Wednesday, August 24, 2022

2022.08.24 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Kings 22:41–53

Read 1 Kings 22:41–53

Questions from the Scripture text: Who became king, where, when (1 Kings 22:41)? How old was he (1 Kings 22:42)? How long did he reign? Where? Who else’s name and family does verse 42 give? In what ways did he walk (1 Kings 22:43)? What did he not do? What did he do? With what exception in the behavior of the people? And what exception in the acts of the king (1 Kings 22:44, cf. 2 Chronicles 18:1)? What acts were not important enough to the biblical account to be detailed here (1 Kings 22:45)? What moral action does 1 Kings 22:46 highlight? And what comparison to what nation does 1 Kings 22:47 highlight? What had he tried to do, but what happened (1 Kings 22:48)? How does 1 Kings 22:49 show that he learned his lesson from 1 Kings 22:44? What happened to him upon his death (1 Kings 22:50)? And what happened with his body? Which of these fathers’ identity reminds us of the blessedness of resting with his fathers? Who reigned in his place? Who became king in 1 Kings 22:51? Over whom? Where? When? For how long? What did he do (1 Kings 22:52)? In the ways of which three people did he walk? What had Jeroboam son of Nebat done? What, especially does Ahaziah do in 1 Kings 22:53? Whom does this provoke? To what? According to what? 

What harm can a little compromise from a good king do? 1 Kings 22:41–53 looks forward to the first serial reading in morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these thirteen verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that only Jesus can be the King of promise, because even godly kings whose folly or sin is a small fraction of their royal acts may do great damage to the people entrusted to them. 

As we come to the end of 1Kings and prepare to transition into the Elisha material, we discover how little hope we can have in any of the descendants of David so far. Jehoshaphat seems like he’s off to a good start: son of Asa, walked in all his daddy’s ways (1 Kings 22:43) and then some (1 Kings 22:46), did what was right in the eyes of Yahweh. Praise God!

But then it starts to unravel. He may be a godly king over the people, but he lacked the ability to make the people godly. They still worshiped on the high places (1 Kings 22:43). Worse still, he “made peace with the king of Israel” (1 Kings 22:44). It’s so understated—it could even pass for a political compliment. Except that king with whom the peace was made was Ahab (verse 44), and the cost of that peace would be his son’s marriage to Ahab’s daughter Athaliah (cf. 2 Chronicles 18:1). If her name doesn’t set off alarm bells for you, stick with the study into 2 Kings, and that will be corrected.

Jehoshaphat may have realized his error by 1 Kings 22:48-49, when he refused further entanglement with the dynasty of Omri (Jezebel’s father), but it was too late. Jehoshaphat rests with his fathers in 1 Kings 22:50, but the damage to the nation is severe. There will be reformations in the south, but the truth is growing increasingly clear: no mere man can be the forever-King whom David had been promised in 2 Samuel 7!

As for the northern kingdom, the original sin of Jeroboam persists in Ahaziah, together with the family sins of Ahab and Jezebel. If the southern kingdom’s loss is beginning to appear inevitable, it is even more apparent that the northern kingdom was lost from its beginning. This all sets up for the dynamic that we will see in the next book: God persists patiently and faithfully with His wicked people by means of His Word in the mouth of His prophets. 

But it won’t be until the Word becomes flesh that we fully see that the Great Prophet of Deuteronomy 18:15 is the only One Who could have ever been the forever-King of 2 Samuel 7:13. So the end of 1 Kings 22 leaves us saying of His first coming what Revelation 22 leaves us saying of His second coming: Come, Lord Jesus!

Who is your King? How is He able to do for you what Jehoshaphat couldn’t do for the people? What effect does He have upon His bride? How well does He do in the eyes of the LORD? What effect does this have upon you?

Sample prayer:  Lord Jesus, You are King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We praise You that unlike Jehoshaphat, Your righteousness and wisdom are both perfect! And we thank You that unlike Jehoshaphat, You are able and willing to do away with Your people’s sin. Truly, we have provoked You to anger by doing according to the wisdom of our own hearts. We have walked in the sins of our fathers and mothers, and especially of our first father Adam, who made us to sin. So forgive us, we pray, and keep working in us by Your Spirit, that we may be conformed to Your image and adopted in Your Sonship, which we ask in Your Name, AMEN! 

Suggested songs: ARP72A “God, Give Your Judgments to the King” or TPH72B “O God, Your Judgments Give the King”

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