Wednesday, January 04, 2023

2023.01.04 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Kings 11

Read 2 Kings 11

Questions from the Scripture text: Who saw what in 2 Kings 11:1? What did she hurry to do? But whom does 2 Kings 11:2 describe? What were her relations? What did she do? With what result? Where did she hide him and his nurse (2 Kings 11:3)? For how long? What was happening during that time? Who sends for whom when (2 Kings 11:4)? What does he do with them, where? What does he show them? Into how many groups does he divide them (2 Kings 11:5-6)? Where will each be keeping watch? What does this enable two-thirds to be doing at any one time (2 Kings 11:7)? To what purpose (2 Kings 11:8)? What does Jehoiada turn out to be (2 Kings 11:9)? What does this enable him to do (2 Kings 11:10)? With what result (2 Kings 11:11)? Then what does Jehoiada do (2 Kings 11:12)? And what do he and the army do? And what do he, the army, and all the people say? Who hears this (2 Kings 11:13)? Where does she come? What does she see (2 Kings 11:14)? What does she do? What does she say? Whom does Jehoiada command in 2 Kings 11:15? To do what? To whom? What did he say not to happen? Where did they take her, by what route (2 Kings 11:16)? What two covenants did Jehoiada cut in 2 Kings 11:17? Who went where in 2 Kings 11:18? What did they do to it? What did they do to whom? Whose officers are increased? Now who brings whom where in 2 Kings 11:19? What does Jehoash (Joash) do there? What do all the people do (2 Kings 11:20)? What is the condition of the city? Why? How old was Jehoash at this point (2 Kings 11:21)?

How did the Lord bring revival in Judah? 2 Kings 11 looks forward to the first serial reading in morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these twenty-one verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the Lord brought revival in Judah through the daring and determination of a few, the designation of covenant, and the destruction of wickedness.

The daring and determination of a few, 2 Kings 11:1–4, Athaliah doesn’t grieve the son she lost. She piles up the corpses to make sure that she herself gets to take his place. She’s a block off the old chips (Ahab and Jezebel). But a girl named Jehosheba has the daring to spare away Joash and his nurse. And the nurse and the priest Jehoiada have the determination to keep him hidden for seven years. That moment of daring by one and seven years of determination by two are used of God to bring us by the end of this chapter to the restoration of the nation of Judah from its intermixture with Ahab’s house.

The designation of covenant2 Kings 11:42 Kings 11:17. First, in 2 Kings 11:4 with the captains of the hundreds, and then in 2 Kings 11:17 with all the people, Jehoiada leads covenanting ceremonies. The one in 2 Kings 11:17 is more explicitly a covenant with Yahweh, but that is probably implied in 2 Kings 11:4 as well. The language for “cutting” a covenant is used in both places, reminding us that it is only through atoning sacrifice that we can be in covenant with God. His redeeming us by blood is a purchasing by blood. It doesn’t just save us from penalty; it obligates us to fealty. They have been bound by blood to be Yahweh’s people. That means that they will worship only Yahweh alone, and they will have as king only Yahweh’s anointed. 

The destruction of wickedness2 Kings 11:5-21. Being in covenant with God requires action. Decisive, vigorous action. On the one hand, we rest from those things that are inconsistent with the covenant (such as obtaining or maintaining status by our own goodness or power!). But on the other hand, we must resume those things that are consistent with the covenant (such as, by God’s goodness and God’s power in us, vigorously doing all that He commands).

So the covenanting in 2 Kings 11:4 requires the slaying in 2 Kings 11:8 and 2 Kings 11:16. And the covenanting in 2 Kings 11:17 requires the slaying in 2 Kings 11:18. There’s killing to be done in the Christian life as well. Having Christ’s Spirit (cf. Romans 8:9) means putting to death the deeds of the body (cf. Romans 8:13). Having a new life that is bound to Christ (cf. Colossians 3:1–4) means ruthlessly executing whatever inconsistencies with heaven yet remain from your old life (cf. Colossians 3:5–10).

Proper revival doesn’t just stop worshiping at the temple of Baal in the south; it gives the southern satellite the Jehu treatment from the north (2 Kings 11:18, cf. 2 Kings 10:27). Often, people or congregations make the mistake of thinking that something that they have enjoyed in rebellion against Christ can be safely repurposed rather than ruthlessly expunged. But there are many former parts of life unto which being a covenantal purchase requires us to become pitiless killers. The Christian life is a vigorous thing. And to anything that isn’t a wholehearted glorifying and enjoying of God Himself, it ought to be a deadly thing.

How does your calendar reflect that you have been purchased by blood? How does your spending reflect it? What is there in your life that you might be trying to tolerate or repurpose that really just needs to be ruthlessly expunged? 

Sample prayer: Lord, thank You for cutting a covenant in which You have purchased us by the blood of Jesus Christ. Forgive us for how tolerant we are of fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, covetousness, idolatry, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, and lying—when for these things Your wrath is coming upon the sons of disobedience. Give us the courage, zeal, and ruthlessness that you once gave Jehoiada, whom You used to give that zeal to the rest of Your people. Indeed, give us not from a merely human priest, but from Christ, Who is our life, in Whose Name we ask it, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP119W “Lord, Let My Cry Before You Come” or TPH539 “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?”

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