2 Kings 15-16

Azariah, son of Amaziah becomes king in Judah at 16 years old, for 52 years.  He was good, but idolatry remained in Judah.  He became leprous and his son Jotham took over.

Zechariah, son of Jeroboam II becomes king in Israel for 6 months.  He was the 4th generation of Jehu's descendants to be on the throne.  That's all God promised him, and it came true... for 6 months.  Shallum assassinated him and reigned for a month before Menahem killed him and reigned for 10 years.  He had to buy off Assyria from conquering Israel.

Pekahiah, son of Menahem reigned two years.  His commander-in-chief Pekah assassinated him and reigned for 20 years.  Assyria conquered Galilee, and Hoshea assassinated Pekah.

Jotham, son of Azariah/Uzziah reigns for 16 years in Judah, starting at 25 years old.  He does right, but idolatry continues.  Syria and Israel both threaten Judah militarily.

Ahaz, son of Jotham reigns for 16 years in Judah.  He follows Israel's idolatry, even sacrificing his son to an idol.  Syria and Israel beseige Jerusalem, and Ahaz sends to Assyria for help.  Assyria conquers Syria; Ahaz goes there to thank him, and sees an altar he likes.  He has it copied and used in the temple in Jerusalem, moving the bronze altar to the side.  He melts down the bronze oxen holding the bronze sea (for cash to give Assyria?).

How this is about Jesus
His kingship will never end.
He does what is right, though idolatry persists in His lands and the hearts of His people.

Notice the Judean kings did what was right, but the high places weren't removed.  How can these both be true?  Some zealous believers deny it can be, rejecting any political calculation at all as compromising pragmatism.  It is not.  These kings are not condemned for not removing the high places - idolatry was entrenched in the heart of the people.  They knew they would lose power if they sent in the demolition crews, so they didn't.  God doesn't condemn them, but calls them good kings.  In the same way, conservative Republican Christians today in places of power may need to wait to introduce the legislation they and we really want until it has more support.  Pursuing incremental success in the mean time is not compromise.  They need our support, not our ire that they are "no different than the liberals."

Where we cross the line is where we put our trust.  Ahaz trusted Assyria, when God's prophet told him to trust God, to ask HIM for a sign (Isaiah 7:1-14).  So there is a sinful pragmatism we are prone to, but it doesn't exist in every cultural observation or political calculation.

No comments:

Post a Comment