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Bible Pathways - May 6, 2006

May 6, 2006

Read 2 Kings 14

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 Jehoash, Jeroboam II ruled the northern kingdom of Israel in Samaria for 41 years (II Kings 14:16-29). However, 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 sweeping religious and moral decay during Jeroboam's reign (Hosea 6:4-10; 10:1-15; Amos 2:6-8; 3:13 — 5:27). For about 30 years the nation enjoyed peace, prosperity, and political prestige unparalleled since the days of David and Solomon. Jeroboam restored the coast (boundaries) 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 (II Kings 14:25).

Sadly, Israel's prosperity did not cause the people to worship the Lord. It appears that they attributed their prosperity to idols. Thus, 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 Zechariah (14:29) who reigned only six months (15:8).This was the fourth and last generation of the house of Jehu (15:12).

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 for only God knoweth the secrets of the heart (Psalm 44:21).

Surely the goodness of God should lead us, in gratitude, to do the will of Jesus Christ our Lord. He (the Father) 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 (Revelation 20:15).

Word Studies:

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.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Diana Hash · Government Officials: Rep. Jim Ramstad (MN) and Sen. Richard Shelby (AL) · Country: Swaziland (985,000) in southern Africa · Major languages: English and siSwati · Religious freedom · 67% Protestant; 19% animism, spirit-possession cults, and divination; 11% Roman Catholic; 3% Baha'i · Prayer Suggestion: Be specific in your prayers (Luke 18:41-43).

Optional Reading: Romans 9

Memory Verse for the Week: I Kings 11:9

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