2 Kings 15:1-7 — Azariah Reigns in Judah
2 Kings 15:8-31 — Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah in Israel
2 Kings 15:32-38 — Jotham Reigns in Judah
2 Kings 16 — Ahaz Reigns in Judah
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One Reply to “May 6 — 2 Kings 15-16”
Azariah didn’t remove the high places of worship (otherwise did well with respect to caring for God’s laws) (2 Kings 15:3-4). He was very resourceful as a military tactician and “his fame spread far and wide” until he “became powerful, his pride led to his downfall” (2 Chron 26:15-16). He eventually died alone with leprosy as punishment for his ridiculous acts in the temple (see 2 Chron 26:18-22). Close to being good!
Zechariah (son of Jeroboam) reigned over Israel for 6 months, was then assassinated by Shallum in front of the people…did evil…done. Shallum reigned for a month, was assassinated by Menahem who appears to be truly evil. Menahem lasted for 10 years. His son, Pekahiah succeeded him and reigned 2 years while still perpetuating the sins of Jeroboam. Pekahiah was assassinated by one of his chief officers, Pekah, who succeeded him as king of Israel for 20 years. Pekah was assassinated by Hoshea and ruled as king of Israel for 9 years.
Meanwhile, Judah has its trials with kings. Jotham becomes king of Judah for 16 years and did what was right…except for the sacrificing in the high places deal (you think they’d figure this out by now!). He was followed by his son Ahaz for another 16 years. Ahaz, however, was an idiot. He “even sacrificed his son in the fire” (2 Kings 16:4) and other detestable practices. “In every town in Judah he built high places to burn sacrifices to other gods and aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of his ancestors” (2 Chron 28:25).
So Israel and Judah continue to deviate from God’s plan for their redemption, they fight against the Lord by turning to other gods, to idols, to murder and acts of self-righteousness. The history here helps us appreciate some of the new testament stories where Jesus walks through Samaria or uses the good Samaritan as an example of how far the Pharisees were from God. It gets worse, far worse! I’m thankful for these examples of defiance, but truly sad to see our own culture slip away. History may not be my favorite subject, but I hope to learn from mistakes of the past and not fall into the rut of these ancestors.