Wednesday, January 25, 2023

2023.01.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Kings 14:1–22

Read 2 Kings 14:1–22

Questions from the Scripture text: In what year of the north does 2 Kings 14:1 take place? Who became king in the south? How old was he (2 Kings 14:2)? How long did he reign? Who was his mother? What did he do (2 Kings 14:3)? With what limitation? Like whom (2 Kings 14:3-4, cf. 2 Kings 12:3)? What was his first royal act (2 Kings 14:5, cf. 2 Kings 12:20)? What didn’t he do (2 Kings 14:6)? Why (cf. Deuteronomy 24:16)? What victories did the Lord give him (2 Kings 14:7)? Then whom did he want to take on (2 Kings 14:8)? With a parable about what did Jehoash reply (2 Kings 14:9)? What happens to the thistle in the parable? How does he explain the parable (2 Kings 14:10)? How effective is this message (2 Kings 14:11)? What action follows? With what outcome for Judah (2 Kings 14:12)? And what outcome for Amaziah (2 Kings 14:13a)? And what outcome for Jerusalem (verse 13b)? What did he take (2 Kings 14:14, cf. 2 Kings 12:13, 2 Kings 12:18)? Whose summary from the north is repeated in 2 Kings 14:15-16 (cf. 2 Kings 13:12–13)? Who outlived him in the south, by how long (2 Kings 14:17)? What does 2 Kings 14:18 imply weren’t important enough to this account to record here? How did he die (2 Kings 14:19, cf. 2 Kings 13:20–21)? With whom was he buried (2 Kings 14:20)? Whom did they make king in his place (2 Kings 14:21)? How old was he? What port town did he immediately rebuild (2 Kings 14:22)?

Why do we need a perfect King? 2 Kings 14:1–22 looks forward to the first serial reading in morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these twenty-two verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that because Amaziah was an insufficient king, his reign was limited in its godliness, power, and longevity; the King that we need is Jesus. 

The Davidic dynasty is still going strong (2 Kings 14:3). The promise that will be completed when the resurrected Christ rises from the dead and sits upon the throne of glory is still eking along. From a human perspective, it seems like northern Jehoash stomped on the thistle that was Amaziah in 2 Kings 14:9-13. But the surprise twist of repeating Jehoash’s death summary (2 Kings 14:15-16, cf. 2 Kings 13:12–13) reminds us that political, military, and economic power of this world lasts but a moment. 2 Kings 14:17 drives the point home: Amaziah lived fifteen years after the death of Jehoash. So, the persistence of God’s promise is the subtext of the passage.

Upon the foundation of this subtext, the Spirit tells a history that emphasizes the various comings-up-short of Amaziah.

He came up short spiritually2 Kings 14:1-4. We’re looking for the David-like king that is greater than David, who will have the Psalm 72:5–7 effect upon the piety of his people. But even Amaziah’s placement in the “did what was right” column (2 Kings 14:3a) comes with an asterisk. He’s less than David. Like father Joash (and many others), like son; the high places remain.

He came up short politically/militarily2 Kings 14:5-14. Again, there are promising things. He serves biblical justice in 2 Kings 14:5-6 and has a David-like victory over the Edomites (2 Kings 14:7, cf. 1 Chronicles 18:12). But he bites of more than he can chew when he confronts the northern king whose throne is in Samaria (2 Kings 14:8-14). Not until the Son of David sits upon the throne of glory will the Davidic kingdom gather Samaria back to Judea. And then, with Samaria, will follow the ends of the earth! But not so for thistle-ish Amaziah.

He came up short in longevity2 Kings 14:15-22. Amaziah’s reign coincides almost exactly with northern Joash’s, starting in the second year of the latter (2 Kings 14:2). And despite Joash’s besting him so badly in battle, Amaziah just about doubles him in length of reign (2 Kings 14:17). But he dies in much the same way as his father (2 Kings 14:17-20) whom he had avenged (2 Kings 14:5, cf. 2 Kings 12:20–21). His son, Azariah/Uzziah (2 Kings 14:21) makes a Solomonic-like start (2 Kings 14:22, cf. 1 Kings 9:26; 2 Chronicles 8:17), but more on him later, when he (like all the others before him) stir up in us a longing for king Jesus!

What leadership in the church comes up short? What leadership doesn’t?! What leadership in the nation comes up short? What leadership won’t? What events (should?) stir up your longing for Him?

Sample prayer: Lord, thank You for keeping Your promise to David. Forgive us for being those who serve You in half-measures like Amaziah. Forgive us for becoming proud, like he did, after You gave him some small victories. Thank You that Jesus has obeyed You in full on our behalf. Thank You that He humbled Himself to win full and forever victory. Forgive us for His sake, and give us to Him as His due, we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP72A “God, Give Your Judgments to the King” or TPH72A “O God, Your Judgments Give the King” 

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