The Inspiration of the Scriptures: 2 Kings

2KI  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Divine Design § 12 2 Kings
Ahaziah fights against Jehovah and perishes (chap. 1). Jehoram is no better. Where the king, as in Israel then, was not a link of relationship with God, but rather a witness against Him as being idolatrous, the prophet was so in extraordinary grace. But now Elijah was to be caught up, yet not before Elisha is called, as it were from that ascension, and hence has a character of grace as marked as his in righteousness who retired to Horeb, confessing that all was over as to Israel. Jericho is relieved from the curse, though the mockers are punished (chap. 2). Moab fights in vain (3). Miracles of mercy abound, even to deliverance from death and to the outside Gentile (4, 5); so that the baffled foe comes no more. The famine yields to unexpected plenty (chaps. 6, 7). Israel will yet be restored (8), whatever humiliation may be even for Judah, whatever changes in Israel (9, 10). Judah seemed menaced with the destruction of the royal house: but a branch is hid, the pledge of sure blessing (11) at the end, and of judgment preceding. The Syrians meanwhile oppress both Judah (12) and Israel (13), though dying Elisha helps the king who failed in faith to consume the foe. The pride of Judah's king received its humiliation (14); and Jehovah relieved the bitter afflictions of Israel.
Then the Assyrian is bought off by Menahem, during the long reign of Azariah (or Uzziah) over Judah (15). But Pul is followed by TiglathPileser who sweeps into captivity the north of the land. In Jotham's time the kings of Syria and Israel begin to act against Judah; but in the days of Ahaz, wicked as he was (16), Jehovah pronounces the failure of their confederacy. Yet later, in the reign of Hezekiah is Samaria taken, and Israel as a whole carried away (chap. 17), according to Jehovah's judgment of their apostasy; whereas the Assyrian Sennacherib has his blasphemy punished by an unexampled blow from Jehovah in one night, as he was slain afterward by his own sons in the house of Nisroch his god (chaps. 18, 19). The trustful son of David typified the final fall of that power, when Messiah shall reign, great even unto the ends of the earth (Mic. 5:1-61Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. 2But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. 3Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. 4And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. 5And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men. 6And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders. (Micah 5:1‑6)). But his rising as it were from death is followed by vainglory before the ambassadors from Babylon; when the prophet announces Judah's captivity to this power, not to the Assyrian (chap. 20).
The revival in that day no doubt gave rise to fond hopes; but it is succeeded by the enormous wickedness of Manasseh (21), and his imitating son, Amon. The pious fear of Josiah (22, 23) was but a brief stay of the impending ruin, which was hastened by the iniquity of those summed up in Matt. 1:1111And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: (Matthew 1:11) as “Jechoniah and his brethren.” Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar might contend for a little while; but the divine design had long been uttered. Out of Egypt Israel was called; into Babylon Judah must go (24, 25), and now utterly corrupt and apostate, became the slave of the patroness of corruption; till all her graven images were broken to the ground, and the avenger said of Jerusalem, She shall be built, and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. This however was but providential.
Grace only can really meet the need to the divine glory, crushing all the power of Satan; though for the earth God will be glorified in Israel. This Christ takes up in Isa. 49 where He substitutes Himself for the utterly ruined people; while His rejection and atoning death become the pivot for deliverance and righteousness, power and glory. What design so worthy of God, so blessed for man and Israel? And this it is which runs through the four books just surveyed. All the wit of man would have failed to conceive or express the ways of divine government here traced. God alone was capable of forming such a moral already accomplished in the realities of that land under the sway of kings (for the most part failing and judged), but with ample foreshadow of overturning, until He come Who alone is worthy, to Whom the kingdom will be given.