2 Kings 14
-More of the history of the kings of Israel and Judah are discussed in this chapter. It begins with the rule of Amaziah in Judah, who succeeded his father Joash after his assassination. Amaziah did right in the eyes of the LORD as a partiality good king. However, he, like his father, allowed the high places to go undisturbed and the people still burned incense and sacrificed to foreign gods on these high places. As soon as the kingdom was fully in his hands, Amaziah killed his servants who had slain Joash, his father. He destroyed 10,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt (Dead Sea region) and took Sela by war, renaming it Joktheel (2 Kings 14:1-7). At this point he got overconfident and challenged Jehoash, king of Israel, to face each other. Jehoash warned his southern brother and did not want trouble, but Judah persisted and they fought at Beth-shemesh (this was the northwest border of Judah, 20 miles from Jerusalem). Amaziah was captured and Jerusalem was eventually broken into as the walls were torn down between the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate (around 600 feet of territory). The gold, silver, and all the utensils of the House of the LORD were taken by Jehoash’s army as well as the treasuries of the king of Judah’s house with the hostages. After this they returned to Samaria the victors (2 Kings 14:8-14).
-The life of Jehoash (Joash), king of Israel ended peacefully after 17 years on the throne in Samaria and his son Jeroboam II took control. He took back territory for Israel even though he did evil in the sight of the LORD in not departing from the traditional pagan practices of the northern kingdom. “For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, which was very bitter; for there was neither bond nor free, nor was there any helper for Israel. The LORD did not say that He would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash (2 Kings 14:26-27).” He recovered Damascus from Aram and Hamath, which had belonged to Judah. After a 41 year reign, he was succeeded by his son Zechariah.
-Meanwhile, in back in Judah, Amaziah lived 15 years after the death of Jehoash (Joash) as king in Jerusalem. He was eventually conspired against as his father was and was assassinated in Lachish (the second most fortified city in Judah that defended an east-west valley). He was buried in Jerusalem with his fathers and his son Azariah became king at the age of sixteen. Azariah built Elath (a port at the north end of the Red Sea).
-*Application* This historical portrayal should remind us to sometimes leave well enough alone. Amaziah ruined a good thing by getting too prideful in his accomplishments and wanting to pick a fight with Israel who really didn’t want trouble. A wise person will heed well intentioned warnings and avoid disaster. Stay content and avoid being over ambitious when God isn’t in something. Also, we see that God’s patience and goodness extends further than we could ever imagine. He sees our suffering. Even when we are bad and undeserving, He sometimes extends blessings and helps us in our needs. Our God reaches out to save and is gracious in all our affliction!
Verses to Memorize: 2 Kings 14:26-27