Read II Kings 14 -- 15
Following the death of his father Jehoash, Jeroboam II ruled the Northern Kingdom of Israel in Samaria for 41 years (II Kings 14:16-29). This was the longest reign of all the kings of Israel. However, it is also recorded: He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord: he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin (14:24). Immorality and idolatry flourished during the reign of Jeroboam II. Finally, God commanded the prophet Amos, from the Southern Kingdom of Judah, to go to Bethel and prophesy the destruction of Jeroboam's kingdom (Amos 7:9). Both Hosea and Amos spoke out against religious and moral decay during Jeroboam's reign (Hosea 6:4-10; 10:1-15; Amos 2:6-8; 3:13 -- 5:27). Although he was a wicked king, for about 30 years of Jeroboam II's rule the nation enjoyed peace, prosperity, and political prestige unparalleled since the days of David and Solomon. Jeroboam restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the (Dead) Sea of the plain, according to the Word of the Lord God of Israel, which He spoke through His servant Jonah, son of Amittai, the prophet (II Kings 14:25).
Sadly, Israel's prosperity did not cause them to worship the Lord. It appears that they attributed their prosperity to idols, and immorality and violence continued to permeate the nation (17:13-17).
After Jeroboam's death, anarchy prevailed and Israel rapidly degenerated. Jeroboam was succeeded by his son Zachariah (14:29) who reigned only six months (15:8).This was the fourth and last generation of the House of Jehu (15:12), as foretold when the Lord said to Jehu, Because you have done well . . . your children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. But Jehu took no heed to walk in the Law of the Lord . . . for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin (10:30-31). Zachariah was murdered by Shallum (15:10), who then proclaimed himself king. In turn, after reigning for only one month, Shallum was murdered by Menahem, who ruled ten years (15:17). Upon the death of Menahem, his son Pekahiah reigned two years (15:22-23) and was murdered by Pekah, who ruled 20 years (15:25-27). The last king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel was Hoshea, who assassinated Pekah to gain the throne. Hoshea reigned for nine years before God destroyed Samaria.
About 30 years after Jeroboam's death, the words of the prophets were fulfilled. The Northern Kingdom was destroyed and its people taken captive by the Assyrians (17:1-18). Material success is often deceptive, as it was for King Jeroboam II. We cannot measure men's character by the length of their lives, nor by their material prosperity.
Surely the goodness of God should lead us, in gratitude, to do the will of Jesus Christ our Lord, who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son (Colossians 1:13).
Christ Revealed: When the Lord struck King Azariah with leprosy and thrust him out from being king (II Kings 15:5-7). This foreshadows the time when all who ignore the merciful gift of salvation shall be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).
Word Studies: 14:7 Selah means the rock fortress city of Petra (just south of the Dead Sea); 14:12 put to the worse means defeated; 14:25 coast means border; by the hand of means through; sea of the plain means area of the Dead Sea; 15:5 a several house means a separated house; 15:20 exacted means assessed, taxed; 15:25 in his room means in his stead, place.
Government Officials: Rep. Jim Ramstad (MN) and Sen. Richard Shelby (AL) · BPM Staff: Diana Hash · Pray for Bible Pathway Prayer Partners · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Rick Hash · Country: Ghana (19 million) in western Africa · Major languages: English and African languages · The government permits freedom to churches and missionaries that do not get involved in politics · 31% belief in spirits and witches; 22% Protestant; 17% Muslim; 11% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment (Proverbs 2:1-6).
Optional Reading: Romans 9
Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 1:13