didn’t remove the cultic places of worship, and God struck him with leprosy. Azariah's son Jotham did most of the leading of the kingdom for his father. Next we move over to Israel and get a load of kings one after the other. It is almost the end of the kingdom of Israel, and we see how it becomes more and more chaotic towards the end. More and more of the kings end up being killed off and replaced by other people.

After Jeroboam came his son Zechariah. Zechariah was killed and replaced by a man called Shallum. Shallum reigned one month before he was killed by Menahem, who reigned for 10 years. During Menahem's reign, we meet the Assyrians. These guys are serious. As we will see, they are much more dangerous than any other enemy the people of God have faced.

Menahem pays the king of Assyria a serious amount of silver to help him secure his reign over Israel. After Menahem came his son Pekahiah, who reigned two years before being killed by one of his officers, Pekah. Pekah reigned twenty years, and it is in his reign we see the Assyrians start doing some serious damage to Israel. They attack Israel and capture some major areas, including the entire land of the tribe of Naphtali. Israel has now lost one of its tribes. It's a terrifying moment for Israel. Pekah is murdered and replaced with Hoshea.

Jumping back to Judah, Jotham is now properly king, though he had been ruling under his father before. Jotham does good and leads the people well. After Jotham comes Ahaz, who might be the worst king Judah has had so far. He leads the people in worship to other gods and he introduces child sacrifice, sacrificing his own child.

The kings of Syria and Israel join up to fight him, but Ahaz is able to hold them off. He then raids the temple for all its riches and sends them to the king of Assyria to ask for his help. The king of Assyria uses this as a great opportunity to claim some land from the Syrians, taking the city of Damascus. Ahaz meets the king of Assyria there and sees the design of an altar that he likes.

He sends the design back to his priests in Judah and gets them to replace the main altar in God's temple with this new one. He then removes a lot of the items from the temple and replaces them with bits he likes. Ahaz is ruining God's temple, the holy place where God dwells. As we're reading how Israel is slowly getting destroyed because it has turned away from God, we're also seeing Judah begin to do the same. This is not good.

Jumping back to Israel one last time, Hoshea is now king, but he's basically a puppet for Assyria. The king of Assyria catches wind that Hoshea might be doing deals with Egypt to overthrow Assyria, and the Assyrians come down hard. They capture Hoshea and lock him up. They then raided all of Israel and carry the people into exile.

The kingdom of Israel no longer exists, it has finally been destroyed. And the writer leaves us with no doubt why this happened. 'this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God' (2 Kings 17:7). The Israelites had repeatedly sinned against God. They had worshipped idols and other gods. And God had tried to warn them. Back when Moses led them, he warned them of what would happen if they ever turned from God. And even since then, God has sent prophet after prophet to warn the Israelites to turn back and follow God.

We then read of how the Assyrians repopulate the land with people from other nations. God sends lions to attack those people because they are not living according to his ways. The Assyrians send one of the exiled priests back to Israel to teach these new people how to live. And it kind of works. These new people learn to fear the God of Israel, but they also continue to worship their own gods. Other half the people of God have been taken into slavery. All we are left with is those in the kingdom of Judah. But we've seen them also begin to turn away from God. Will they be able to avoid the same fate as Israel?

Psalm 105

This psalm is not attributed to anyone and falls into the category of praise palm. It recounts Israel’s history from the covenant made with Abraham through to God providing for the people in the wilderness.

Psalm 105:1-6 - A call to give thanks

Psalm 105:7-15 - Recounting God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

Psalm 105:16-22 - The story of Joseph

Psalm 105:23-38 - Israel’s time in Egypt

Psalm 105:39-45 - God’s provision in the wilderness

The psalmist starts with a call to give thanks to the Lord for his works. They tell others to ‘give thanks’, ‘sing’, ‘glory’, ‘seek’, and ‘remember’. God is worthy of their praise, and they should seek God’s presence continually, remembering all that he has done. The psalmist then specifics who they are speaking to, the Israelites; offspring of Abraham and Jacob.

The psalmist then turns to the covenant God made with his people forever. A covenant made with Abraham, promised to Isaac, and confirmed with Jacob. A covenant saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as your portion for an inheritance.” During this time, which this small family had no land, they wondered around from nation to nation. God’s protection was over them.

Then we move to the story of Joseph. There was a famine in the land, but God had sent Joseph to Egypt ahead of his family. Initially, it was a slave and a prisoner, but as Joseph’s words as a prophet proved themselves, he was freed from slavery and made to rule over Egypt.

Then the rest of the family came to Egypt and God made them fruitful. They grew many and strong, and the Egyptians turned against them. So God sent Moses and Arron to perform many miracles, including darkness during the day, to waters turning to blood, swarms of frogs and flies, hail, locusts and the death of the firstborns. Eventually, Egypt were so happy to see the Israelites gone that they sent them off with silver and gold.

Now in this wilderness, God led his people with pillars of cloud and fire. He provided food and water for them all because of his initial promise to Abraham. God brought his people out of Egypt with joy and singing and brought them into their promised land, as long as they remained faithful to him.

The lesson of this psalm is clear. Look how faithful and generous God has been with his people in the past. He will do the same again, as long as they remain faithful to him.

Anything you think I've missed? Maybe you've got a question that still needs answering. Send me a message over on my Instagram (@brynjoslin). I'd love to talk it through with you some more.

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