Today is Day 29 in our journey through the Bible in 90 days.
2 Kings continues a long line of kings in Judah & Israel.
One phrase that you read throughout the book is “and he did what was ____________ in the eyes of the Lord.”For some kings, we’d fill in the blank with “good,” but unfortunately for most, we’d fill it in with “evil.”
Each king had to answer to the King of Kings. Ultimately, whether what he did was ok in his eyes or the eyes of the people didn’t matter – God saw his actions as well as his motives behind them.
Another phrase you may have noticed was “and he walked in the way of _____________” (his father, grandfather, previous king, etc.).
Many of the kings had bad examples as they grew up, watching their father, grandfather, or king run the kingdom. That doesn’t mean they were locked into evil – the choice was still theirs.
They all had a choice, and so do we. Regardless of your upbringing or your surroundings, you have a choice to follow God or do your own thing. If you’re wondering how successful you might be if you forsake God and do your own thing, keep reading (and make sure to note Chapters 17, 24, and 25, the chapters of captivity).
The worst part of 2 Kings is the captivity that comes as a direct result of their sin.
The worst part of your life will also be the direct result of the same thing. I speak from experience. Sin looks fun (and is fun, for a season), but it always catches up to you. It’s never worth it.
Contrasting the idolatry and captivity of Israel was the greatest king of Judah, Hezekiah. 2 Kings 18:5 says that there was no king like him, neither before or after, his reign. What was his secret? One word: obedience.
2 Kings 18:6-7 – For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. The Lord was with him; he prospered wherever he went. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.
Not only was his reign the best, but the slaughter that took place during his reign as king was amazing too…
The king of Assyria and his army talked a lot of trash and intimidated a lot of people. They surrounded the city to defeat it, but then the angel of the Lord showed up and it was all over for Assyria. In one night, one angel killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. When the people woke up, there were 185,000 dead bodies surrounding the city! I love the simplicity of the following verse…
2 Kings 19:36 – Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went home and lived Nineveh.
He learned the hard way not to mess with God and His people.
Josiah was another great man of God who became king. As they cleaned out the Temple, they found the book of the Law, which threw Josiah into deep grief and mourning. He realized that they had forsaken the Lord, so he began repairing what they had ruined. He burned the false gods, slaughtered the false priests, and restored the Passover and true worship to God’s people. He was the king they needed. Unfortunately, the reform didn’t last, and by 2 Kings 24 and 25, they are attacked and taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.
2 Kings ends on a sad note with all of God’s people in captivity, the walls of the city destroyed, and the Temple looted and desolate.
It’s a heart-breaking picture of the consequences of sin. It promises a lot and delivers so little.
The key is obedience. God always blesses obedience.
Enjoy the Chronicles – they’ll sound very similar to Kings. Use it as a recap to refresh yourself with the consequences of sin and idolatry.