2 Kings 8: The Beginning of the End — Part 4

16-29 The Time of Judgment

Please realize these kings of Israel were psychopathic killers also. Before we question God as to why He didn’t command Elisha to assassinate Hazael while he had him in his grasp listen to this.

Revised Standard 2 Chronicles 28:3 and he [king Ahaz] burned incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominable practices of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel.

This happened after Israel and Judah were purged from the bad element of Ahab’s ancestors. And, it’s not like time after time these kings are not warned of their error. The Time of Judgment has come for them. And after the great patience and mercy of God with the southern king of Judah, Jehoram, a letter is released. The book of 2 Kings does not mention this letter, but the same story in 2 Chronicles 21 does! Listen to this letter as I read it.

NIV 2 Chronicles 21:12 Jehoram received a letter from Elijah the prophet, which said: “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. 13 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. 14 So now the LORD is about to strike your people, your sons, your wives and everything that is yours, with a heavy blow. 15 You yourself will be very ill with a lingering disease of the bowels, until the disease causes your bowels to come out.’”

This last passage in 2 Kings is saying that the “Time of Judgment” had come. This seems to indicate that Elijah, before he was taken up by the Lord in a chariot, with the complete foreknowledge of God, had written a letter of warning and rebuke to king Jehoram by name enumerating what would transpire to him and his family. This is in correlation with the prediction of Elijah back in 1 Kings 19. Other kings with less a rebuke fall on their faces in repentance toward God at such condemnation. But not the house of Ahab! This dynasty of Ahab’s had done more to harm Israel and Judah than any psychotic dictator from other countries could. Listen to verse 27!

NIV 27 He [Ahaziah, the son of Joram] walked in the ways of the house of Ahab and did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was related by marriage to Ahab’s family.

This was a southern king, a king of Judah! Jehoshaphat’s matchmaking his son to Ahab’s daughter Athaliah was a complete travesty and catastrophe for the southern kingdom. What this chapter becomes is the first phase of the cleansing of Ahab and his dynasty – both from the Northern kingdom of Israel and the Southern kingdom of Judah! The “Time of Judgment” has come and the purging tools will be Hazael and Jehu, this was the only way to start over.

The only thing that kept the house of Judah in play at all was the promise of God to David.

NIBV 19 Nevertheless, for the sake of his servant David, the LORD was not willing to destroy Judah. He had promised to maintain a lamp for David and his descendants forever.

That is what I leave you with! I want to remember is just how powerful the promises of God are! When everything looks lost I want to remember God’s mercy to this woman at the beginning of the chapter and His faithfulness to His promises at the end of the chapter.

May God encourage us His eye is always upon us, even in the most difficult of judgments!

J. Robert Hanson

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