2 Kings & 2 Chronicles – The Passionate Commitment of the Lord
For a remnant of my people will spread out from Jerusalem,
a group of survivors from Mount Zion.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen! 2 Kings 19:31
The only way the scarlet thread of redemption plan of God could have survived through the period of the Kings of Israel and Judah was the passionate commitment of the Lord. His love is so great and His commitment so strong that even in judgment He always reserves a remnant of those who will not turn their hearts from Him no matter the cost. These people are Gods light in the darkness, reminding the world that no matter how bad it gets, how bad the leadership is, how severe the famine, drought, economic crash, persecution or any apparent evil that would say otherwise – God is still on the Throne and He is still in charge.
Oh, the books that could be written about the kings! In fact, they have been! Thirty or more prophets held forth God's truth during the time of the Kings, many of these wrote the 2nd half of the Old Testament! The major and minor prophetic books were penned in and about the very days chronicled here in Kings, mostly 2 Kings. Isn't that amazing?
The wickedness during this period of history was so bad that the Lord said, "I will wipe away the people of Jerusalem as one wipes a dish and turns it upside down" 2 Kings 21:13. How about that description of judgment?
Of all the kings of Israel and Judah that reigned after Solomon, only two are called good, Hezekiah and his great-grandson Josiah. So bad was the apostasy of Israel that, in reading the books of the law, Josiah discovered the celebration of the Passover. It was totally off his radar. The most important event in Israel's history had been slowly taken for granted, then lost completely. Josiah restored the Passover celebration and everything else he could, but this is the extent to which things had fallen. But as soon as Josiah was gone the people lapsed, again, into sin, with leaders that disregarded the Lord and the path of their fathers and did whatever they pleased.
The northern kingdom of Israel was eventually plummeted by the Assyrians who led them away captive, effectively erasing the ten tribes. Later, having learned nothing from these events, Judah, the southern kingdom was destroyed by the Babylonians, who conquered them and took them into captivity. And just like that, it was gone. The great dream that was Canaan's land, the land promised to Abraham and his descendants, the place Moses dreamt about and Joshua conquered, lost because of sin, unbelief, and disobedience.
We wonder sometimes about the evil of the world we are living in and how long the Lord might tarry before 'wiping our dish' so to speak. We've read the end of the book, we know that Jesus came first as a baby born in a manger, and He said he would be back, this time as a king with a sword. People cannot continue sinking deeper and deeper into debauchery and evil without consequences. One day, we don't know when, the trumpet will sound and Christ will come to judge the living and the dead.
The amazing thing we can learn from 2 Kings, though, in addition to judgment, is how loving and personal God is. We learn that He doesn't let people go easily, He loves each person so much that He will go to any length to save those who will turn to Him. Thirty prophets were sent to shine truth in the darkness. Some people received their word. Josiah was only eight years old when he became King of Judah yet because of his heart for God he was able to lead the nation back to God. Hezekiah, Josiah, Elisha and more – lights for God in a dark world!
Think of the grand scale of the evil going on in 2 Kings and realize the size of the task a prophet like Elisha was given – that of warning the nation of sin and calling them to repentance – it was a message for kings and leaders. Yet, there was a woman who came to Elisha who didn't have the money to pay her bills, and he ministered to her, and God gave her a miracle of supply. A little boy experienced some sort of aneurysm or something and died. Elisha was far away but when the mother came to him, he set aside what he was doing and went to their home. Miraculously the boy was brought back to life.
This is the passionate commitment of the Lord. This is the God we serve. He always has a remnant of people through whom His light still shines. Beacon's of love and peace who will not bow. As the prophet explained to King Asa, "for the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth looking to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him…" 2 Chronicles 16:9
And He will show Himself strong on your behalf, loved one. He knows your heart and your needs. No matter how bad the world gets and how much tragedy warrants His full attention, He will always be mindful of you and be there for you. His passionate commitment to you will make it happen!