A Moment In Time
2 Kings 8-9:13
2 Kings 8-9:13
You will remember this woman and her son from chapter 4.
If you remember from last week, Ben-Hadad previously sent an army to capture Elisha presumably to kill him. Now he wants to talk to him as a spiritual advisor.
Note that Elisha did not tell Hazael how Ben-Hadad would die, neither did he tell him to kill the king.
The king would have recovered fully had Hazael not assassinated him.
We have primarily been following the story of the kings of Israel since the end of 1 Kings. Now we pick back up with the kings of Judah.
When we left off looking at the kings of Judah we saw Jehosaphat the son of Asa die and his son Jehoram (aka Joram) take the throne.
We now go back to Jehoram/Joram’s life.
Notice that he was a wicked king who walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. Judah had both wicked and righteous kings, but Israel had nothing but wicked kings.
In 2 Chronicles 21 we learn that Jehoram was so wicked that
1 Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Jehoram his son reigned in his place. 2 He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. 3 Their father gave them great gifts of silver, gold, and valuable possessions, together with fortified cities in Judah, but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn. 4 When Jehoram had ascended the throne of his father and was established, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and also some of the princes of Israel. 5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 6 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.
11 Moreover, he made high places in the hill country of Judah and led the inhabitants of Jerusalem into whoredom and made Judah go astray.
But it is no surprise since the daughter of Ahab and Jezabel was his wife. This was a political marriage that brought widespread spiritual destruction upon God’s people.
But even with all the wickedness caused by Jehoram/Joram in Judah the Lord was not willing to destroy Judah, for the sake of David His servant.
They certainly deserved it.
Because God promised (Made a covenant promise) to give a lamp to David and his sons forever.
This is an aspect of the grace of God at work in the biggest spiritual failures of mankind.
When God makes a promise He upholds His end of the promise. When man makes a promise he often fails to uphold his end of things which is partially why we have contracts and a legal system that holds people to them.
We see this covenant promise mentioned again in a broader context in places like...
7 Yet the Lord was not willing to destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and since he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever.
17 There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
Now I must ask you, who is the anointed One that this promise ultimately represents?
Knowing that this lamp to David’s sons forever ultimately speaks of Christ we can understand why God would make such a promise and have the will to stick to it even after such wicked men came from the line of David.
The death of Jehoram/Joram is recorded in greater detail in 2 Chronicles 21.
12 And a letter came to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father, ‘Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, or in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel and have enticed Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem into whoredom, as the house of Ahab led Israel into whoredom, and also you have killed your brothers, of your father’s house, who were better than you, 14 behold, the Lord will bring a great plague on your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions, 15 and you yourself will have a severe sickness with a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out because of the disease, day by day.’ ” 16 And the Lord stirred up against Jehoram the anger of the Philistines and of the Arabians who are near the Ethiopians. 17 And they came up against Judah and invaded it and carried away all the possessions they found that belonged to the king’s house, and also his sons and his wives, so that no son was left to him except Jehoahaz, his youngest son. 18 And after all this the Lord struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease. 19 In the course of time, at the end of two years, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great agony. His people made no fire in his honor, like the fires made for his fathers. 20 He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he departed with no one’s regret. They buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.
For you Bible scholars out there you will note that the account in 2 Chronicles 22:2 in some translations says that Ahaziah was 42 when he became king. That depends on the manuscripts being used. In the KJV, NKJV, and a few others it says 42, in the ESV, CSB, and NASB it reads 22. Most scholars believe it should read 22 and that 42 may have been simply a scribal error.
Regardless, it doesn’t change the meaning of the text, therefore it is nothing to regard as a conflict.
I just bring it up so that you will know it is there.
Jewish tradition says that this unnamed prophet is Jonah. We have no way of verifying that, but it is there tradition.
So while Joram/Jehoram the son of Ahab was still king of Israel, God had already found his replacement bringing thy dynastic reign of Omri to a close.
Jehu was God’s choice to replace Joram and Joram will soon be king over Israel. He will not reign long however he will have a huge impact on the nation of Israel as the man who destroys the wicked Jezebel and the line of Ahab.
Judah was led astray spiritually from God, but God wasn’t done with Israel, and He is going to use Jehu to show that.
You may remember all of this was already established by Elijah in 1 Kings 19 just before Elijah placed his mantle/cloak upon Elisha
16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
But like David, Jehu was anointed king by a prophet of God before actually taking the throne. God was establishing His plan to the future king before revealing it to the current king. This may have been for the protection of Jehu.
It is important to understand that it was not a common thing in Israel for a prophet to anoint a king. This was a special occasion ordained by God.
It would be easy for a bunch of pagans top think a prophet of God was a madman, but it was not such an easy thing to ignore the oil all over Jehu’s head...