What does it say?
2 Kings 14 tells of Amaziah, another of the good kings of Judah and he is on the throne for 29 years. The same material is covered in 2 Chronicles 25. Amaziah wins a solid victory over Edom, but he appears to allow this to go to his head and he challenges king Jehoash of the northern kingdom to battle. Jehoash responds by humiliating Amaziah and sacking the temple. A weakened Amaziah remains on the throne in Jerusalem but never regains his former power. Fleeing from a conspiracy against him where he is finally killed and body returned to Jerusalem. His teenage son Azariah becomes king.
The remainder of 2 Kings 14 focuses on Jerobaom II of Isreal in Samaria. His long rule was politically strong by God’s grace. Following his death, Israel will spiral downward very quickly. This portion is not repeated in 2 Chronicles 25, again because the emphasis in that book is primarily on happenings in the south to provide historical perspectives for the exiled Jews returning from Babylon many years later.
What does it mean?
Traveling through this list of the kings of both the northern and southern kingdoms reveals a vast array of personalities, strengths, weaknesses, sins and victories. Good kings and bad kings, God uses them all to accomplish his mission. All we are seeing is a timeline of God’s kingdom in development preparing for the arrival of Messiah. The individuals in these stories suffer the consequences of their choices, good and bad, but God’s kingdom advances. Even following the Babylonian captivity of the Jews, the returning generation chronicles the past history of the nation in order to see the flow of God’s purposes.
We often reduce our view of the Bible to that which pertains to “me,” instead of seeing how all of us are part of God’s history and the development of his kingdom. Yes, God loves each of us as a good Heavenly Father, but the Bible is not primarily about me. We are part of God’s plan and we grow and are blessed as we engage intentionally in that plan.
How will I respond?
As I reflect on today’s reading, I will meditate on my part in God’s plan. Have I reduced my view of the Bible to only those things that pertain to me, benefit me, interest me or advance my own purposes, or do I intentionally scrutinize God’s word to discover how my life might better connect with all that God is doing in the world? What one practical step might I take today to better engage in what God is doing in the world around me?