Life-Study of 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Estherby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In our study of the supplement to the history of the kings of Judah, we are covering only twelve of the twenty kings of Judah because only the supplementary matters related to these twelve were not covered in 1 and 2 Kings. Furthermore, in this supplement in 1 and 2 Chronicles none of the kings of Israel are included, because they all forsook both the proper ground, the ground of Jerusalem, and the fundamental faith given by God through Moses. Thus, God forsook them because of their apostasy.
In this message we will continue to consider the supplement to the history of the kings of Judah, looking at the examples of Jehoram, Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah, and Ahaz.
In 2 Chronicles 21:12-18 we have a word concerning Jehoram.
Jehoram, a descendant of David and Solomon, was warned by Elijah the prophet concerning his evils before God and his miserable end (vv. 12-15). Jehoram stood on the proper ground and he kept the fundamental faith, but he was evil in the sight of God. Because of this, Elijah told him that his life would come to a miserable end.
Jehovah stirred up the Philistines and Arabians against Jehoram. They came up against Judah, broke through into it, and carried away all the possessions of his house as well as his sons and his wives, except Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons (vv. 16-17). What a miserable end to Jehoram’s enjoyment of the good land in his kingship. His reign should have been glorious and splendid, but instead it was miserable. Everything and everyone was captured, including his wives and his sons. But in His mercy the Lord spared the youngest son to continue the throne.
After all this, Jehovah struck Jehoram in his bowels with an incurable illness (v. 18). This illness might have been cancer.
In 24:14b-24 we have an account of the reign of Joash.
Joash saw the good pattern of the chief priest Jehoiada of doing well in Israel and with God and restoring the house of God; and Jehoiada had shown him kindness in raising him up to be the prince to succeed the throne of David (vv. 14b-16, 22a). This means this high priest protected the royal family. He did well in three directions: with the people, with God, and with the house of God, keeping the house of God during a time of rebellion.
After the death of the chief priest Jehoiada, Joash listened to the captains of Judah, the leaders of the army, and forsook the house of Jehovah the God of their fathers and served the Asherim and the idols, bringing in the wrath of God upon Judah and Jerusalem (vv. 17-18).
In His mercy, God still sent prophets to the people of Judah and Jerusalem to bring them back to Jehovah. The Spirit of God clothed (that is, was poured upon) Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the chief priest to testify to them that they did not prosper because they transgressed the commandments of Jehovah. Joash the king, not remembering the kindness which Jehoiada the father of Zechariah had shown him, commanded the conspiring people to stone him to death in the court of the house of Jehovah (vv. 19-22).
At the turn of the year, the army of the Syrians came up against Joash and came to Judah and Jerusalem and destroyed all the leaders of the people. This took place even though the number of the Syrian army was smaller than that of the very great army of Judah (vv. 23-24a). This defeat of a great army by a smaller army was of God. It was God’s discipline of His people that they would learn how to enjoy the riches of the good land in full and live a long life there in peace.
In God’s mercy, Joash was the only one of his father’s sons to be spared. He was then raised up by the great priest Jehoiada to be the prince. At the beginning of his reign he was good, and he remembered what Jehoiada had done for him. But when Jehoiada died, he listened to the leaders of the military power which came in. He was subdued by them and he followed them to worship the idols, and so forth. Eventually he conspired to martyr Zechariah, the son of the very one who had taken such good care of him. Forgetting all the kindness that had been shown to him, Joash was in company with those who conspired to put the son of Jehoiada to death. The next year the Syrian army came “because they had forsaken Jehovah the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Joash” (v. 24b).
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