Read 2 Kings 14
Reigns of Amaziah, Azariah, and Jotham over Judah; reigns of Jeroboam, Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah over Israel.
He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the Word of the Lord God of Israel, which He spake by the hand of His servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher (II Kin. 14:25).
King Jeroboam II (son of Jehoash — 14:16) was very successful in all his battles and brought great prosperity to the nation, but these victories did not lead him to worship God. Instead, he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord (14:24). He practiced all the sins of Jeroboam I. Furthermore, Jeroboam II ignored the prophets of God (Amos, Hosea, Joel, and Jonah) who prophesied during his reign. This reign lasted forty-one years. He reigned just as long as godly King Asa, except one was just and one was evil. The length of a man's time proves nothing about his righteousness. Therefore, God commanded Amos to go to Bethel to prophesy the destruction of this king and his kingdom (Amos 7:9).
The Israelites seemed to believe that because they prospered, God approved of their worshiping idols. More and more, they placed their confidence in the supremacy of Baal worship. God was evidently showing compassion to those who once followed Him. However, they were blinded by their sin to the mercy shown to them and continued in their sinful ways. They did this even though God's prophets were prophesying His judgment to them. Paul's instructions to Timothy are just as important today as they were then. Preach the Word . . . For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine . . . And they shall turn away their ears from the Truth, and shall be turned unto fables (II Tim. 4:2-4).
The times when we are receiving the most material blessings are often the times when we experience greater tests of our loyalty and humility before God. It is in times of prosperity that we are usually less concerned about prayerfully seeking the Lord's guidance and will for our lives (Col. 3:1).
Many, like Jeroboam, boast of their material success, even though it was achieved at the cost of spiritual neglect. How tragic that some parents have left their children much material wealth but have failed to emphasize the real spiritual wealth of the Word of God (Prov. 22:6)!
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Matt. 16:26).
Thought for Today:
We forfeit the Lord's best when we fail to keep His Commandments.
When the Lord struck King Azariah with leprosy and thrust him out from being king (II Kin. 15:5-7). This foreshadows the time when Christ shall reign upon the earth and all who have ignored or refused His merciful gift of salvation shall be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).
14:10 lifted thee up, made you proud; 14:12 put to the worse, defeated; 14:25 sea of the plain, the Dead Sea; 15:5 a several house, a separated house; 15:20 exacted, assessed, taxed; 15:25 in his room, in his stead, place.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy • Government Official: Sen. Richard Shelby (AL) • Country: Colombia (38.6 million) in northwestern South America • Major language: Spanish • New government has declared religious freedom • 93% Catholic; 4% Protestant; .5% Tibal; .2% Muslim; .1% Baha'i; .1% Jewish; 2.1% non-Religious/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Go to God in prayer with a heart and life that are keeping His Commandments and He will answer you (I John 4:7-8).
Optional Reading: Romans 9
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 5:21