2 Kings 15

2 Kings 15 contains a roster of kings across Judah and Israel and what happened during their reigns.  The first mentioned is “Azariah….king of Judah….he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done”. This much description sounds good, but then we learn the other side of the story – “the high places were not taken away”.  We have another example of a king who did not fully obey God.  He was partially obedient, but didn’t take away the sacrificial spots that were not focused on the one and only True God.

As a result, “the Lord touched the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death, and he lived in a separate house”.  Pretty tough medicine for a king who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.  But he missed the real mark – that of walking completely with God.  So “Jotham his son reigned in his place”.  Azariah was a good king, but not complete obedient.  He was given leprocy which meant he had to live by himself away from the family and people he served.  God doesn’t hold back any punches here.  He touched him with His own hand.

In the other kingdom, “Zechariah….reigned over Israel….did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as his fathers had done”.  So you have the king of Judah basically doing what was right, and the king of Israel doing what was wrong.  But in both cases, their rule was cut short.  For Zechariah, “Shallum….conspired against him and struck him down….reigned one month”.  Pretty short lived rule.  “Then Menahem….struck down Shallum….did what was evil in the sight of the Lord”.  Do you see a pattern here.  King is bad, doesn’t last long, people suffer, God takes them out.

The saga continues as “Pekahiah his son reigned in his place….did what was evil in the sight of the Lord”.  He failed and “Pekah….his captain, conspired….and struck him down”.  “Pekah….did what was evil in the sight of the Lord”.  Of course that leads to “Hoshea….conspiracy….struck him down”.  All this is happening is Israel.  In the other camp, “Jotham….did what was right in the eyes of the Lord….the high places were not removed”.  So close, but yet so far.  These kings of Judah do what is right in God’s eyes except taking the final step of change – to get rid of the high places of worship and sacrifice.  And that alone means their mostly good obedience falls short.  Close is not enough when it comes to walking with God.  That’s why Jesus is so important.  Without Him, none of us can meet God’s requirements!

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