"Judgments of a Loving God" - Chapter 28

    

     

    

    

Chapter 28: The Sins & Judgments of the Southern Kingdom

Part 2: Jehoram to Hezekiah

   

    

Chapter 28 Contents

28.1 Introduction

28.2 The Middle Kings

28.3 Hezekiah

28.4 Summary-Conclusions

    

      

28.1 Introduction

 

In the previous chapters we started considering the activities of the kings of the southern kingdom comprising Judah and Benjamin. We said we would consider them under the following headings and we looked at the 3 ‘early kings' and Jehoshaphat.

 

A. The Early Kings 2 Chron 10-16 (930-872 = 58 yrs – 3 kings)

B. Jehoshaphat 2 Chron 17-20 (872-853 = 25 yrs)

C. The Middle Kings 2 Chron 21-28 (853-715 = 138 yrs – 8 kings)

D. Hezekiah 2 Chron 29-32 (715-697 = 29 yrs)

E. The Last Kings 2 Chron 33-36 (697-586 = 111 yrs – 7 kings)

 

This division, we said, is purely for administrative purposes but Jehoshaphat and Hezekiah stood out to us, simply because there were three chapters each for their activities. In what follows, in each grouping we will provide a simple note summary outline of what they did and then go on to consider how they were described in their relationship with the Lord.

 

As you will note from the references, 1 & 2 Kings focuses mostly on the northern kingdom while 2 Chronicles focuses mostly on the southern kingdom

 

 

  

The Southern Kings

(and the lengths of their reigns)

1. Rehoboam (17)

2. Abijah (3)

3. Asa (41)

4. Jehoshaphat (25)

 

5. Jehoram (8)

6. Ahaziah (1)

7. Athaliah (6)

8. Joash (40)

9. Amaziah (29)

10. Uzziah (52)

11. Jotham (16)

12. Ahaz (16)

13. Hezekiah (29)

 

14. Manasseh (55)

15. Amon (2)

16. Josiah (31)

17. Jehoahaz (3m)

18. Jehoiakim (11)

19. Jehoiachin (3m)

20. Zedekiah (11)

 

 

    

28.2 The Middle Kings 2 Chron 21-28 (853-715 = 138 yrs – 8 kings)

 

5. Jehoram (2 Chron 21:1-20),

  • a sinful king who turned his people away from the Lord
  • doubly disciplined by the Lord but failing to repent, he died from disease

  

The general description of Jehoram's reign

  

2 Chron 21:4-7 When Jehoram established himself firmly over his father's kingdom, he put all his brothers to the sword along with some of the princes of Israel. Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD. Nevertheless, because of the covenant the LORD had made with David, the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David. He had promised to maintain a lamp for him and his descendants forever.

  • Killed all his brothers (not a nice person!!!) (v.4)
  • Walked in ways of kings of Israel (badly!) and did evil (v.6)
  • Yet because of David he was preserved (v.7)

 

Disciplined by God for leading the people astray

   

2 Chron 21:10,11 Libnah revolted at the same time, because Jehoram had forsaken the LORD, the God of his fathers. He had also built high places on the hills of Judah and had caused the people of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves and had led Judah astray.

  • Libnah's rebellion (between Philistia and Judah ) was obviously the Lord's disciplining of Judah . (v.10)
  • Jehoram led his people to worship other religions (v.11)

    

Rebuked by the Lord

   

Note also Elijah wrote to him chastising him (v.12-)


2 Chron 21:12-15
"This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: `You have not walked in the ways of your father Jehoshaphat or of Asa king of Judah . But you have walked in the ways of the kings of Israel , and you have led Judah and the people of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves, just as the house of Ahab did. You have also murdered your own brothers, members of your father's house, men who were better than you. So now the LORD is about to strike your people, your sons, your wives and everything that is yours, with a heavy blow. You yourself will be very ill with a lingering disease of the bowels, until the disease causes your bowels to come out.'

  • Negatively he failed to live as well as the previous kings (v.12)
  • He had led the people astray (v.13a) and killed his brothers (v.13b)
  • So God will now judge you (v.13) and all your people (v.14)
  • He will suffer a severe lingering disease (v.15)
  • This meant that he had plenty of time to repent – but never did!

    

The Lord's disciplinary judgment (turning into terminal judgment)

   

2 Chron 21:16-19 The LORD aroused against Jehoram the hostility of the Philistines and of the Arabs who lived near the Cushites. They attacked Judah , invaded it and carried off all the goods found in the king's palace, together with his sons and wives. Not a son was left to him except Ahaziah, the youngest.

After all this, the LORD afflicted Jehoram with an incurable disease of the bowels . In the course of time, at the end of the second year, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great pain .

  • He was disciplined by the Lord using the Philistines (v.16,17)
  • Then the Lord disciplined him with what might have been bowel cancer (v.18,19) but he never repented.
  • Note this was initially two lots of disciplinary judgment but the latter turned into a terminal judgment when he failed to repent.

 

 

6. Ahaziah (2 Chron 22:1-9),

  • a sinful king who was murdered

   

General description of Ahaziah

  

2 Chron 22:3-6 He too walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as the house of Ahab had done, for after his father's death they became his advisers, to his undoing. He also followed their counsel when he went with Joram son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth Gilead. The Arameans wounded Joram; so he returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds they had inflicted on him at Ramoth in his battle with Hazael king of Aram .

  • Clearly did wrong (v.3,4)
  • Rashly joined Israel fighting Aram and Israel 's king was thus wounded (v.5,6)
  • Went to visit this king (v.6b) and while there was executed by Jehu (v.8,9)

 

 

7. Athaliah (2 Chron 22:10-)

  • Mother of Ahaziah who killed the whole royal household of Judah except Joash (2 Chron 22:10,11)
  • Ruled for six years (22:12)
  • Put to death on command of Jehoiada (23:14,15)

 

 

8. Joash (2 Chron 22:11- 24:27) initially a good king who later failed

  • preserved as a child (22:11–23:21)
  • repaired the temple (24:1-16)
  • turned from the Lord (24:17-22)
  • wounded in battle and murdered (24:23-27)

  

The influence of Jehoiada

 

The priest Jehoiada plotted to restore Joash

 

2 Chron 23:3 Jehoiada said to them, "The king's son shall reign, as the LORD promised concerning the descendants of David.   

  • He thus preserved David's descendants

 

2 Chron 23:16-19 Jehoiada then made a covenant that he and the people and the king would be the LORD's people. All the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. Then Jehoiada placed the oversight of the temple of the LORD in the hands of the priests, who were Levites, to whom David had made assignments in the temple, to present the burnt offerings of the LORD as written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and singing, as David had ordered. He also stationed doorkeepers at the gates of the LORD's temple so that no one who was in any way unclean might enter.

Jehoiada led the people to make a new covenant with the Lord (v.16)

Signs of Baal religion were destroyed (v.17)

The temple was put into the care of the Levitical priests & offerings reinstated (v.18,19)

 

2 Chron 24:2 Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years of Jehoiada the priest

  • He served the Lord as long as Jehoiada's influence was there
  • He restored the temple (24:4-14)

    

Joash falls away after Jehoiada's death

   

2 Chron 24:17-22 After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and he listened to them. They abandoned the temple of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols. Because of their guilt, God's anger came upon Judah and Jerusalem . Although the LORD sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and though they testified against them, they would not listen. Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, "This is what God says: `Why do you disobey the LORD's commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.' " But they plotted against him, and by order of the king they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the LORD's temple. King Joash did not remember the kindness Zechariah's father Jehoiada had shown him but killed his son, who said as he lay dying, "May the LORD see this and call you to account."

  • After Jehoiada's death his officials led the king astray (v.17)
  • They abandoned the Lord and reverted to idol worship (v.18)
  • God was angry (v.18b) and sent prophets who were rejected (v.19)
  • Jehoiada's son Zechariah prophesied against the people (v.20) but with the king's assent they plotted against him and stoned him to death (v.21)
  • Joash thus rejected the Lord (v.22)

 

2 Chron 24:23-25 At the turn of the year, the army of Aram marched against Joash… Although the Aramean army had come with only a few men, the LORD delivered into their hands a much larger army. Because Judah had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers, judgment was executed on Joash. When the Arameans withdrew, they left Joash severely wounded. His officials conspired against him for murdering the son of Jehoiada the priest, and they killed him in his bed.

  • Clearly the Arameans were God's judgment on Joash
  • His death might be seen as an indirect judgment

 

 

9. Amaziah (25:1-28)

  • a good, if not half-hearted king who trusted himself

 

Summaries from Kings & Chronicles

  

1 Kings 14:3,4,19 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not as his father David had done. In everything he followed the example of his father Joash. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there…… They conspired against him in Jerusalem , and he fled to Lachish , but they sent men after him to Lachish and killed him there.

  • A half-hearted king
  • Eventually murdered

 

2 Chron 25:1-4 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, ….He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly. After the kingdom was firmly in his control, he executed the officials who had murdered his father the king. Yet he did not put their sons to death, but acted in accordance with what is written in the Law, in the Book of Moses, where the LORD commanded: "Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sins.”

  • A half-hearted king according to this recorder also (v.2)
  • Brought retribution on those who killed Joash (v.3) but not their families (v.4)

 

  • He collected the people to arrange an army (v.5)
  • He also hired men from Israel (v.6)
  • But a man of God told him not to (v.7) lest God overthrow him (v.8)
  • The king worried about the money he paid and the man replied that God could give much more (v.9)
  • So the king dismissed the men from Israel (v.10)

 

  • The king then had victory of the enemy (v.11,12) but brought back their gods and worshipped them (v.14)
  • The Lord was angry with him and sent a prophet to rebuke him (v.15)
  • The king rejected him and the prophet pronounced a death sentence on him (v.16)
  • Amaziah went to fight Israel and was defeated (v.17-23) and Jerusalem partly destroyed (v.24)

 

 

10. Uzziah (2 Chron 26:1-23) (otherwise known as Azariah (see 2 kings 14:21 note)

  • sought God while Zechariah was his mentor (26:1-15)
  • fell to pride and suffered leprosy (26:16-23)

   

Kings Summary

 

2 Kings 15:1-5 Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah began to reign. He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother's name was Jecoliah; she was from Jerusalem . He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD , just as his father Amaziah had done. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.

The LORD afflicted the king with leprosy until the day he died, and he lived in a separate house. Jotham the king's son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land.

  • He did right (v.3)
  • He didn't deal with high place sacrifices (v.4)
  • He was afflicted with leprosy in old age (v.5)

   

Chronicles Summary

   

2 Chron 26:3-5,7,8 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother's name was Jecoliah; she was from Jerusalem . He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD , just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD , God gave him success ….. God helped him against the Philistines and against the Arabs who lived in Gur Baal and against the Meunites. The Ammonites brought tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread as far as the border of Egypt , because he had become very powerful.

  • Appeared to do well for much of his reign and the Lord blessed him with success against adversaries

  

His failure

   

2 Chron 26:15-21 His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful.

But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in. They confronted him and said, "It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the LORD God." Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the LORD's temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead. When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the LORD had afflicted him. King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died

  • God clearly helped him in the early part of his reign (v.15)
  • But when he became powerful he became proud and foolish (v.16)
  • The priests confronted him (v.17,18) he raged at them and was instantly afflicted with leprosy (v.19) from which he eventually died (v.21)

 

 

11. Jotham (2 Chron 27:1-9)

  • a good king

  

Summary of Jotham

  

2 Chron 27:2,6 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Uzziah had done, but unlike him he did not enter the temple of the LORD. The people, however, continued their corrupt practices….. Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the LORD his God.

  • Acted rightly before God (v.2)
  • But his people didn't
  • Obviously the Lord blessed his faithfulness. (v.6)

 

 

12. Ahaz (2 Chron 28:1-27)

  • a bad king refusing God's chastising

  

Chronicles summary of Ahaz

   

2 Chron 28:1-5 Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD. He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and also made cast idols for worshiping the Baals. He burned sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom and sacrificed his sons in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places, on the hilltops and under every spreading tree. Therefore the LORD his God handed him over to the king of Aram . The Arameans defeated him and took many of his people as prisoners and brought them to Damascus . He was also given into the hands of the king of Israel , who inflicted heavy casualties on him

  • Didn't do what was right before God (v.1)
  • Followed idolatry of Israel (v.2) and even sacrificed his sons (v.3)
  • Burnt offerings to idols at all the high places (v.4)
  • Disciplined by the Lord using Aram and Israel (v.5)

 

2 Kings 16:2-5 Very similar summary

  

The discipline detailed

  

2 Chron 28:6-8 In one day Pekah son of Remaliah killed a hundred and twenty thousand soldiers in Judah --because Judah had forsaken the LORD , the God of their fathers. Zicri, an Ephraimite warrior, killed Maaseiah the king's son, Azrikam the officer in charge of the palace, and Elkanah, second to the king. The Israelites took captive from their kinsmen two hundred thousand wives, sons and daughters. They also took a great deal of plunder, which they carried back to Samaria .

  • Large number of Judah 's army killed by Israel (v.6)
  • Senior people of Judah killed (v.7)
  • Large number taken captive to Samaria (v.8)

    

The discipline curtailed

   

Now what is interesting is that a prophet named Oded (28:9) challenged them:

 

2 Chron 28:9-11 He said to them, "Because the LORD , the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah , he gave them into your hand. But you have slaughtered them in a rage that reaches to heaven. And now you intend to make the men and women of Judah and Jerusalem your slaves. But aren't you also guilty of sins against the LORD your God? Now listen to me! Send back your fellow countrymen you have taken as prisoners, for the LORD 's fierce anger rests on you."

  • This victory was of the Lord (v.9a) but they went too far (v.9b)
  • They intended to make these prisoners slaves (v.10a)
  • Yet their own sins were just as bad (v.10b)
  • Therefore they should return all the prisoners or God's anger will be on them (v.11)
  • This they then did (v.12-15)

   

Failure and discipline

  

2 Chron 28:16,19 At that time King Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria for help…… The LORD had humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel , for he had promoted wickedness in Judah and had been most unfaithful to the LORD.

  • Turning to Assyria was a demonstration of unfaithfulness (v.16)
  • The Edomites attacked Judah – a disciplinary judgment (v.17)
  • The Philistines also attacked and occupied land of Judah – ditto (v.18)
  • The Assyrians came and brought trouble and not help – ditto (v.20)

   

Ongoing failure

   

2 Chron 28:22-25 In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the LORD. He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus , who had defeated him; for he thought, "Since the gods of the kings of Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice to them so they will help me." But they were his downfall and the downfall of all Israel . Ahaz gathered together the furnishings from the temple of God and took them away. He shut the doors of the LORD's temple and set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem . In every town in Judah he built high places to burn sacrifices to other gods and provoked the LORD, the God of his fathers, to anger.

  • In his troubles he demonstrated his unfaithfulness to the Lord by seeking outside help (v.22)
  • He sacrificed to the gods of Aram (v.23)
  • He shut down the temple and set up altars elsewhere (v.24)
  • He set up high places to worship other gods all over the land (v.25)

 

28.3 Hezekiah     2 Chron 29-32 (715-697 = 29 yrs)

 

13. Hezekiah

  • cleansed and purified the Temple (29:1-36)
  • celebrated Passover (30:1-27)
  • cleansed the land (31:1)
  • made provision for the priests & Levites (31:2-21)
  • was threatened by Sennacherib & saved by God (32:1-23)
  • struggled with pride in his last years (32:24-33)

   

Initial summary of Hezekiah

  

2 Chron 29:2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD , just as his father David had done

  

His unique understanding

  

2 Chron 29:4-11 He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side and said: "Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the LORD , the God of your fathers. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. Our fathers were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the LORD our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the LORD 's dwelling place and turned their backs on him. They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel . Therefore, the anger of the LORD has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem ; he has made them an object of dread and horror and scorn, as you can see with your own eyes. This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity. Now I intend to make a covenant with the LORD , the God of Israel , so that his fierce anger will turn away from us. My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before him and serve him, to minister before him and to burn incense."

  • He brought instruction to the priest and Levites (v.4)
  • It was to consecrate themselves and the temple (v.5)
  • He acknowledged the failure of previous generations (v.6,7)
  • This was the cause of the Lord's anger (v.8)
  • This is why there have been defeats (v.9)
  • Now he will make a fresh covenant with the Lord to turn away his anger (v.10)
  • He calls them to careful commitment (v.11)
  • NB. There was a clarity of understanding and public statement not seen in any other king.

 

  • They then went on to clean out and consecrate the temple (v.15-17)
  • Then Hezekiah held a massive celebration of praise and worship in the temple (v.20-36)
  • We have seen it previously but note again his call for Israel to return:

    

His call to all Israel

   

2 Chron 30:6-9 "People of Israel, return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. Do not be like your fathers and brothers, who were unfaithful to the LORD, the God of their fathers, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; submit to the LORD. Come to the sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the LORD your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. If you return to the LORD, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him."

  • It is first an offer to all Israel to return to the Lord (v.6)
  • It also calls them to reject the ways of the past (7,8)
  • If they repent their captors will also let them go (v.9) so they will be able to return
  • i.e. this was a remarkable act of grace

 

When they come to the Passover we find:

 

2 Chron 30:17-20 Since many in the crowd had not consecrated themselves, the Levites had to kill the Passover lambs for all those who were not ceremonially clean and could not consecrate their lambs to the LORD. Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "May the LORD, who is good, pardon everyone who sets his heart on seeking God--the LORD, the God of his fathers--even if he is not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary." And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people.

  • Again what remarkable grace!
  • Observe the outcome:

 

2 Chron 31:1 When all this had ended, the Israelites who were there went out to the towns of Judah , smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. They destroyed the high places and the altars throughout Judah and Benjamin and in Ephraim and Manasseh. After they had destroyed all of them, the Israelites returned to their own towns and to their own property.

  • A remarkable cleansing of the land
  • And following through on this…

 

2 Chron 31:20,21 This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God. In everything that he undertook in the service of God's temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered

  • Hezekiah was all for the Lord and the Lord blessed him
  • Yet despite this the king of Assyria came and invaded Judah (32:1)
  • Hezekiah gathered his forces, strengthened the city and spoke to the people:

 

2 Chron 31:7,8 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles." And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.

  • Keep perspective – God is greater than the enemy!

 

Yet there is another incident pertaining to Hezekiah that we only find detailed in Isaiah and 2 Kings:

  • Hezekiah had been ill and Isaiah pronounced the death penalty over him (2 Kings 20:1)
  • Hezekiah cried to the Lord and the Lord healed him and gave him an additional 15 years (2 Kings 20:2-6)
  • The king of Babylon sent gifts to Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:12) and so Hezekiah invited his messengers to come in and proudly showed off all he had (2 Kings 20:13)
  • For this he received the Lord's rebuke through Isaiah:

 

2 Kings 20:16-18 Hear the word of the LORD: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood, that will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon ."

  • Hezekiah rightly saw this as a fulfilment after he was dead.
  • It accurately describes what happened to some of the last kings of Judah .

  

     

28.4 Summary-Conclusions

 

2 Chron 33-36 (697-586 = 111 yrs – 7 kings)

 

So, we have observed the reigns of the seven kings we referred to as the Middle Kings (plus the brief reign of Queen Athaliah) plus that of Hezekiah

 

In each of them we have observed good and not so good, shown in the table below

 

King

Good

Not so good

5. Jehoram

Nothing good!

Walked in ways of kings of Israel (badly!) and did evil, and led his people to worship other religions. Was disciplined by the Lord using Libnah and the Philistines and eventually a lingering cancer.

6. Ahaziah

Nothing good!

Committed idolatry, fought alongside sinful Israel and executed by Jehu

7. Athaliah

Nothing good!

A bad queen, eventually murdered

8. Joash

Under Jehoiada led the people to make a new covenant with the Lord, cleared out Baal religion and restored the temple

After Jehoiada's death led astray, abandoned the Lord and reverted to idol worship. stoned God's prophet, disciplined by Arameans and murdered by own officials

9. Amaziah

Obeyed the prophet and given victory by the Lord

A half-hearted king. Wanted to hire Israelites to fight against Edom and rebuked by prophet. Took Edomite gods and worshipped them and rebuked by God through a prophet.

10. Uzziah

Sought God while Zechariah was his mentor. God clearly helped him in the early part of his reign and he became very strong and powerful.

When he became powerful he became proud and foolish. Confronted by priests for his bad behaviour and afflicted by leprosy by which he eventually died.

11. Jotham

A good king blessed by God for his faithfulness.

Unfortunately his people were not faithful to God

12. Ahaz

Nothing good!

A bad king turning to idolatry, did not rely on the Lord and twice disciplined by God – yet God limited the discipline.

13. Hezekiah

Cleansed and purified the Temple ,

celebrated Passover, cleansed the land, made provision for the priests & Levites and generally put the nation on a right footing with the Lord

 

Rebuked for his pride in showing of his wealth to the envoys of the king of Babylon

 

Thus:

 

Three of the kings (and Queen) - Jehoram, Ahaziah, Athaliah and Ahaz – had nothing good said about them

 

Two of the kings – Joash & Uz ziah did well as long as their spiritual mentor was alive, but drifted away as soon as they died.

 

One king – Amaziah – was simply half-hearted, neither particularly good or particularly bad.

 

Only two of the kings could be considered good – Jotham & Hezekiah – although even Hezekiah was rebuked for his pride.

 

The table above shows their ‘weak side' but we will leave considering the way the Lord disciplined them until the summary chapter.

 

 

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