The Kings of Israel
After the death of David then Solomon his son, Israel was split into a northern and southern kingdom. The northern kingdom continued to be called Israel while the southern kingdom was called Judah.
The northern kingdom consisted of 19 kings beginning with Jeroboam I to Hoshea, a period of 210 years. Of the 19 kings in the northern kingdom, none of them could be classified as good kings. All were bad. No wonder they were carted off to Assyria 135 years before the southern kingdom fell.
The southern kingdom consisted of 20 kings beginning with Rehoboam to Zedekiah, a period of 345 years. Of the 20 kings in the southern kingdom, eight (8) could be classified as good kings (40%). Each of the eight kings enjoyed revival to one degree or another. It is these eight kings I would like for us to consider.
ASA – 2 Chronicles 14:1-16:14
“Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God.” (2 Chronicles 14:2)
When Asa became king, the Spirit of God came upon a man named Azariah. God gave Azariah a message to give to King Asa. The message in part was:
“…Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” (2 Chronicles 15:2)
The remainder of God’s message to Asa is in 2 Chronicles 15:3-7. Asa’s response continues with verses 9-18. In short, he listened to the word of God. In doing so, he obeyed God, cleaned out the trash, and got the people back to serving the one true God.
JEHOSHAPHAT – 2 Chronicles 17:1-21:1
Jehoshaphat continued his father Asa’s ways of serving God, and God was with him.
“The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David before him. He did not consult the Baals but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel. The LORD established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor. His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah. The fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah, so that they did not go to war against Jehoshaphat.” (2 Chronicles 17:3-6, 10)
Please pay particular attention to verses 7-9.
“In the third year of his reign he sent his officials … to teach in the towns of Judah. With them were certain Levites … and the priests…
They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the LORD; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people.” (2 Chronicles 17:7-9)
The key again is that King Jehoshaphat listened to God’s word and obeyed it.
JOASH – 2 Chronicles 24:1-27
“Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years of Jehoiada the priest.” (2 Chronicles 24:2)
Obviously revival was with the people because of their leader’s wisdom in listening to and obeying God. How do I know he listened to God and obeyed Him? “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” Anything short of listening to and obeying God would not compel him to do “what was right in the eyes of the Lord.”
AMAZIAH – 2 Chronicles 25:1-28
“He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly.” (2 Chronicles 25:2)
AZARIAH (or UZZIAH) – 2 Chronicles 26:1-23
“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.” (2 Chronicles 26:4-5)
JOTHAM – 2 Chronicles 27:1-9
“Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the LORD his God.” (2 Chronicles 27:6)
HEZEKIAH – 2 Chronicles 29:1-32:33
“Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the LORD’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah.” (2 Chronicles 32:26)
JOSIAH – 2 Chronicles 34:1-35:27
“The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the LORD—to follow the LORD and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book.
Then he had everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge themselves to it; the people of Jerusalem did this in accordance with the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors.
Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the LORD their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the LORD, the God of their ancestors.” (2 Chronicles 34:31-33)
“Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments.” (2 Chronicles 35:25)
I have listed the Scripture passages for each king so you may read about them at your leisure. I have also chosen a couple of verses (or one) as an emphasis on each king. Please notice when reading about them that none of them were perfect, they each had their own strengths and weaknesses, and each followed God to one degree or another, but all eight were obedient to God.
I am reminded of the Parable of the Talents and the Sheep and Goats judgment when Jesus comes in His glory. Each of us will be judged at one point or another based on one criteria; i.e. our obedience to God. That means, as an individual, did we honor His Son through our faith in Him? That also means, as nations, did we honor His Son through obedience to Him?
We in America are at a crossroads. Most of us, as is the rest of the world, are traveling the broad road to destruction, and we in turn are leading our blessed country toward destruction.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
As individuals, millions upon millions in this country are on the broad road and entering through the wide gate of destruction. Nothing but hell is ahead. Only a handful, in comparison, has chosen the narrow road that leads through a small gate to everlasting rewards in Heaven.
As a nation we have spit in the face of Almighty God even after He has so richly blessed us all these 243 years. The Lord God has not only been with us spiritually, but has also blessed us materially. We have never been a perfect country, but we have always looked toward Him for leadership, until the cancer of pride took its toll. Through our pride we no longer needed God and chose the back alleys of sinful pleasures to fill the void. Now we sit in our own rebellious drunken vomit thinking all is well since we make a pretense of being good little boys and girls.
Eight (8) kings out of 39 (Israel 19, Judah 20) chose to follow God, and during their reigns the country (Judah) blossomed. Eventually though, came pay day, and they all went into captivity. They came to the crossroad and chose the wide gate and destruction followed.
I have never seen so much pure undiluted hatred toward God and His ways as I am now seeing in our country. Yet, God in His mercy has given us four years of hope in providing us a President (President Trump) who wants to follow Him. He certainly is not perfect, and neither were the eight kings mentioned above, but he shows a respect for God. I am thankful that God has given President Trump a tough skin, because he certainly needs it with all the satanic attacks that have been leveled against him.
I am ashamed of most of the Republican Party, but the Democratic Party has become so evil it is obvious for any Bible student that Satan is its god. I pray that somehow God allows us to retain President Trump for another four years, because if He doesn’t, the last nail will probably be fastened in our coffin. Even though I don’t expect it, I also pray that somehow we as individuals and as a nation come to our senses and repent.
Again, I have listed these eight kings (above) to show that God is with a nation that is obedient to Him, and not just Judah, but any nation. The opposite is also true. Each time a king came to power that honored God, God blessed Judah, and each time a bad king reigned, they were severely judged until finally they were led away captives. It is obvious that the leadership of a country can determine the path of an entire nation. Leaders who at least try to follow the one and only true God of the Bible can bring blessings upon a nation. By the same token, leaders who rebel against Him can bring disaster upon that same nation. However, we have become so smug we think we can ignore all that.
I pray that all of us who know Jesus as Savior and Lord will lift up our voices to Heaven in prayer for President Trump, those around him, and the safety of our country from those who are intent to destroy it.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)
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