Wednesday, December 14, 2022

2022.12.14 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Kings 8:16–29

Read 2 Kings 8:16–29

Questions from the Scripture text: What year of whose reign in what kingdom is it in 2 Kings 8:16? Who had been king of what other kingdom? And who begins to reign with Jehoshaphat at that time? How old was Jehoram (2 Kings 8:17)? How long did he reign? In the way of which kings did Jehoram walk (2 Kings 8:18)? Of whose house specifically? Why—who was his wife? What did he do in Whose sight? For whose sake didn’t Yahweh destroy Judah immediately (2 Kings 8:19)? What had He promised? What happened in his days (2 Kings 8:20)? What did Edom do? Where did the king of Judah go (2 Kings 8:21)? And who with him? What did he attempt to do? But what had his troops done instead? With what result (2 Kings 8:22)? Who else revolted? What other acts of Joram (i.e., Jehoram) are recorded here (2 Kings 8:23)? Where was Joram laid down (2 Kings 8:24, n.b. the difference between being laid with and being gathered to)? Who did what in his place? In what year, of whose reign, where, did Ahaziah begin to reign (2 Kings 8:25)? How old was he (2 Kings 8:26)? How long did he reign? Who was his mother? Who was her grandfather? In whose way did Ahaziah walk (2 Kings 8:27)? What sort of walking was this? What relation is mentioned three times in this verse? What did Ahaziah do with which Joram (2 Kings 8:28, cf. 2 Kings 8:25)? What did the Syrians do? Then where did the northern Joram go (2 Kings 8:29) to do what? Who went to see him? Why? What does this show about their relationship?

Why is marrying poorly such a big deal? 2 Kings 8:16–29 looks forward to the first serial reading in morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these fourteen verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that marrying into an evil family is just asking to end up living an evil life and dying the death of the wicked.

The certainty of God’s Word. If you happen to belong to David (2 Kings 8:19a), that’s a good thing—especially if that’s a belonging that is by faith in the forever-King Son of David (verse 19b). Even all of the evil walking in this passage (2 Kings 8:182 Kings 8:27) cannot undo God’s promised blessing.

But if you happen to belong to Ahab, the un-breakability of God’s Word doesn’t produce happy results for you. Despite the passage of time, 1 Kings 21:21 is no weaker or less likely than when it was first spoken. Men grow comfortable in their sin partly because they just don’t appreciate how unbreakable are God’s words of threat and curse.

The danger of marrying poorly. When Athaliah is introduced in 2 Kings 8:18 as “the daughter of Ahab,” the curse against that house comes immediately to mind. But there is something worse than being punished with Ahab’s punishment—sinning in the likeness of Ahab’s sin. We are so spiritually sinful and dull that it is difficult for us to realize that sin is worse than Hell. 

And how did Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat  end up walking in evil? “For the daughter of Ahab was his wife” (2 Kings 8:18). How did it come to be that Ahaziah “walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did evil in the sight of Yahweh” (2 Kings 8:27)? “His mother’s name was Athaliah, the granddaughter of Omri” (2 Kings 8:26). Marrying a worldly woman is a good recipe for dooming not only oneself, but generations of one’s children (should they last generations), unto enmity with God.

The warnings of providence. Every hard providence among God’s people is an opportunity for self-examination and repentance. The losses of Edom and Libnah in 2 Kings 8:20-22 teach us at least a couple of things. 

First, the repercussions of intermarrying with the wicked dynasty from the north were already beginning. Second, failing to repent after these losses was Jehoram’s legacy. There were other “acts of Joram and all that he did” (2 Kings 8:23), but they were not relevant. What he failed to do was repent, even after the losses of 2 Kings 8:20-22. These were, literally, the final word on Jehoram’s reign in 2 Kings.

The providence of 2 Kings 8:28 with the northern Joram has a similar effect, especially when Ahaziah goes down to Jezreel to see his cousin. In God’s providential justice, this “family time” ends up being the means by which their demise (and Jezebel’s) come one after another in chapter 9. Apart from repentance and faith, a sinner may know that all things work together for punishment of those who do not love God.

What promises of God assure you of good? What are some of His warnings, and of what do they assure you? How have you made good spiritual use of difficult providence? 

Sample prayer: Lord, we praise You for the certainty of Your Word. Forgive us for our lack of confidence about the church, despite promises like the one You had made to David. Forgive us for our lack of fear about sin, despite Your sure threats against it. What fools have been so many of Your people—permitting them to marry into worldly families that indulge manmade worship! Forgive us our folly and keep us from it. Often, You have chastened us with losses, but we have failed to repent. Forgive us, and turn back our hard hearts, we pray, in Jesus’s Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP119W “Lord, Let My Cry Before You Come” or TPH103E “O, Come My Soul, Bless Thou the Lord” 

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