Highlights In Today's Reading:
Pay attention to the list of kings in the history of Israel and Judah. One dies; another takes his place. Some please God; some don't. For some, their greater sin is not only disobeying God, but also leading others to sin. How will God remember you and me?
Following the death of his father Jehoash, Jeroboam II ruled the Northern Kingdom of Israel for 41 years in Samaria (14:23), one of the longest reigns of any of Israel's kings. 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 . . . His servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet (14:25).
Scripture gives little credit to Jeroboam for his success, but the Lord foretold it through His servant Jonah. The Lord saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel. . . . but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash (14:26-27).
For about 30 years of his rule the nation enjoyed peace, prosperity, and political prestige unparalleled since the days of David and Solomon about 130 years earlier. Unfortunately, his military abilities were not matched by any desire for doing the will of God: He (also) did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord (14:24), and immorality and idolatry flourished. Finally, God commanded Amos to prophesy in Bethel the destruction of Jeroboam's kingdom (Amos 7:9). Both Hosea and Amos also spoke out against the spiritual bankruptcy, religious perversion, and moral wickedness that flourished during Jeroboam's reign (Hos. 1:1; 6:4-10; 10:1-15; Amos 1:1; 2:6-8; 3:13-5:27).
Sadly, this period of national prosperity did not cause them to be repentant and humble before God. The Lord showed His love for His people through the special prophets He sent to them (17:13). But the people rejected the Word of God. They attributed their prosperity to their idols and worshiped them more than ever, while immorality and violence continued to thrive.
But after Jeroboam's death, anarchy prevailed and Israel rapidly degenerated. If they had only repented of their sins, been obedient to the Word of God, and worshiped the Lord, their wonderful peace and prosperity surely would have continued.
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Rom. 6:16).
Thought for Today:
If we have not fully surrendered to the Word of God we do not know the fullness of His blessings and His plan for our lives.
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 ignore or refuse His merciful gift of salvation shall be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).
14:10 lifted thee up =b> made you proud; 14:12 put to the worse =b> defeated; 14:25 sea of the plain =b> the Dead Sea; 15:5 a several house =b> a separated house; 15:20 exacted =b> assessed, taxed; 15:25 in his room =b> in his stead, place.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Irwin & Joyce Koopman • Staff: Al Joslyn • Government Official: Sen. Richard Shelby (AL) • Country: Liberia (3 million) in West Africa • Major languages: English and more than 20 local languages of the Niger-Congo language group • Religious freedom • 41% ancestor worship and witchcraft; 21% Muslim; 13% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that at all times you will find pleasure in what pleases the Lord (Phil. 2:13).
Optional Reading: Romans 9
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:15