Read II Kings 14 -- 15
In Today's Reading:
Reigns of Amaziah, Azariah (Uzziah), and Jotham over Judah; reigns of five of last six kings over Israel
Following the death of his father King Jehoash, Jeroboam II ruled the northern kingdom of Israel in Samaria for 41 years. He encouraged the people in the idolatry that Jeroboam I had initiated in the northern kingdom. Consequently, immorality and idolatry flourished during the reign of Jeroboam II. Finally, in the midst of prosperity, God commanded the prophet Amos, from the southern kingdom of Judah, to go to Bethel and prophesy the destruction of Jeroboam's kingdom.
Both Hosea and Amos also spoke out against the sweeping religious and moral decay during Jeroboam's reign. For about 30 years, his nation enjoyed peace, prosperity, and political prestige unparalleled since the days of David and Solomon. Jeroboam recovered the territories of Israel as foretold by the prophet Jonah. Sadly, Israel's prosperity did not cause the people to turn to the Lord and worship Him. It appears that they attributed their prosperity to idols.
After Jeroboam's death, anarchy prevailed and Israel rapidly degenerated. Jeroboam was succeeded by his son Zechariah who reigned only six months.This was the fourth and last generation of the house of Jehu as foretold by the prophet.
About 30 years after Jeroboam's death, the northern kingdom was destroyed and its people taken captive by the Assyrians as foretold by the prophets. Material success is often deceptive, as it was for King Jeroboam II. We cannot measure spirituality by material prosperity or the lack of it. Surely the goodness of God should lead us, in gratitude, to do the will of Jesus Christ our Lord. He has rescued us from the control of Satan and established us in the Kingdom of Christ.
Devotional commentary also refers to: Amos 2:6-8; 3:13; 5:27; Hosea 6:4-10; 10:1-15; Colossians 1:13.
When the Lord struck King Azariah with leprosy and thrust him out from being king (see II Kings 15:5-7). This foreshadows the time when all who ignore the merciful gift of salvation shall receive eternal punishment (see Revelation 20:15).
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.
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Optional Reading: Romans 9
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:23