Saturday, December 3, 2016

Surrounded and Overwhelmed

O. T. #880  "Surrounded and Overwhelmed"
Dec. 5, 2016
Summary of 2 Kings
"Alas, my master! What shall we do?"  So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."  2 Kings 6:16


It is a sad, often violent,  story mad bearable only by the unconditional promise of God to King David that his throne would never lack for one of his descendants (Acts 2:29, 30). That final seed of David will one day sit upon that throne-the Son of David, Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 1, 12, 21-22). (David Jeremiah)

After David reigned as king, his son Solomon ruled. Following his reign over Israel, God's kingdom separated into two kingdoms. Israel was the northern kingdom and made up of 10 tribes, with Jeroboam taking over as king, who set up idols to worship. Israel had no good kings of the 20 who led the nation in idolatry. Because they would not remove idols from the land, God removed them from the land. Assyria conquered Israel and took many Israelites captive in 722 B.C. Israel endured evil kings for 130 years before they were conquered.

The southern kingdom, Judah, was form by the tribes of Benjamin and Judah, as Rehoboam became king. Of their 20 kings, Judah only had 8 who were good and righteous ones-Jezekiah and Josiah were the two we recall did the most good.

If you want to mark those good kings of Judah, they were:
  1. Asa, who ruled 41 years, destroyed pagan altars and restored the altar of God (1 Kings 15).
  2. Jehoshaphat, who ruled 25 years, worshiped the Lord and destroyed idols. (1 Kings 15, 22)
  3. Joash, who reigned 40 years, repaired the Temple. (2 Kings 11-12)
  4. Amaziah, who reigned 29 years, was basically good although he did not completely wipe out idolatry. (2 Kings 14)
  5. Azariah, called Uzziah, was king for 52 years, constructed reservoirs and fortified towers, though he violated the priesthood laws and God struck him with leprosy. (2 Kings 15)
  6. Jotham, who ruled 16 years, rebuilt the Upper Gate of the Temple, walls, and cities, though he permitted idol worship. (2 Kings 15)
  7. Hezekiah reigned 29 years in Judah, restored the Temple and their worship system, was given 15 extra years of life, foolishly showed Babylonian messengers wealth in the Temple. (2 Kings 16, 18)
  8. Josiah was king for 31 years, repaired the Temple, destroyed idol shrines, and loved God with all his heart.
Let us be challenged to be the good among the bad in our society.

Judah existed for 129 years after Israel fell captive to Assyria. Then, Babylon captured Judah and took most people away as  captives. Even throughout all those years, God continued to love His people and sent 30 prophets to proclaim His judgment was coming if they did not repent.

Elijah and Elisa, Isaiah and Jeremiah and  were probably the most significant. Jeremiah relayed the message of a future and a hope for God's people I chapter 29. God was the One in control of Israel and Judah's destiny as the Sovereign God. After 70 years of captivity by Babylon, the Medo-Persans allowed Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their city, wall, and the Temple.

God revealed Himself  in our verse above. He gave protection and provision to His faithful servants, even when surrounded by their enemies.
Anyone feel surrounded or overwhelmed by circumstances? Keep our eyes of faith focused on our King Jesus, instead, for hope, courage, and a future.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.  (Jeremiah 29:11-13)


When surrounded and overwhelmed, do not fear.

Emmanuel, God is with me.

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