Thursday, April 25: 2 Kings 12 – 2 Kings 14
Friday, April 26: 2 Kings 15 – 2 Kings 17
Saturday, April 27: 2 Kings 18 – 2 Kings 19
Sunday, April 28: 2 Kings 20 – 2 Kings 22
Over the past few day’s I’ve enjoyed a long weekend vacation. It’s hard to believe that it’s been since mid October since I last took a Sunday off. Six months is a long time without a break. Honestly, every day I said to myself, “I should blog.” Then I thought it’s okay to step away. I’ve kept up on my reading, still true to that!
So . . . where to start?
I enjoyed a comment by one of my faithful readers, “I can’t wait to be done with the kings.” With warning, we might be close to being done with 2 Kings, but we still have the Book of Chronicles to go. Same story . . . different verse. For all of those times we’ve read “and all the acts of (insert kings name here) are written in the book of Annals” it means there is more to the story, hence the stories of Chronicles.
While we have all that to look forward too, the last half of 2 Kings has brought a steady decline to the story of Israel and Judah. A decline that has ended with the exile of Israel in Chapter 17. No longer are they a great and mighty nation. Now , the sins of king after king, have led to exile at the hand of the Assyrians. What a sad tragedy. One can’t say they weren’t warned. Still sad to see God’s people now exiled (again!)
As we lament over Israel, Judah isn’t fairing much better. It seems for every king who “does right in the eyes of the LORD” another king comes along and “does evil in the eyes of the LORD.” Even for the bloodline of David, things don’t bode so well. Ahaz . . . Menasseh . . . those were some real doozies. Sacrificing their children, building high altars to false gods, and innocent blood shed. What a mess. To right their horrible wrongs, Hezekiah and Josiah provide faithful leadership. In each of their reigns, faithfulness is restored, portions of the Temple rebuilt, and in Josiah’s case the rediscovery of the Book of the Law. I wanted to ask, “how do you loose that?” Even with the occasional resurgence in Judah’s story, the domino’s are already in motion. The exile of Judah won’t be too far behind.
Perhaps like the comment shared by one of my faithful readers, I’ll be glad when this part of the story comes to an end. No one like exile and banishment, yet is it out of the darkest times that we find restoration and hope. Hope that comes only in God!
Our next reading: 2 Kings 23-25