Dr. Dave Burnette
2 Kings 13 - Simple Obedience
2 Kings 13 1In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah king of Judah Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years. 2And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom. 3And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all their days. 4And Jehoahaz besought the LORD, and the LORD hearkened unto him: for he saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them. 5(And the LORD gave Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians: and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents, as beforetime. 6Nevertheless they departed not from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, who made Israel sin, but walked therein: and there remained the grove also in Samaria.) 7Neither did he leave of the people to Jehoahaz but fifty horsemen, and ten chariots, and ten thousand footmen; for the king of Syria had destroyed them, and had made them like the dust by threshing. 8Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, and all that he did, and his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 9And Jehoahaz slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria: and Joash his son reigned in his stead. 10In the thirty and seventh year of Joash king of Judah began Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned sixteen years. 11And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD; he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin: but he walked therein. 12And the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, and his might wherewith he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 13And Joash slept with his fathers; and Jeroboam sat upon his throne: and Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. 14Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. 15And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows. 16And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king's hands. 17And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD's deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them. 18And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. 19And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice. 20And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. 21And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet. 22But Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz. 23And the LORD was gracious unto them, and had compassion on them, and had respect unto them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet. 24So Hazael king of Syria died; and Benhadad his son reigned in his stead. 25And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again out of the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael the cities, which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. Three times did Joash beat him, and recovered the cities of Israel.
Today's Scripture Meaning Reign of Jehoahaz. (1-9) Jehoash, king of Israel, Elisha dying. (10-19) Elisha's death, The victories of Jehoash. (20-25) Verses 1-9: It was the ancient honour of Israel that they were a praying people. Jehoahaz, their king, in his distress, besought the Lord; applied himself for help, but not to the calves; what help could they give him? He sought the Lord. See how swift God is to show mercy; how ready to hear prayer; how willing to find a reason to be gracious; else he would not look so far back as the ancient covenant Israel had so often broken, and forfeited. Let this invite and engage us for ever to him; and encourage even those who have forsaken him, to return and repent; for there is forgiveness with him, that he may be feared. And if the Lord answer the mere cry of distress for temporal relief, much more will he regard the prayer of faith for spiritual blessings. Verses 10-19: Jehoash, the king, came to Elisha, to receive his dying counsel and blessing. It may turn much to our spiritual advantage, to attend the sick-beds and death-beds of good men, that we may be encouraged in religion by the living comforts they have from it in a dying hour. Elisha assured the king of his success; yet he must look up to God for direction and strength; must reckon his own hands not enough, but go on, in dependence upon Divine aid. The trembling hands of the dying prophet, as they signified the power of God, gave this arrow more force than the hands of the king in his full strength. By contemning the sign, the king lost the thing signified, to the grief of the dying prophet. It is a trouble to good men, to see those to whom they wish well, forsake their own mercies, and to see them lose advantages against spiritual enemies. Verses 20-25: God has many ways to chastise a provoking people. Trouble comes sometimes from that point whence we least feared it. The mention of this invasion on the death of Elisha, shows that the removal of God's faithful prophets is a presage of coming judgments. His dead body was a means of giving life to another dead body. This miracle was a confirmation of his prophecies. And it may have reference to Christ, by whose death and burial, the grave is made a safe and happy passage to life to all believers. Jehoash was successful against the Syrians, just as often as he had struck the ground with the arrows, then a stop was put to his victories. Many have repented, when too late, of distrusts and the straitness of their desires.
Today's Scripture Application Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of 2 Kings with Chapter 13 In our text today we see Jehoahaz rules Israel and when he passes we see Joash taking the throne of Israel. What catches my eye is how Joash halfhearted followed the instruction of Elisha when he was told to strike the floors with the arrows. In making application we see that we too need to follow the instruction of the Lord. A half hearted obedience to the Word of God will not deliver the full benefits of obedience as Israel learned in its conflict with Syria. Some have the issue of having to know all of God's Plan before they obey. God tells us to simply obey His Word and leave the consequences to Him. How about you? Do you obey the Lord 100% and leave the consequences to Him? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Joash to remember that the Lord instructs us to simple obey Him and leave the consequences to Him.
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Sincerely, Dr. Dave Burnette Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.