The Journey Brought Forth "2 Kings"
This blog series is focused on God’s word bringing people through their journeys in His intentional way that He has set in front of them thereby bringing them through to His completion.
Exodus chapter twenty through Matthew chapter four is the section of scripture that most Christians find themselves living in its revolving pattern of realization, but once they receive its revelation, the Third Stage of Life is what their lives are built upon instead of attempting to achieve.
The book of 2 Kings begins with King Ahaziah sending a messenger to inquire of a foreign god about his health and Elijah intercepting the messenger and telling him God said to tell the king since he did so he would not recover. Ahaziah sent fifty-one men to him twice, and they insisted he come to the king; so, he commanded fire to come down and destroy them both times. The third time the fifty-one people came to him they humbly requested he come to the king instead of making demands and he went with them; because the angel of the Lord told him to go. He told the king the same thing he told his servants, he would die. (There is no room for false gods in God’s people.)
Elijah journeyed with his assistant just before Elijah was going to be taken up, and Elijah struck the water, and it was divided, and they walked across the area on the dry ground. Once they crossed over, Elijah asked what Elisha wanted from him, and he said a double portion of his spirit, Elijah said it was a hard thing, but if Elisha saw him taken up it would be granted; so, a whirlwind came and took Elijah and Elisha saw it happen. (This is what Jesus does for His people once they understand the position He has granted with His ascension, and this comes later in the Stages of Life.)
Elisha begins his secession of Elijah by healing the waters of Jericho and cursing some children who had mocked him; then bears ate the children. (God works seemingly peculiar miracles. He heals the water in a foreign city and kills children for being disrespectful to His prophet.)
Moab was subservient to Israel before the change of kings but revolted when Jehoram began his reign. Israel got Judah and Edom to help overcome the revolt, but they all soon found themselves without water. God had them dig ditches in the middle of the wilderness, and it neither rained nor did the wind blow, but the next morning the ditches were full of water. They received the water with appreciation, and the Moabites attacked them because they thought the reflection of the sun in the water was the blood of the Israelites instead of being the water that it truly was. The Moabites were overtaken and subdued. (People’s perspective changes their perception and what is a blessing to one is repulsive to another.)
A widow cries to Elisha that her two sons are about to be taken to be servants by the creditor; because she could not pay what was owed. She told Elisha she had nothing but a little oil. Elisha told her to borrow containers and fill them; then he told her to sell them and pay the creditor and live off the rest. (It may seem like God’s people have few resources, but they always have everything they need to fulfill His purpose.)
Elisha had a friendship with a lady and her husband; so, they built a room on to their house for him to stay in when he was traveling through their area. He knew she wanted a son, but was past the age of child-bearing and she thought it was impossible. He told her she would have a son, and she did. A few years later he died from a headache, and she went and got Elisha out of the field he was working, and He went and revived the boy. (The mental anguishes that can kill God’s people must be overcome through dying to the physical and coming alive through God’s blessing.)
Elisha purifies poisonous stew, and fed one hundred men with twenty loaves of bread and some corn, and then healed a leprous man by telling him through a messenger to wash in the Jordan River. At first, the man refused, but his servants talked him into listening, and he was healed. Elisha refused to accept anything for healing him, but Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, caught up to him after he left and the man gave him two changes of clothes and some silver. Elisha told Gehazi leprosy would cling to him and his lineage forever because he had done this. (The gift of God is not and should not ever be for sale, and when people sell the gift they are bringing horrible curses upon themselves and their families.)
Elisha threw a piece of wood into a body of water and made an ax head float that a man was concerned about because as he had borrowed it, and it had fallen off its handle and sunk. (God does the impossible with what His people possess.)
Syria was at war with Israel, and Israel knew what the Syrians were going to do because Elisha would tell them before they did whatever it was. The Syrians army came to Elisha, and the man with Elisha was troubled by a number of people that were with them, but Elisha had his eyes opened to the angels around them, and blinded the enemy’s army then led them into Samaria; where they gave them food and something to drink. (Everyone on this planet was at one time enemies of God, and that’s why Jesus came and paid the price it took to open our eyes to the Spiritual realm and supply our nourishment.)
The next thing that happens is Syria to besiege Samaria and create a great famine by not allowing them to go get supplies. Four lepers decided to go to the Syrian’s camp and hope they would have mercy on them, and if not, they would just die; which that was what was going to happen anyway. They found the camp deserted and looted it; then, they decided to go back and tell all of the people about it. The day before this happened, Elisha told it would occur, and a man told him it was impossible. Elisha told him he would see it, but not receive it. This man was trampled at the gate during the excitement the day they discovered the deserted camp. (God has already supplied everything His people need, raises unlikely leaders for his people, and allows His humbled ones to receive His gifts.)
Elisha told the woman, whose child he had brought back to life, to go into a foreign land for seven years; because there was a famine coming to the land, and upon her return, Gehazi was telling the king about what Elisha had done. When Gehazi saw the woman, he told the king that it was this woman whom Elisha had brought her son back to life. The king sent a man with her and told him to be certain that the woman had all of her possessions restored to her plus all of the fruit of the land that had been since she left. (Even though it might be that God’s people are sent to be in a foreign land for a period of time, He restores everything that is theirs including the things they thought they had missed while they were away.)
A man went to Elisha and inquired for the king of Syria about his recovery from an illness, and Elisha told the man the king might recover from it, but that the man who inquired would kill his king and take the throne for himself. The man was appalled by this statement, but he went to the king and did what Elisha said would happen. (God knows what each and every person will do and can, and will tell them when He pleases.)
Elisha sent a young prophet to anoint Jehu with oil to be the next king over Israel and told Jehu he would revenge God on the house of Ahab and Jezebel for all of the wicked things they had done. The first thing Jehu did was to kill Ahaziah the king of Judah and have Joram the king of Israel, Jezebel, and all seventy of Ahab’s sons killed; then Jehu continued by killing all of Ahab’s great men, his kinsfolks, and priests; then, Jehu had Ahaziah’s forty-two brothers killed; so, what God had said about the kings and their families came to pass. (God warns people what is going to happen, and when they repent from their wicked ways they are saved from the horrible end, but people often do not believe His warnings, and they continue on their path to destruction.)
Ahab now gathers all of Baal’s priests and their followers into a building through a deceitful plot telling them he was going to serve Baal. He served Baal his people to him by confining them in a building and slaying all of them; then they gathered all of the idols of Baal and burned them. Jehu followed the sins of Jeroboam, but God allowed four generations of his to reign because of his fulfillment of God’s plan against His enemies, and he reigned over Israel for twenty-eight years; then, he died, and his son Jehoahaz reigned in His place. (God has specific plans that must come to pass even if it is through wicked men.)
Joash was seven years old when Jehoiada the priest made an intricate plan to place him in his rightful position as king of Judah. There were resistance and death, but Joash also known as Jehoash became king and did what was right while Jehoiada instructed him. He commanded the house of God to be repaired, but after twenty-three years, they had only collected money and not made any repairs. He once again told them to repair the house, and they placed a box in the house of the Lord to receive money, they received a lot of money and had people rebuild the house. The king of Syria was coming to attack Jerusalem, and King Joash gathered all of the valuable things that had been gathered over generations and sent them to him, and he went back to Syria. (The external things that people work on and gather are able to be taken away in an instant; but, God’s people are focused on the eternal things that cannot be taken away.) The men of the land made a conspiracy and slew Joash and his son, Amaziah reigned in his place.
We now go back to Israel and Jehoahaz’s rule. He did evil, and the Syrians defeated them in battle so there was but a remnant of the former army. He dies, and his son Joash reigned in His place. This means there were two kings with the same name ruling over the divided nation of Israel; then Joash the king of Israel died, and Jeroboam reigned in his place.
Backing up in time when Joash king of Israel was still alive, Joash went to Elisha as he laid on his death bed. Elisha told King Joash to take a bow and arrow, and he did, he opened a window facing east, and they shot the arrow from the bow out of the window. Elisha told Joash he would smite the Syrians until they were consumed. Elisha then had Joash hit the ground with the arrows that were left, and Joash hit the ground three times. Elisha told him since he only hit the ground three times he would not completely consume the Syrians, but if he’d hit the ground six times, he would have consumed them. (This demonstrates that even if a person thinks they have listened and followed instructions, they may not have listened and followed them completely, and therefore they suffer the ramifications of their actions by not understanding and following them.)
Amaziah began reigning over Judah during Joash’s second year to reign Israel and reigned twenty-nine years. He did right in the sight of the Lord except he did not remove the high places where Judah worshiped God improperly. He overtook Edom; then invited Israel to war. King Joash told him he did not want to fight against Israel because he could not win and was just being prideful from the victory against Edom. Amaziah would not listen, and he was defeated and taken prisoner along with Israel destroying about six hundred feet of Jerusalem’s wall, taking more prisoners, and all the gold, silver, and vessels that were found in the house of the Lord. (Victories and defeats cannot be what propel God’s people into the next action of their lives. It must always be a moment by moment connection with God that allows His people to progress through their journeys wisely.)
Joash died, and his son Jeroboam reigned in His place. Jeroboam did evil, but God used him to restore Israel anyway. (This is another example of how God uses evil people to accomplish His purpose.) After Jeroboam, Zachariah reigned in his place for six months doing evil and was slain by Shallum. Shallum reigned for one month in his place ending the fourth generation that God had told Jehu he would have sit on the throne of Israel. (God always keeps his word and knows what will occur.) Menahem, the man who slew Shallum, reigned over Israel for ten years, he did evil, and he paid the king of Assyria one thousand talents of silver to not come and destroy them; which, he took from the wealthy people of Israel; then, Pekahiah reigned in his place. (Positions and wealth that are taken unrightfully by force always has a short lifespan without any peace to accompany it.)
Amaziah was assassinated, and the people placed his son Azariah in his place when he was sixteen years old, and he reigned over Judah for fifty-two years. He did what was right except he left the high places of worship and God struck him with leprosy. He, therefore, lived in his separated house and his son Jotham judged in his place. (Sometimes partial obedience gives a long lifespan with issues to deal with all of a person’s life.) Jotham reigned over Judah from the time he was twenty-five years old until he was forty-one years old and did what was right except he did not take the high places down either; then Ahaz reigned in his place. (God is extremely patient with His people. He allowed the wickedness of the people that lived in the Promised Land before He dispossessed them with the Israelites for hundreds of years until their wickedness was fulfilled and He is allowing the Israelites to have a lot of opportunities as well, but as we will see most of them will not keep focused on Him, and only a remnant will remain.)
In the fifty-second year of King Azariah, Pekah killed Pekaniah and reigned in his place for twenty years. He also did evil and lost a lot of land to the Assyrians. Hoshea made a conspiracy against King Pekah and reigned in his place. Israel and Syria came against Judah and Judah hired the Assyrians to defend them. The Assyrians came and defeated Israel and the Syrians, and took captives into their land. Hoshea did evil in the sight of the Lord, and in his ninth year of reign, the Assyrians captured Samaria and carried them away to another land. (This all happened because Israel sinned exceedingly.) Hoshea is the last king that reigns over Israel. When other people came and replaced the Israelites in Israel, they sinned greatly, and many people died; because they did not know what God expected of them, but the Assyrians sent a Jewish priest to the land and they were taught what was expected, they partially changed and feared God, but made their own false idols and lived improperly.
Ahaz reigns for sixteen years over Judah and did evil making his children walk through fire and increased the number of high places to worship. King Ahaz continued by instructing the priest how to rearrange the house of God and took many items of worship and gave them away to the king of Assyria. (This could very easily be misunderstood in many cultures as being acceptable behavior; because after all, Ahaz is the king of the land, but it is absolutely wrong. The holy men of God must always keep the things of God as he instructs them to keep them instead of listening to any human being.)
After King Ahaz of Judah died, Hezekiah reigns in his place. Hezekiah removed all of the high places and idolatrous items in the land of Judah for false worship and was the most righteous king that Judah ever had. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and prospered, but the Assyrians came and took all of the fenced cities; so, King Hezekiah gave all of the treasures in the house of the Lord and the king’s house to the Assyrians. The Assyrians then sent men to question the men of Judah, “In whom are you trusting to save you from the hand of the great king of Assyria?”; because they thought Hezekiah had taken the high places away that were of God instead of against Him. (The enemy will think that God’s people have done wickedly and accuse them of doing so because they don’t understand who they are and what they are doing, but God knows, and His people can be assured that He is in control and able to take care of every evil that comes against them.)
Isaiah the prophet is now introduced to us by Hezekiah sending people to him to communicate with God. Isaiah told the people to go and tell Hezekiah not to be afraid; because God would turn the Assyrian army away and back to their own land by a rumor and the king of Assyria would fall by the sword in his own land. (God protects His people, and He is not constrained to do so by their power, but is able to do it through His power.)
The Israelites told the Assyrian's messengers what Isaiah had told them and they returned to Assyria to tell them what was said. The Assyrian king writes a blasphemous letter and has it delivered back to Judah; then God speaks through Isaiah telling His people that He would defend the city for His own name’s sake. The Assyrian army woke up the next day and realized one hundred eighty-five thousand of them had been slain overnight, and went back to Assyria were two of the king’s sons slew him, and another one took his place. (God’s people can be confident in Him and know that He is able to direct their journeys as it pleases Him to accomplish His purpose no matter what the seemingly insurmountable situation seems to be.)
Hezekiah was deathly ill, and he prayed to God that He would not die and reminded God of his loyalty during his life, and God told him He would add fifteen years to his life; adding a sign to confirm it. The sign was as Hezekiah requested for the shadow to go back ten degrees. (This is again an impossible act to man’s thoughts performed by their God which nothing is impossible for Him to accomplish.) The next thing Hezekiah does is to show all of his possessions to the Babylonian messengers who’d been sent to congratulate him for his healing, and Isaiah told him they would come back and take all of the possessions that had been shown. (God’s people must use wisdom while sharing Him and the gifts that He has given to them; because the enemy will turn and try to rip them into pieces every chance he gets.)
Hezekiah died, and his son Manasseh reigned in his place. Manasseh did evil by building the high places again, constructed altars for Baal, made a grove, worshiped the host of heaven, built altars in the house of the Lord, and many more things to provoke the Lord to anger plus he killed a lot of innocent people and therewith did more evil than the nations that God had cast out before the Israelites; so, God was very angry with the nation of Judah. (Cultural acceptance is never a reason to disobey God, even if the person is the king and he may be able to reason within himself that whatever he is doing is not that bad or even right in a person’s own way of thinking.)
Ammon reigned after Manasseh died and he did evil; there was a conspiracy that killed Ammon, the citizens, in turn, slew all of the ones who’d participated in the conspiracy; then, Josiah then reigned in his place. Josiah reigned thirty-one years and did right in the sight of the Lord. He rebuilt the house of the Lord, they found and read the Law of Moses, and diligently turned from their ways; however, God’s wrath was already set, and He told them He would delay the vengeance until after Josiah’s death; so, they read all the words in the Law and stood in the covenant. Josiah destroyed all of the idolatrous things and priests of the false gods and restored the Passover. (It is never too late for God’s people to become humbled and turn to the Lord, but it is sometimes too late for the whole nation to be changed.)
Josiah died in a battle, and Jehoahaz reigned in his place for three months and did evil. The Egyptian ruler placed him in jail, and put Judah under tribute; then placed his son Eliakim as the king of Judah. Eliakim reigned eleven years and did evil as his fathers had done. Jehoiachin reigned in Judah for eight years after his father’s death and did evil. Babylon had gained significant strength during Eliakim’s reign and took the lands away from Egypt that it had once governed east of the Egyptian river including Judah. (Earthly kingdoms rise and fall as they are led by God and fall away from God, but His true followers will not be moved away from Him no matter what happens in their lives.)
Babylon comes to Judah and carries all of the powerful people and all of the valuable things back to Babylon with them, and only the “poorest sort” of people remained in the land. (The poorest by human standards are not always the poorest in God’s kingdom. In fact, Jesus proclaims the poor shall inherit the earth; however, there were great men of God that proved who He is in the Babylonian captivity as well.)
The king of Babylon placed Jehoiachin’s father’s brother Mattaniah, changing his name to Zedekiah, as the king of Judah. Zedekiah rebelled against Babylon, and in his eleventh month the Babylonians came and destroyed Jerusalem and slew the sons of Zedekiah, and put his eyes out. They then burned the house of the Lord and all of the houses, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and disassembled all of the valuable things in the house of the Lord and took them back to Babylon. (If the people would have stayed peaceably within the constraints of the Babylonian rule, the Babylonians would not have destroyed the walls and houses; nor would they have lost their lives. God will tell His people how to navigate their journeys, and this was definitely not how they should have conducted themselves for their own good.)
Gedaliah was made governor of Jerusalem, and he told the people to live peaceably under the Babylonian rule, and this went well until there was a conspiracy to kill him and everyone with him in the twelfth month of his rule; then the rebels fled into Egypt. (Murderers can usually self-reason through their lives the destruction they leave behind them.) In the thirty-seventh year of Jehoiachin’s captivity, the new king of Babylon took him out of prison and fed him at his table every day. (The concluding occurrences in the book of 2 Kings show how peaceful people can be killed, the rebels leave the area and seemingly get away with improper actions, and people who are taken away into captivity can be restored when another leader comes into power.)
The Book of 2 Kings brings God’s people into a dark time in the Bible. God’s wrath was being poured out on His people, Israel was displaced, the powerful people were carried away into Babylonian captivity, and only a remnant of God’s people remain in the land of Judah. This allows His people today to realize if they don’t follow Him and live their lives according to His ways, and not the way they think He intends it to be, they will find tumultuous times inside themselves.