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Bible Pathways 05/06/2002

May 06

Read 2 Kings 14 -- 15

In Today's Reading:

Reigns of Amaziah, Azariah (Uzziah), and Jotham over Judah; reigns of Jeroboam II, Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah over Israel.

Verse for Today:

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 prophet (2 Kings 14:25).

Following the death of his father Jehoash, Jeroboam II ruled the Northern Kingdom of Israel in Samaria for 41 years (2 Kings 14:16-29). This was the longest reign of any king of Israel. However, it is also recorded: He did . . . evil in the sight of the Lord: he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam . . . 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 corruption during Jeroboam's reign (Hosea 6:4-10; 10:1-15; Amos 2:6-8; 3:13 -- 5:27). Although Jeroboam II was a wicked king, the nation enjoyed peace, prosperity, and political prestige unparalleled since the days of David and Solomon.

Sadly, Israel's prosperity did not cause them to worship the Lord. It appears that they attributed their prosperity to idols therefore, immorality and violence continued to permeate the nation (2 Kings 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) fulfilling the word of the Lord which He spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation (15:12).

About 30 years after Jeroboam's death, the words of the prophets were fulfilled concerning the defeat of the Northern Kingdom and its people were taken captive by the Assyrians (17:1-18). Material success is deceptive and it often leads to independence from God, as it did for King Jeroboam II.

Surely the goodness of God should lead us, in gratitude, to submit ourselves to the will of Jesus Christ our Lord, giving thanks unto the Father. . . . Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son: In Whom we have redemption through His blood (Colossians 1:12-14).

Christ Revealed:

When the Lord struck King Azariah with leprosy and thrust him out from being king (2 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 (Revelation 20:15).

Word Studies:

14:10 lifted thee up = made you proud; 14:12 put to the worse = defeated; 14:25 sea of the plain = area of 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.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Jim Ramstad (MN) and Sen. Richard Shelby (AL) · Pray for your Church · Country: Croatia (5 million) in southeastern Europe · Major language: Serbo-Croatian · Religious freedom · 73% Roman Catholic; 15% Serbian Orthodox; 5% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and praise God that the answers to your prayers are granted through the grace of God (Isaiah 30:19).

Optional Reading: Romans 9

Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 1:23

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