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#533
In the wilderness we ever find the dark cloud, disappointments, death... but remember Caleb! He wholly followed the Lord for the 40 years in the wilderness. Joshua 13.

2 KINGS 1

2 Kgs 1:1-2 Ahaziah is the new king of Israel (10 tribes). There must have been very poor training in Ahab's home, because the son seems to have no knowledge of God. When Satan gets hold of a person, their mind becomes a slave to all kinds of wickedness. Here we see the new king's mind completely under the power of Satan. Notice what he does when he has this accident (there are no accidents with God). Although he does not inquire from God, the Lord was watching!

2 Kgs 1:3-4 The definite answer comes, not from the false god, for it had no life, but from God Himself.

2 Kgs 1:5-16 Elijah (his name means "my God is the Lord"), is given the job of bringing the Lord's message. The king is very angry when someone goes against his wicked ideas. He is going to use violence. (Do we get angry when someone shows us Scripture which proves us wrong?)

2 Kgs 1:17-18 God will always have the last word. (The earlier in our life we learn this, the sooner we believers are going to become happy). How many times did you read "thus said the Lord" in this chapter?

#534

The faith of Ruth caused her to join herself with the poverty of Naomi, and then get for herself the riches and dignity of Boaz.

2 KINGS 2

2 Kgs 2:1-11 We have not heard of Elisha since the day Elijah called him to follow him (1 Kings 19:19-21). No doubt God was training His servant Elisha secretly for the work he was to do. But here we see him learning his lessons openly. Though he is going to be privileged to witness something which had never been seen before by a human being, he is to be tested.

2 Kgs 2:2-6 How many times does Elisha tell Elijah "I will not leave thee"? The sons of the prophets try to discourage Elisha from following Elijah. Notice how many times they try.

2 Kgs 2:8 In Joshua 3, God stopped the waters of Jordan for millions to pass over. He will now do the same thing for two men!

2 Kgs 2:9-11 Here Elijah is a beautiful picture of the Man Christ Jesus Who ascends to heaven. Elisha - a picture of us, is left here on earth. Elijah asks Elisha what he wants most. He asks for nothing on earth, nothing material. His answer shows where his heart is. He wants spiritual power. It must come from God. If Elisha is to get his request, he must be watching "the heavenly man", Elijah. (If we are going to have spiritual power, it must be through keeping our eye on Christ. The sight of Christ in heaven is the secret of power down here. The martyr Stephen - Acts 7:55, is an example of this). Elijah ascends to heaven (not in a chariot of fire) but by a whirlwind.

2 Kgs 2:12-14 Elisha now becomes a representative of a man in heaven. (This is what each believer is to be). The effect on him was... firstly, he tore his old clothes. He was finished with the old life. Secondly, he now has the garment of the ascended man (Read 2 Corinthians 5:17 for the way we should be living).

2 Kgs 2:15-18 These have no spiritual intelligence. (A believer who stands afar off seldom knows the right path to follow).

2 Kgs 2:19-22 Jericho, a city under a curse - Joshua 6:26, is a picture of this world. (Only Christ can make the waters of this life sweet. And He does. Have you experienced this in your Christian life?)

2 Kgs 2:23-25 People think that God will not punish those who mock His love and grace! The sons of the prophets had shown unbelief. The men in the city didn't care about the ascension of Elijah. But these mock, so here is the result.

#535

His discipline is the continual and unwearied exercise of love which rests not now, in order that we may enter into His rest. (He will rest in His love.)

2 KINGS 3

Getting friendly with a person who does not live in obedience to the Word of God, always brings trouble.

2 Kgs 3:1-3 This king Jehoram only partly turns away from following idols. (What a mistake this is for a believer!) Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, is a God-fearing man, and should never have allowed himself to be friendly with Jehoram. He should have kept separate.

2 Kgs 3:4-9 One compromise always leads to another. Now the wicked king Jehoram is joined with the God-fearing Jehoshaphat and the heathen king of Edom. No praying before they start out!

2 Kgs 3:10 The God-fearing king isn't the one who mentions the Lord first.

2 Kgs 3:11 Rather late! Had he inquired earlier, no doubt he would not have been there! Here comes Elisha. What can he do?

2 Kgs 3:12 Nice thing to have said about him!

2 Kgs 3:13 Elisha speaks fearlessly and plainly.

2 Kgs 3:15 There is such a mixture and so much confusion that Elisha cannot discern the Lord's mind. He knew the evils around him, but he did not yet know the remedy. The minstrel playing music helps him to get the whole sad situation out of his mind, so that he can find out God's thoughts.

2 Kgs 3:16-27 Elisha discovers that God is going to be merciful and gracious. (What a God we have!)

#536

If He destroys our rest here, it is only to bring us into His own rest.

2 KINGS 4

The story of a poor woman in verse 1 and of a rich woman in verse 8. Both were blessed by the Lord. Then of death... a husband dead (V. 1), a son dead, (V. 20) and then "death in the pot" (V. 40). But the Lord brought a blessing out of each. (See Lamentations 3:32-33).

2 Kgs 4:1-7 A woman who is in need, and nothing she can do will fill her need. (God wants us to bring every problem to Him. But He wants to make us realize our utter helplessness before He steps in). God uses simple things... empty things. Her faith kept on borrowing, till there wasn't another available vessel. She separates herself and her boys from outsiders, and the filling starts! God was inside with her. (Our part is to provide empty vessels. God's part is to fill them). Oil is a picture of the power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Kgs 4:8 If you are anxious to please the Lord, yet find the times difficult, this story cannot fail to encourage you. The days of Elisha were very similar to ours.

2 Kgs 4:9 Notice the personal faith of this woman. She was able to discern. But what a nice impression Elisha left on them!

2 Kgs 4:12-17 A beautiful answer the woman gave - verse 13. (Is that where we dwell? Are "our people" the Lord's people?)

2 Kgs 4:16 What God promises, He is able to perform. A child is given.

2 Kgs 4:18-37 But she has still a greater lesson to learn. And that is, that the life-giving God is also the God of resurrection. The child has died but the Lord gives it life again! Wonder of wonders. (Death has come into our life too, through sin. But God has made us pass from death, unto life - John 5:24). This woman is in the "faith chapter" - Heb. 11:35.

2 Kgs 4:38-41 A delightful story in just four verses. Even though there was a dearth (a famine) Elisha the "man of God", provides a meal for these young men. They were all facing him. The pot was large enough to feed them all. It can be a lovely picture of Christ (pictured in Elisha) feeding us with healthy teaching (Jesus said "I am the living bread" John 6:51-57. It is good for us to be looking at the Lord Jesus; as these men were facing Elisha).

2 Kgs 4:39 But someone thought he could improve the meal by adding to it. (Just like false teachers are doing these days). But it turned out to be poison.

2 Kgs 4:41 Meal, or flour; in Lev. 2, the meal offering was very important. (For us it is a picture of the pure, even, life of the Lord Jesus. When we have problems, look up to the Lord Jesus in heaven, He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." John 14:6. That is what He wants us to do constantly.) The meal remedy worked, (and we today will find that He will speak to us. Try Him.)

2 Kgs 4:42-44 Read it carefully, or you will miss what it is saying. It is a miracle like Matt. 15:33-39. So we have had three things happen. Death - resurrection and food to sustain life. So we have these three also - (1) we were dead in trespasses and sins. Eph. 2:1. (2) We are born again into a new life. Eph 2:6 and (3) We have been given food for our new life, the Word of God that we might grow by it. 1 Peter 2:2.

#537

The same faith that sees glory at the end of the path for us; sees God for us all through the path.

2 KINGS 5

A little picture of a great truth in the Bible, that because Israel turned away from God (in spite of all His mercies) He has turned to the Gentiles. But a little maid (an Israelite) is used to bring a message to the Gentiles. Watch for four messages given to others in this great story.

2 Kgs 5:1 (Now Israel is in captivity and the Gentiles have been allowed the victory). In this beautiful story try and see for yourself how the "little maid" is so faithful and trusting. Never had such a miracle been performed before - Luke 4:27. Though while the message was being passed from one to another - some told it incorrectly. Nevertheless Naaman heard the true story later. His great pride is broken down, he washes, and his flesh becomes as the flesh of a "little child". (When we accept Christ as Saviour, we are washed in His precious blood, then we are "born again" - Luke 18:17).

2 Kgs 5:17-19 The "two" loads of earth speak of the Jew and Gentile brought together - Eph. 2:15 and of the "two or three" - Matthew 18:20. (The new ground on which we worship God).

2 Kgs 5:20-27 Material gain (the love of money) has spoiled many believers. When sin comes into the believer's life he is soiled. Did you find the 8 messages in verses 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, and 22?

#538

If I lose the joy of glory, difficulties become insurmountable, for my heart does not know what it has to contend for. Ps. 106:24.

2 KINGS 6, Verses 1-14

Elisha is able to adjust to all kinds of people - kings, widows, lepers and now to men building a house. The apostle Paul could preach to kings - Acts 26:1-2, and pick up sticks for a fire - Acts 28:3. They were both like our blessed Lord, Who designed and created the world, yet could take up a little child in His arms.

2 Kgs 6:1-7 This story can be like a believer; he has the truth "loaned" to him, but loses it. (Usually, we start down that road when we stop reading the Scriptures each day). He has to go back to the very spot where he lost it.

2 Kgs 6:6 The "stick" (wood) can be a picture of the cross of the Lord Jesus. We need to realize that the death of Christ has paid for our sins.

2 Kgs 6:7 Then we reach out our hand and we are restored and thankful.

2 Kgs 6:8-23 Once more we see God's grace working through Elisha. This time it is to warn the king of Israel of the secret plans of the enemy!

2 Kgs 6:11-14 The king of Syria sends a whole army to catch one man. (The ungodly person realizes his weakness against God and against God's people). So we need to realize that if God is with us, it does not matter how strong the enemy may appear.

#539

There is a burden of care in getting riches... fear in keeping them... temptation in using them... guilt in abusing them... sorrow in losing them.

2 KINGS 6, Verses 15-33

2 Kgs 6:15-17 To natural sight, Elisha's position was hopeless. But to faith there is a bright side. (May verse 16 be our constant thought. It will be, if we live with a tender conscience toward the Lord).

2 Kgs 6:19 Elisha was the "man of God" in verses 6, 9, & 10, but notice it is missing here.

2 Kgs 6:20 Elisha was experienced with the power of God, and wouldn't neglect showing the grace of God. (If we are conscious of the grace, we will know the power).

2 Kgs 6:24-33 Now we come to Elisha's last great appearance. Remember that Israel's own disobedience to God had brought this famine on them. (Read the warnings in Leviticus 26:21-29 and Deuteronomy 28:49-57).

2 Kgs 6:30 Notice that the king wore two things. He was trying to be two things at once. Had he worn just the last item mentioned, there would not have been this famine. He was half-hearted in his humility. Sackcloth is a picture of repentance and humility.

2 Kgs 6:25-32 Notice the contrast between what all the people and the king were doing with what Elisha is doing - Isaiah 26:3.

#540

Submission to the divine will is the softest pillow on which to recline.

2 KINGS 7

2 Kgs 7:1 Through a message from the Lord, Elisha tells what plenty there is going to be the next day! (Through a message from the Lord, believers know that though they pass through a world of violence and famine they have a bright "tomorrow". And it may be today).

2 Kgs 7:2 But an unbeliever scoffs at the Word of the Lord.

2 Kgs 7:3-16 Through four men who had leprosy the wonderful discovery is made that God has acted. Nothing else had caused the enemy to run - verse 5. The plenty comes, according to the Word of the Lord.

2 Kgs 7:17-20 The king puts this unbeliever in a place of responsibility, instead of dismissing him from his job. But God acts if the king doesn't, and here is the dreadful end.

#541

Oh to have Christ so before the eye as to be able to judge everything in His light!

2 KINGS 8

2 Kgs 8:1 Neither the misery of the people of Israel nor the mercy they received from God, turned their heart to God! So Elisha tells this woman that the Lord has called for a famine! (The Lord often speaks to us through the circumstances He allows in our life, even when, it wasn't our own actions that brought them on. The believer who understands that is the Lord speaking is not disturbed by them).

2 Kgs 8:4 You will remember the man who lied to Elisha about Naaman - 5:20-27. Now we find him sitting, talking with the unbelieving king. He is talking of the "great things" Elisha had done. Nothing about the Lord.

2 Kgs 8:5-6 The woman has her lands restored to her.

2 Kgs 8:7-15 When this king was in prosperity, he had sent an army to capture Elisha - 6:14, but now in his illness he sends Elisha a present! (The world, when it faces a calamity, sometimes calls on God, but only for selfish reasons).

2 Kgs 8:10 Elisha walked closely to the Lord, and therefore knew His mind. Though the king could have recovered, he was going to die by another means.

2 Kgs 8:11-12 Elisha is obviously affected by the thoughts of what was ahead for his beloved people, not by what was going to happen to the king of Syria.

2 Kgs 8:13 The man Hazael does not know his own heart.

2 Kgs 8:14-15 The murderer takes the throne!

2 Kgs 8:16-29 The sad story of many people.

#542

Circumstances wouldn't trouble, if they didn't find something in us contrary to God, they would rustle by as the wind. God deals with that in us which hinders communion and prevents seeking rest in Him alone. Heb. 4:13

2 KINGS 9, Verses 1-24

2 Kgs 9:1-4 It may be difficult for you to sort out the kings of the two kingdoms in the land of Israel. Not one of the kings of the 10 tribes (called the "kingdom of Israel") obeyed the Lord. Their wickedness brought on themselves the severest punishment of God, as we are now going to read. So prepare yourself, remembering that the Lord had warned them.

2 Kgs 9:1-4 Elisha, the Lord's prophet, doesn't get involved with this new king over the kingdom of Israel. He sends one of the sons of the prophets to proclaim him king.

2 Kgs 9:4-26 But there were two messages delivered to this other man. (l) To tell him that he was to be king; (2) to tell him to punish the house of Ahab for all its wickedness. Both messages appeal to Jehu's nature. He carries out the second with great energy. God was punishing for the evil, but Jehu was doing it to strengthen his own position as king.

#543

Be assured that a testimony in the last days will be attended by peculiar difficulties and trials, because it is further on in the evil day.

2 KINGS 9, Verses 25-37

2 Kgs 9:25 If you would like to trace something interesting, look back into the history of king Ahab and see what the Lord said would happen - 1 Kings 21. Read it to see why and how God had made the promise that punishment would come.

Just stop for a moment and try to think how awful it is going to be for our unsaved friends and relatives when they die, to suddenly realize that they are lost and will be in hell forever, because they didn't believe the Word of God which had so plainly told them that they would be damned if they did not believe. Read 2 Thess 2:12.

But, may we who are believers, remember the precious blood of Christ which was shed so that we would never, never be punished for our sins... He took the punishment. May we realize the awfulness of one sin.

Many, many years went by, but here we read of the field of Naboth again! Neither Ahab nor Jezebel escaped.

#544

The present circumstance which presses so hard against you is the best shaped tool in the Father's hand to chisel you for His glory.

2 KINGS 10, Verses 1-17

We could never understand the awful events in these verses unless we remember two things, (1) that a perfect and holy God has put them in the Bible, and (2) that He sooner or later punishes every sin that is ever committed. (Either you will be cast into hell for your sins, or Jesus has been punished for every one of your sins).

2 Kgs 10:1 Samaria was the capital, Jezreel was a place in Israel; Jerusalem was the capital of the kingdom of Judah.

2 Kgs 10:2-3 King Jehu uses these strange methods to do what God had told him to do.

2 Kgs 10:4-5 The leaders of Israel are afraid, for they suspect something is going wrong.

2 Kgs 10:6-7 The severe punishment from God falls on these seventy princes, the sons of wicked king Ahab.

2 Kgs 10:9-11 Not only the princes, but all these four groups. It was total removal from the earth of all those who had served Ahab. (Remember this is a picture of God's righteous punishment of every unrepentant sinner today.)

2 Kgs 10:12-17 These men, who had come from the King of Judah, were killed on orders from Jehu, he even boasts of his zeal for the Lord in all that he was doing!

#545

Examine many of our troubles and we'll find our own name stamped on them, as the manufacturer.

2 KINGS 10, Verses 18-36

God was acting for a different purpose than Jehu was. Jehu was doing all this to strengthen himself as king. Both purposes were being accomplished!

2 Kgs 10:29-30 But God saw exactly what the heart of Jehu was like.

2 Kgs 10:31-36 You would think that Jehu would have learned something about God from all these things, but no. He was just like millions today, thinking that God doesn't notice everything, even the heart of the man who was carrying out His purposes.

#546

No difficulties can stand when God is there, and we cannot stand when He is not there.

2 KINGS 11

Now we go over to the other line of kings ... the kings of Judah. We find murder and violence there, too. But try to keep the two kingdoms separate, Judah and Israel.

2 Kgs 11:1-3 This wicked woman, (the daughter of king Ahab, called the daughter of Omri, who was the father of Ahab, 8:26), murders her grandchildren and takes the throne of Judah herself. But one of the little boys is saved and hidden from Athaliah for six years.

2 Kgs 11:4-16 The plot and its result.

2 Kgs 11:17-21 It is so beautiful to see that in the middle of this story of murder and treason, a faithful man, Jehoiada the priest, is thinking about the Lord, and how he can bring the people back to Him! For awhile he succeeds.

#547

That with which we should be occupied, is not our circumstances but what God intends by them.

2 KINGS 12

Jehoash (sometimes called Joash - verse 19) was faithful to the Lord while this priest lived. Jehoash seemed to rely on the priest Jehoiada more than on the Lord. (We make a great mistake when we look up to men. We will always be disappointed if we do). Remember, we are now reading about the kingdom of Judah, (Not one of the kings of Israel after the division had really turned back to the Lord...but some of the kings of Judah did. This was one of them).

2 Kgs 12:4-6 This faithful priest is lovely to read about. When he died he was so well thought of that he was buried among the kings of Judah in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 24:16). Now the temple is repaired. Notice how bad the condition of it was. (When we turn back to the Lord, we realize how far away we have been. But it is a happy time when we realize that coming back to the Lord surely makes us notice the condition of His house. Only then do we have the energy to "repair it")

#548

There is nothing the body suffers which the soul may not profit by.

2 KINGS 13

2 Kgs 13:1-13 Jehoahaz, king of Israel (don't confuse the two kingdoms), not only took over the kingdom from his father, but his sins as well. God had rewarded his father for his obedience, 10:30, but punished him for his idolatry, but there is no sign of returning to the Lord.

2 Kgs 13:14-21 The faithful life of Elisha has been long. He lived under kings Jehoram (son of Ahab), Jehu, Jehoahaz of Israel and Joash (king of Judah). We come now to the evening of his days, his sun is about to set. Many of us believers have stood at the bedside of a faithful old Christian. What a great experience this can be. Here we stand by such an one.

2 Kgs 13:15-19 Elisha uses this to encourage the king against their old enemy - Syria.

2 Kgs 13:21 Even in the hour of death, God shows His power. Possibly a glimpse into the future, when Israel itself shall be miraculously brought back to life (after the church has been caught away to glory). Also look at Daniel 12:2.

#549

It would appear that we are approaching the last moments of tranquillity.

2 KINGS 14

2 Kgs 14:1-4 For a moment it might appear that king Amaziah was going to restore the worship of the Lord according to His Word. But he only went part way. There was only one place to worship the Lord. They thought it would be all right to have other places called "high places". In this case, they weren't for idol worship, but for the Lord. But they didn't please the Lord, for He had given careful instructions as we have often read together.

2 Kgs 14:8-14 There were many attempts to heal the division of Israel and Judah, and it certainly was God's desire that they should be one. But the fault lay in the giving up of the worship of the Lord. The result here is that Jerusalem (God's center) is attacked. The gold from the temple of God is stolen, and the wall is broken down.

2 Kgs 14:15-25 No returning to God or His Word. No doubt there was much worshipping going on, but it was not of God. The result was only sorrow.

2 Kgs 14:26-27 What words! God saw the bitterness, they didn't.

#550

God may permit and arrange events for the manifestation of sin... never in order to produce it.

2 KINGS 15

2 Kgs 15:1 Don't confuse this king Jeroboam, King of Israel with the first king of the divided kingdom of Israel.

2 Kgs 15:4 & 35 Almost the same as in chapter 14:4. People worshipped where they chose. As you read this chapter, with all its changes, confusion, and godlessness, you must realize that this is just before Israel (the 10 tribes) is swept away. To our day they have never been found. But they are somewhere, for they are to be gathered back into the land of Israel after we are gone! (In this chapter we see a reflection of our own days; for many believers today are worshipping God the way they think is right). The Word of God has little power over their life. (Each one of us should ask himself, "Am I willing to bow to what I know the Word of God is saying to me?")

#551

It is good to remember that the Hand that arranges our circumstances and shifts the scenes, has behind it the heart that takes account of the sparrow in its fall.

2 KINGS 16, Verses 1-10

The story of Ahaz, king of Judah. He had a good father (15:32-38) to show him the right way of the Lord. He is a picture of believers who stubbornly refuse to change their ways to conform to the Word of God (see Hosea 4:17). A person who persists in following his own way, is often led away into worse error. This king is an example.

2 Kgs 16:10-18 Ahaz, king of Judah, goes to visit the king of Assyria. But God wants His people to keep separate from those people who worship idols. Notice what appeals to his eyes! He prefers this altar to the one which God had designed (Exodus 27:1-2). Did this please God? Of course not. (Many believers today think that it is perfectly correct to learn a bit from different religions. Denominations which borrow from Judaism and the other religions are doing this. Pray that our eyes might be opened to see the errors into which Satan is leading many believers. All done to rob the Lord Jesus of the glory He deserves.)

#552

When our life is reviewed, we'll not remember the happiness so much as the sorrows for these drew us closer to a sympathizing Jesus.

2 KINGS 16, Verses 11-20

2 Kgs 16:11 The priest back at home, who should have been a guardian of God's truth, weakly goes along with the king's plans and makes an altar, copying the plan which the king had sent him. (Many believers today are doing the same thing. They are worshipping at altars that are copies of the Old Testament Jewish laws. For instance, having a building which is called the house of God - this is copying the temple idea. God says He doesn't live now in temples (buildings) made with hands - Acts 17:24, but He lives in every believer - 1 Cor. 6:19. Or having one man, appointed by the congregation, who does all the preaching, and who alone is allowed to give the bread and wine at communion (this is copying the priest idea from Leviticus, and quenches the Spirit of God - Eph. 4:30. 1 Thes. 5:19). And God says that now all believers are priests - 1 Peter 2:5 and that all believers are equally important - 1 Cor. 12:14. If our own will (what we think) takes over, we will not be able to see anything wrong with these things - Job 34:32.

2 Kgs 16:12-13 He probably thought that it was very attractive looking. The human mind must have some form of religion, and if left to itself, always goes to something attractive to the eye, but which is really idolatry. See verse 2 for God's opinion. We all need to be reminded that the Word of God, as guided by the Holy Spirit, is the only authority.

#553

The Lord Jesus is no security against storms, but He is perfect security in storms.

2 KINGS 17

God's patience has run out. We have read a long sad story. God sent warning after warning, prophet after prophet, but they refused to listen to any of them. Now the enemy comes. The kingdom of Israel (the 10 tribes) is swept away, never to return for the 2,600 years which have gone by since then.

We are living in exactly the same conditions. The Word of God has no effect on most people, and little effect on believers. Indifference (not caring) is the disease of our days. In Revelation 3:16, God is speaking about the last days of the church's history on earth - we are there now. Read what He says He is going to do with the professing Christians... just what He did with the kingdom of Israel in today's chapter. Read carefully. It is just like today. Don't think of it as applying only to the unsaved. True believers are poisoned by false teaching as never before.

Our voice is feeble, but we raise it for God and His truth. Are you continuing on in the poison of compromise and the traditions which men have established, and refuse to accept God's warning in His Word? God wants all believers to separate from religious evil - 2 Cor. 6:17. As you read the chapter, notice how many times it says that they did not listen or obey... verses 7 to 12, 14 to 17, 22, 40.

2 Kgs 17:36 The God who had so mercifully redeemed these people out of Egypt, Who had led them across a trackless wilderness for forty years, Who had given them the good land... where they ate without scarceness, and lacked nothing in it (Deut. 8:7), now has to turn them out of it for disobeying Him - see Hosea 9:17. So it is a sad story. (But we wonder how many readers are willing to say to the Lord - "Yes, I want to put Thee above all my present thoughts and obey Thee".)

#554

God's will is better than all opportunities, if we are clear as to that will.

2 KINGS 18, Verses 1-16

2 Kgs 18:1-8 Now back again to the kingdom of Judah. In the whole story of king Hezekiah, we see what can be done when the heart is turned toward God. If only the other kingdom had done this! Notice how the Lord was pleased, and helped him.

2 Kgs 18:9-12 The Assyrians had taken the other kingdom captive. Its capital was Samaria. The reason why the enemy could win was not because they were stronger, but because of what we read in the 12th verse.

2 Kgs 18:13-16 Eight years later, the Assyrian army returns to do the same thing to the kingdom of Judah. But will it succeed? Will king Hezekiah also be disobedient, or will he turn to the Lord? He had a very disobedient and foolish father - 16:10-20, and it would have been easy for him to follow his father's ideas. At first, when Assyria took the other towns of Judah, Hezekiah pays a tribute. But this was not trusting the Lord. It only put off the evil day.

#555

All my responsibilities and duties flow from the place I'm in.

2 KINGS 18, Verses 17-37

The three representatives of the Assyrian king meet the representatives of king Hezekiah. They do their best to discourage any trust in the Lord or in anyone else. They apparently knew that Hezekiah was trusting in the Lord, so they mock the Lord really.

2 Kgs 18:32 The enemy offers them an imitation of their own wonderful land - Deut. 8:7-8. The enemy's land was certainly not anything as good as their own land of Israel. Satan's prizes are false.

2 Kgs 18:37 Not having faith in the Lord as Hezekiah had, these three men are very upset, and bring the message to Hezekiah.

#556

A silent heaven is the greatest mystery of our existence.

2 KINGS 19

2 Kgs 19:1 Though he is upset, he does the best thing... he goes to tell the Lord. (What a grand thing for us to remember!)

2 Kgs 19:2-5 Secondly, he sends to Isaiah, God's prophet. (It is good to talk to believers who live close to the Lord when we are troubled. They often have a message from the Lord for us.)

2 Kgs 19:6-7 Isaiah's message. Could the king fear after hearing such assurance?

2 Kgs 19:8-13 But the enemy doesn't slow down.

2 Kgs 19:14-19 This time Hezekiah takes the enemy's letter right to the Lord. We can read his actual prayer - short and direct.

2 Kgs 19:20-34 God reviews the whole case, telling in more detail than Hezekiah probably knew, of the proud boasting and plans of the enemy. Then God tells what would really happen.

2 Kgs 19:35-37 One angel destroys 185,000 in the enemy camp in one night.

#557

We're living in a day which could be described as civilized heathenism.

2 KINGS 20

2 Kgs 20:1 The king gets a serious illness. But by the power of God he is restored. Sometimes the Lord has to speak to us through an illness to draw us closer to Him (See 1 Peter 1:6,7).

2 Kgs 20:2-3 He prays, and God hears and cures him.

2 Kgs 20:4-7 God promises him these years.

2 Kgs 20:8-11 Love and power are combined in God. A great miracle is also performed. Hezekiah has a lot to be thankful for. We would surely think that a man who has experienced such great things from the Lord would never make a mistake... would walk carefully.

2 Kgs 20:12-13 But look at what he does! The human heart cannot stand success unless it leans on the Lord. Hezekiah doesn't say a word about the Lord having given him all his wealth.

2 Kgs 20:14-21 One thing can be said for him, he took it humbly from the Lord.

#558

Circumstances bring out the cause of failure.

2 KINGS 21

Hezekiah's son Manasseh was born during the additional 15 years which God gave to the father, for he was only 12 when he became king. Apparently, any teaching he may have received from his father didn't make much impression on him.

2 Kgs 21:2-9 The details of his wickedness are clearly given us. Notice again that the acts were religious evil. He built many altars.

2 Kgs 21:10-16 With equal detail, God tells what He will do as the result of this wickedness. Though the Lord is so longsuffering and merciful, He is holy, and sin must be punished, though the punishment may be delayed. Read Ecclesiastes 8:11. This verse describes the world today.

2 Kgs 21:19-26 His son Amon followed the father in his wicked ways. What a dreadful end he had.

#559

If I can't overcome where I am, I can't anywhere.

2 KINGS 22

We could expect that the next generation would continue the downward and disobedient life. But suddenly we see a bright star in the darkness... king Josiah, Amon's son.

2 Kgs 22:3-7 These verses seem to indicate that the young king earlier had ordered the repairing of the temple.

2 Kgs 22:8-20 While clearing the dirt out of the temple they come across a copy of the Word of God - (Just the 5 books of Moses - Genesis to Deuteronomy). This apparently had been lost for many years. Notice the effect it has on the king. (This is what we all need to learn. If the Word of God does not change our life, it is because we are careless and indifferent. Read Isaiah 66:2, for a good promise). King Josiah did this. Though God was going to punish the people, He would spare the king from seeing it. (There can be no growth in the soul of any one of us unless we separate from the evil around us. 2 Tim. 2:19-26).

#560

We see the END, but do we see the way?

2 KINGS 23, Verses 1-14

2 Kgs 23:1-2 Having read the Word of God himself, the next important step was to have it read to all the people. It would not have been right just to tell the people about the Word. He wanted them to hear the words for themselves. That is why we say repeatedly that the purpose of Chapter-A-Day outlines is to encourage you to read the Word of God for yourself and have it affect you.

2 Kgs 23:3 He doesn't ask them to do what he was not doing himself. The italic letters (not in the original writings) give the impression that the people first made the promise. But it was really the king. Then the people agreed.

2 Kgs 23:4 The first job was to get rid of the corruption. And this is always God's order. Believers don't learn God's truth until they are willing to separate from what they know is wrong in their life - Isaiah 1:16-17.

2 Kgs 23:5 Then the religious evil had to be put away. (Do you understand what this means in your life?)

2 Kgs 23:6-14 Does he say "oh, what is the harm in that?" or "everyone is doing it, so it might be all right?" No. He decided everything by what God's Word said. (Are we?)

2 Kgs 23:12 Notice the last word in verse 4... Bethel (also in verses 15 & 17). Now turn back to 1 Kings 12:26-29! This was hundreds of years before. See Ecclesiastes 3:15, (last part). God doesn't change. He had foretold 350 years before that "a child... Josiah" would destroy the altar of Bethel. 1 Kings 13:2. Not only is Josiah's name in the Bible 350 years before he is born, but also that he would do this to the very same altar!

#561

We understand the work FOR us, but do we understand the work IN us?

2 KINGS 23, Verses 15-37

2 Kgs 23:15-20 While king Josiah was ordering all these idolatrous things to be destroyed, he noticed some places where people had been buried (sepulchers). There were the places where the bones of the false prophets who had lived many, many years before. His eye caught a name which was engraved on a sepulcher. The men told him that it was the grave of that man of God who had lived about 350 years before (1 Kings 13:1, 30). So we see the two results... preservation for the two prophets, and destruction for all which was not of God.

2 Kgs 23:21-23 One of the reasons this Passover was never equaled before or after it, was because everything was done according to God's Word! (What a message for every one of us today).

2 Kgs 23:24 Remember that idolatry is always connected with worship. The human heart is never satisfied unless it has an object to worship. (Today Satan is succeeding in deceiving millions through his cults with religious appearance. Even true believers are being led away from the truth of Scripture).

2 Kgs 23:25 Those awful conditions were no hindrance to this king. Read carefully what it says about his faithfulness. Notice it was with his spirit (heart), soul and body (might).

2 Kgs 23:26-27 In spite of the faithfulness of the king, God would not change from the severe punishment He had already announced (Read Jeremiah 15:4).

2 Kgs 23:29-37 The punishment commences. Judah loses its faithful king Josiah, and gets two evil kings, both being the sons of Josiah. The kingdom of Judah is under the control of the king ("Pharaoh" means king. Like Caesar, Kaiser, Czar).

#562

My need today... not self-justification but self-renunciation... not avenging wrongs but enduring them.

2 KINGS 24

Four kings of Judah come and go within 23 years. Jehoahaz reigns only 3 months (23:31), Jehoiakim, 11 years (23:36), Jehoiakin 3 months (24:8), and Zedekiah 11 years (v. 18). The Lord's name is mentioned 10 times in the chapter. Notice the circumstances surrounding each time. God had repeatedly warned the kingdom of Judah of what would happen if they were disobedient.

They paid no attention... they saw the kingdom of Israel (the other ten tribes) carried away into captivity. They paid no attention... and now God acts! All is utter confusion. Firstly they were under the control of Egypt. Now comes Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon and they are under Babylon. Everything was falling apart. Do you see the same thing happening today in our countries? And for the same reason - disobedience to the Lord.

#563

Under all circumstances, in all places, at all times, we're to pray. Prayer is the constant attitude of dependence on God.

2 KINGS 25

2 Kgs 25:1-21 Here is the sad end of the story of disobedience to God. This beautiful land which God had given to Israel, has been lost to them, and now Judah is being taken captive to Babylon. They will remain there for 70 years; then a faithful little remnant will be brought back. God always has His few.

2 Kgs 25:22-26 Most of the people who remained in the land turned to Egypt for help. (God had told them to submit to the king of Babylon and He would preserve them). But they refused and are destroyed (read of the same incident in Jeremiah 43).

So we come to the end of this book of 2nd Kings, with many incidents, some bright but most dark; about many men, women, youths and children, some faithful, some unfaithful to God. How will your and my life show up when it is reviewed before the Lord Jesus Christ? This is our only opportunity to live faithfully for Him. Prov. 14:23 says "In all labor there is profit". But in the believer's life no labor brings richer, more lasting fruit, than the patient, prayerful reading and living of God's Word. Many have found this to be a life of joy.( We believers cannot progress, but will go down and down, unless we are willing to step out of the religious evil which is all around us. Does this strike a chord in your heart?)

 

by Norman Berry - 1911-2001
Published by Mario Persona contato@mariopersona.com.br


 
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