O. T. #814 "History in a Nutshell"
August 17, 2016
Introduction to 2 Kings
Is there no prophet of the LORD with us? If there is, we can ask the LORD, what to do through him. 2 Kings 3:11
LET IT GLOW
Upon reading several commentaries to get an overview of this book, I come to realize that I am no historian. Give me segments to focus on, then I'm all right, but large segments, I get overwhelmed. So if I make mistakes along the way, excuse me, call it bicycle, and ride on.
For any new comers, let's review-Under the reign of David, Israel was one nation. It was during his son Solomon's reign that it divided into northern Israel (10 tribes) and southern Judah (2 tribes). Therefore, there are many kings listed, so we will try to keep them separate as we study this book.
Here is the history in a nutshell, according to The Jeremiah Study Bible:
Israel's 20 kings were evil and would not remove idols from the land, so God removed the tribes from the land. The Assyians invaded in 722 BC taking control of the north and the Israelites captive.
Judah's 20 kings, who ruled over the 2 southern tribes, were all descendants of the Davidic dynasty, fared a bit better. Eight were considered righteous, notably Hezekiah and Josiah; both destroyed idols and called Judah back to the worship of the LORD. However, the final 3 kings of Judah were wicked and saw Babylon carry captives away from Judah in 3 waves; concluding wave in 586 BC the Temple was burned and Judah was destroyed.
The good news is that God sent major and minor prophets during the time of 2 Kings. Although they condemned the idolatry, immorality, social injustice, and ungodly alliances with ungodly kings, the prophets called those rulers and people to return to God.
So during this study, I will refer to those books of the prophets, as they are inserted in the chronological Bible I use, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Habbakkuk. It puts events in better perspective for me and hopefully for you.
Of course, if you can get ahold of a timeline of 1 Kings through 2 Chronicles, it would help tremendously.
LET IT GROW
There was a contrast between the prophets Elijah and Elisha. Elijah belonged to the rugged hills and prophesied judgment, as he sought to turn the nation back to God. Whereas Elisha belonged to the peaceful valleys as he ministered grace and called out a remnant before the nation was destroyed.
Omnri was king of Israel, whose son Ahab ruled with wicked Jezebel, then was replaced by Ahaziah.That is where we take up the story.
In Judah, King Jehoshapat worshiped the Lord, but did not destroy the idols in the high places. His son Jehoram married Ahab's daughter and idol worship returned to Judah.
There are some lessons for us to learn from all of those mentioned in this book, so I pray you will stick with me as we study.
LET IT GO
Just as Elijah left his juniper pitiful tree and cave, then went on to do God's mission, so must I.
I walked away from my pity party of one, out of my cave of darkness and depression, and joined Jesus on this country road of faith once again.
I am preparing to teach a session at our church's girls, so please pray for me.