2 Kings 11-17; I have included a number of chapters together. Most of the reading over the last couple of weeks seemed to get boring if not redundant. King and king is described with how he took the throne, and how he was removed from the throne. The kings we read about are from Aram, Assyria, Judah and Israel. Out of my own curiosity I search to see if there was a single document that listed all the kings – yes there is – Google The kings of Israel & Judah and you will get a nice colorized version of all the kings during the united and divided kingdoms. This period of time in bible history is very depressing. Kings would come to power in Israel [northern kingdom] through coup de tat or through relatives killing the off. Of the 19 kingdoms in the North – all did evil, the only exception was Jehu, who was considered mixed. The Northern ten tribes are whisked off the pages of history with the fall of Samaria in 722 BC. I found it quite interesting how Israel and Judah tried to buy their security with the very enemy that would destroy them, and in Judah’s case, the buying cost came from the riches of the Temple that Solomon built. Two historical figures from world history are identified – Tiglath-pileser of Assyria and Shalmanesar also king of Assyria. These two kings from Damascus were used by God to punish the idolatry and wickedness that reigned in Israel. I kept reading the same sentence over and over in regards to the evil Israelite kings – “He did evil in the sight of the Lord; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat; which he made Israel sin.” All I could think of was how shameful the name and legacy of Jeroboam was to be identified with the continual sin of Israel for 19 generations!
Judah was somewhat better, but Judah doesn’t get a free pass. Judah had their evil kings too. Twelve of Nineteen did evil in the sight of the LORD. Two long reigning kings Asa and Uzziah were the longest “good kings.” If we go back to the united kingdoms we find that Saul did evil, and Solomon did right in his youth, but evil in his old age.
When I think of all the despots and tyrants that have ruled the earth in the last few hundred years, I wonder how our God in heaven has been able to tolerate we – His creation?! The times of the kings indicates how absolute corruption is the default condition for most earthly kings. I’m reminded the Jesus said – “My kingdom is not of this world.” Even when there were good kings, there was always one BUT. . . they did not tear down the high places, and people offered incense on the high places. This tells me that there were “reforms” but not repentance. We find that King Josiah a good king, did a great work in trying to restore Judah back to the Father. However, it was seen as Josiah reforms, not the people, for as soon as he departs history, four evil kings follow.
I think back at our own day and time – we ask the question whether a president is a good one or a bad one? We have to be careful with this because we do have deconstructionists that are trying to rewrite history to their liking. Time has to pass of sufficient length for that to be known. Our deconstructionists friends have brought great dispute on what many of us have been taught throughout our lives. Anyway! Scripture tells us that there is no power given except that which is given by God. A thought I had when reading about all the evil in high places; what about the people that lived during the time of an evil king? Now I know back then most of the people were far enough removed, that who was in power didn’t affect their lives. Let’s ask that question of today? Are w living in good government or bad? The question has an answer besides yes or no – God knows! He is in control, therefore we are admonished to be in subjection to all authority over us. Kings and Presidents will give an account for their power given them to rule; we will give account for our obedience.
Kings and Queens concepts that as Americans we miss – We have a King in Jesus Christ – He has absolute power to rule, it has been given to Him [Matthew 28:18-20], yet how many of us subjects of His divine kingdom, give him the just due respect and obedience? We are subjects of an eternal kingdom; we must not let ourselves be taken in by the here and now kingdoms. Be found faithful in honoring and obeying laws of the Land and the Law of Truth in our hearts.