2 Kings 15 Ė 16 part 9

 

2 Kings 15:8 In the thirty-eighth year of Azariah king of Judah, Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reigned over Israel in Samaria six months.9 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, as his fathers had done; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin.10 Then Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and struck and killed him in front of the people; and he reigned in his place.11 Now the rest of the acts of Zechariah, indeed they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.12 This was the word of the LORD which He spoke to Jehu, saying, "Your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation." And so it was.

 

This section of scripture shows us another promise fulfilled by God. If you will remember Jehu had played a big part in Godís promise to eliminate the household of Ahab, so God promised him that he sons would sit on the throne until the 4 generation. Well, Zechariah is in the 4th generation and even though his reign only lasted 6 months, God promised was fulfilled.

 

When Shallum killed Zechariah, he was fulfilling part of the prophecy of Hosea.

 

Hosea 1:4 Then the LORD said to him: "Call his name Jezreel, For in a little while I will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, And bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.5 It shall come to pass in that day That I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel."6 And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him: "Call her name Lo-Ruhamah, For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, But I will utterly take them away.

 

This is interesting prophecy because the house of Jehu would be punished for the bloodshed of Ahabís sonís and those associated with them even though God told Jehu to do this. So, why is he being punished for this? First, Ido not believe that Jehuís household is being punished for following Godís command. Instead, I believe his household is being punished because he didnít carry out Godís command just because God commanded it he also did because it benefited him. Jehu did not fully respect God because when studied about him earlier we learned that he was also worshipping false Godís at the same time (2 Kings 10:29). This shows us that a person can do what God has asked them to do, but if they donít do it for the right reason they can still face the wrath of God.

 

The second part of Hoseaís prophecy is talking about the utter destruction of the Northern kingdom. God has shown great mercy for this wicked kingdom and he has been longsuffering toward them, but no more. Godís mercy isnít endless and very soon the Northern kingdom will cease to exist.

 

 

 

 

2 Kings 15:13 Shallum the son of Jabesh became king in the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned a full month in Samaria.14 For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, came to Samaria, and struck Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria and killed him; and he reigned in his place.15 Now the rest of the acts of Shallum, and the conspiracy which he led, indeed they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.16 Then from Tirzah, Menahem attacked Tiphsah, all who were there, and its territory. Because they did not surrender, therefore he attacked it. All the women there who were with child he ripped open.

 

Shallum takes second place for the shortest reign of Israel. We are not told much about him other than him murdering Zechariah and then being killed by Menahem. Menahem was an evil man and we can see how cruel he was as went into Tiphsah and cut open these pregnant women so they children would never be born. This just shows you how vicious these men were back in that day. Next we will learn about his kingship.

 

2 Kings 15:17 In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah, Menahem the son of Gadi became king over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria.18 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD; he did not depart all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin.19 Pul king of Assyria came against the land; and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to strengthen the kingdom under his control.20 And Menahem exacted the money from Israel, from all the very wealthy, from each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and did not stay there in the land.21 Now the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?22 So Menahem rested with his fathers. Then Pekahiah his son reigned in his place.

 

As we read Menahem was just like all the other kings of Israel, he was a sinner and worshipped the false Godís that Jeroboam created. Menahem had to strike a deal with Pul, the new king of Assyria. Assyria could have taken over Israel at this time, but Menahem pays him off, so he can continue to remain in power. His reign lasted for 10 years then Pekahiah his son reigned in his place.

 

2 Kings 15:23 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekahiah the son of Menahem became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years.24 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin.25 Then Pekah the son of Remaliah, an officer of his, conspired against him and killed him in Samaria, in the citadel of the king's house, along with Argob and Arieh; and with him were fifty men of Gilead. He killed him and reigned in his place.26 Now the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, indeed they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

 

Even though Pekahiah reined for two years, he must not have done anything noteworthy because all we are told is that he was another evil king who made Israel sin and he was murdered by Pekah.

 

2 Kings 15:27 In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah the son of Remaliah became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years.28 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin.29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser (tig-lath puh-lee-zur) king of Assyria came and took Ijon, Abel Beth Maachah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried them captive to Assyria.30 Then Hoshea the son of Elah led a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and struck and killed him; so he reigned in his place in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.31 Now the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all that he did, indeed they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

 

Pekah became the next king of Israel for 20 years and once again he was an evil king. Our immediate text doesnít give us much information about this king other than his reign began the first Assyrian captivity of some of their people. However, we will find out more information of what this king did when we start looking at King Ahaz of Judea because Pekah joins forces with Syria and tries to destroy Judea. We also find out in Isa. 7 and 8 that Isaiah tries to reassure King Ahaz that Pekah and the northern kingdom will eventually be wiped out because of their wickedness and they wonít be able to destroy Judea. Itís during this time the Isaiah makes the prophecy about Jesus being born of a virgin in Isa. 7:14.

 

Then we find out that the last king of Israel is Hoshea and he killed Pekah in order to get his kingship. We will find out more about this king in chapter 17. So far, our focus has been on the northern kingdom. Now, we will start looking at the Southern kingdom. The next king we will look at is Jotham and we will be looking at 2 Chr. account because it gives a little more information than 2 kings account.

 

2 Chronicles 27:1 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok.2 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah had done (although he did not enter the temple of the LORD). But still the people acted corruptly.3 He built the Upper Gate of the house of the LORD, and he built extensively on the wall of Ophel.4 Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built fortresses and towers.5 He also fought with the king of the Ammonites and defeated them. And the people of Ammon gave him in that year one hundred talents of silver, ten thousand kors of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. The people of Ammon paid this to him in the second and third years also.6 So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.7 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars and his ways, indeed they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.8 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.9 So Jotham rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the City of David. Then Ahaz his son reigned in his place.

If you will remember Jotham was already co-reigning with his farther before he died. Since his farther had leprosy, Jotham was judging the people. Overall Johtham was a good king, who was trying please God. He did the good things that he father did and he avoided the mistake he made of going into the temple. He managed to rebuild part of Jerusalem and defeat their enemies, which brought prosperity back to Judea. Despite his best efforts, the people still acted sinfully. This goes to show you that even under great spiritual leadership, sometimes people will still do that which is wrong. Next, his son Ahaz becomes the new king.

 

King Ahaz was the worst king out of all of the kings of Judah as we will see. Ahaz reign is recorded for us in 2 Kings 16 and 2 Chr. 28. I found it very challenging to put these 2 parallel accounts in chronological order that was most logical to me. We are going to be moving back and forth between these 2 accounts to help us get a better picture of every thing that happened during this evil kingís reign.

 

2 Kings 16:1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah, began to reign.2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the LORD his God, as his father David had done.3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel; indeed he made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out from before the children of Israel.4 And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

Here see 3 charges against Ahaz. 1. He didnít do what was right in the sight of the Lord because he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. 2. He made is son be sacrificed to the false called Moloch by putting him to fire. This was the God of the Amorites and Moabites who practiced this same sacrifice of their children to appease their Gods (2 Kings 3:27) God forbid this type of sacrifice in Lev. 18:21.

 

One writer said this,

 

There was a great temple in honor of Saturn (Molok), where there was the horribly ugly image of the god, a human form with a bull's head, having outstretched arms, where the children were laid and rolled downward into the bronze belly of the god.A furnace heated the whole image to a red-hot intensity; and as the screaming child was thrown into the god's arms, the noise was drowned out by flutes and kettle-drums.(Burton Coffman).

 

This is first time recorded that someone from the children of Israel did such a horrible thing. Unfortunately it would not be the last because we learn from Jeremiah 7:31 and Ezekiel20:31 that the children of Israel started doing this more and more.

 

The third thing Ahaz was guilty of was worshiping and sacrificing on the high places. While many of the previous kings were not able to take down the high places or they ignored them, Ahaz embraced them and approved of them. This shows why, he is been labeled by many as the worst or most evil king of Judah.

 

2 Chronicles 28:5 Therefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria. They defeated him, and carried away a great multitude of them as captives, and brought them to Damascus. Then he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who defeated him with a great slaughter.6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed one hundred and twenty thousand in Judah in one day, all valiant men, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.7 Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king's son, Azrikam the officer over the house, and Elkanah who was second to the king.

 

When you look at Isa. 7 you will find out why Israel and Syria joined forces against Judah especial when you look at verse,

 

Isaiah 7:6 Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over them, the son of Tabel" Ė

 

You see, Israel and Syria had joined forces and they wanted Judah to join with them as well. They were to accomplish this by removing king Ahaz from office and putting there own king in place. They were trying to build up their army so they could stand up against the Assyrians. However, while they did great damage to Judah and killed and captured many of them, God did not allow them to be completely defeated as Isa. 7:7 and 2 Kings 16:5 says. Next we find out more details about those who were taken captive.

 

2 Chronicles 28:8 And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand women, sons, and daughters; and they also took away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.9 But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded; and he went out before the army that came to Samaria, and said to them: "Look, because the LORD God of your fathers was angry with Judah, He has delivered them into your hand; but you have killed them in a rage that reaches up to heaven.10 "And now you propose to force the children of Judah and Jerusalem to be your male and female slaves; but are you not also guilty before the LORD your God?11 "Now hear me, therefore, and return the captives, whom you have taken captive from your brethren, for the fierce wrath of the LORD is upon you."12 Then some of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who came from the war,13 and said to them, "You shall not bring the captives here, for we already have offended the LORD. You intend to add to our sins and to our guilt; for our guilt is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel."14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the leaders and all the assembly.15 Then the men who were designated by name rose up and took the captives, and from the spoil they clothed all who were naked among them, dressed them and gave them sandals, gave them food and drink, and anointed them; and they let all the feeble ones ride on donkeys. So they brought them to their brethren at Jericho, the city of palm trees. Then they returned to Samaria.

 

I find it interesting how sometimes the people of Israel will listen to what God has to say. Here we see Obed tells Israel not to take these people of Judah as slaves and they listen. So, basically they dress the naked and anoint them and they send them away so they can return back to where they came from. Sometime during this besiege Ahaz tries to find help for those who had been taken away captive as we read in,

 

2 Kings 16:7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, saying, "I am your servant and your son. Come up and save me from the hand of the king of Syria and from the hand of the king of Israel, who rise up against me."8 And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasuries of the king's house, and sent it as a present to the king of Assyria.9 So the king of Assyria heeded him; for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus and took it, carried its people captive to Kir, and killed Rezin.

 

Again when you look at Isaiah 7 you will see that God told Ahaz that Syria and Israel would not prevail against him, but instead of trusting in God he decided to join forces with Assyria and bribe him with the gold and silver from Godís house. Well, this worked and Assyria invaded Damascus and killed Rezin and wiped out the Syrians. This was also a fulfillment of Amosí prophecy in,

 

Amos 1:3 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they have threshed Gilead with implements of iron.4 But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, Which shall devour the palaces of Ben-Hadad.5 I will also break the gate bar of Damascus, And cut off the inhabitant from the Valley of Aven, And the one who holds the scepter from Beth Eden. The people of Syria shall go captive to Kir," Says the LORD.††

 

The fact that Ahaz called himself a son and servant to the Assyrian king he yielded himself and all of Judah to him. From this point forward they became one of his properties that would be under him.

 

2 Kings 16:10 Now King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus; and King Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the design of the altar and its pattern, according to all its workmanship.11 Then Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus. So Urijah the priest made it before King Ahaz came back from Damascus.12 And when the king came back from Damascus, the king saw the altar; and the king approached the altar and made offerings on it.13 So he burned his burnt offering and his grain offering; and he poured his drink offering and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings on the altar.14 He also brought the bronze altar which was before the LORD, from the front of the temple -- from between the new altar and the house of the LORD -- and put it on the north side of the new altar.15 Then King Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, "On the great new altar burn the morning burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king's burnt sacrifice, and his grain offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, their grain offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle on it all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifice. And the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by."16 Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that King Ahaz commanded.

 

Historians tells us that it was the custom of the Assyrian king to make those kings that were under him to come and meet him at the place he helped them defeat and that is what we see happening here. We also find out that King Ahaz commands Urijah to set up a new alter to worship from. Now if this priest was more concerned about what God thought instead of what the king was telling him to do he should have protested, but he did not. We find out from 2 Chr. account what kind of alter this was.

 

2 Chronicles 28:22 Now in the time of his distress King Ahaz became increasingly unfaithful to the LORD. This is that King Ahaz.23 For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him, saying, "Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me." But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel.

 

Now, isnít this sad. Isaiah told Ahaz that God would be there for him, but now he doesnít trust in Godís power, so he has setup this alter is worshiping the God of Damascus hoping they will help him. As the text says worshipping this false godís is what will bring about the ruin of Israel and Judah. The next event that happens from the best I can tell starts in,

 

2 Chronicles 28:16 At the same time King Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria to help him.17 For again the Edomites had come, attacked Judah, and carried away captives.18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the lowland and of the South of Judah, and had taken Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Sochoh with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages; and they dwelt there.19 For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had encouraged moral decline in Judah and had been continually unfaithful to the LORD.20 Also Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came to him and distressed him, and did not assist him.21 For Ahaz took part of the treasures from the house of the LORD, from the house of the king, and from the leaders, and he gave it to the king of Assyria; but he did not help him.

 

After these events that we have just talked about we find out that the Edomites are now fighting against Judah along with some others. The reason why was because Ahaz was worshipping these false Godís and the false way. Once again, he tries to bribe the king of Assyria to help him, but this time he doesnít help him. Then finally we are given a summary of just how far Ahaz has moved away from God as we read,

 

2 Chronicles 28:24 So Ahaz gathered the articles of the house of God, cut in pieces the articles of the house of God, shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and made for himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem.25 And in every single city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers.26 Now the rest of his acts and all his ways, from first to last, indeed they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.27 So Ahaz rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem; but they did not bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel. Then Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.

 

It really sad to see that Ahaz moved so far away from God. His farther Jotham had worked hard to restore Judah back to where it was supposed to be and got the temple back in order and started making Judah prosper and now Ahaz taking everything his farther accomplished and turned it around. He even shut the doors of the house of God so that no one could worship Him there and he turned himself and Judah over to worshipping all these false ways. As we read King Ahaz was buried in the city of the Kings, but they did not bury him in the tomb of the kings because he didnít deserve that respect after what he did to Israel.

 

This lesson shows us what happens when a good spiritual leader is in charge and what happens when a bad leader is in charge. They set the tone for the people and that is why is so important that when we look at the spiritual leaders of the church that they need to be men who are more concerned about being right with God and following his way than worrying about what our society says is acceptable. That is why we have been given qualifications for elders and deacons and why one the qualifications of an elder is that they cannot be a novice. God knows how important it that the spiritual leadership of a congregation must be rooted and grounded in Godís Word and we have seen why in our lesson tonight.