- 2 Kings 8:23-24a; 2 Chron. 21:19, 20b
- 2 Kings 8:24b-26; 9:29; 2 Chron. 22:1-4
- 2 Kings 8:7-15, 28; 9:14b, 15a; 8:29b
- 2 Kings 9:1-14a, 15b-27; 2 Chron. 22:7
- 2 Kings 9:30-37; 10:1-14; 2 Chron. 22:8
- 2 Kings 9:28; 2 Chron. 22:9
- 2 Kings 10:15-17
Today's reading is filled with terrible bloodshed, people killing people. The root cause of this is sin—the refusal of GOD's people to obey His instructions on how to live and their insistence upon idolatry have led them down a dark and sad path. Jehoram, king of Judah and son of Jehoshaphat, died in accordance with the prophecy of GOD. His bowels came out and he died in terrible pain at the end of the second year of his illness. It is sad what is recorded of his death:
And his people made no burning for him, like the burning for his fathers. He was thirty-two years old when he became king. He reigned in Jerusalem eight years and, to no one’s sorrow, departed. However they buried him in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.
(2 Chron. 21:19b-20 NKJV)
Ahaziah, the youngest and only remaining son of Jehoram, reigned in his place in Judah. He walked in the ways of Ahab, largely because of the bad influence of his mother, who was Ahab's daughter.
GOD was in the process of raising up the Arameans (Syrians) to punish Israel for their wickedness. Elisha the prophet went to meet with Hazael, servant of Ben-Hadad king of Aram, because Ben-Hadad was ill. Elisha delivered a message to Hazael, telling him that he would become king of Aram. The next day Hazael killed Ben-Hadad by suffocating him and he became king of Aram. While meeting with Hazael, Elisha got upset and began to weep. Hazael asked what was wrong and Elisha replied:
“Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: Their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword; and you will dash their children, and rip open their women with child.”
(2 Kings 8:12b NKJV)
Hazael led an army against the combined forces of Joram, king of Israel, and Ahaziah, king of Judah, and they wounded Joram. Then Elisha sent a message to Jehu, son of Jehoshaphat, that GOD was anointing him king over Israel. Jehu promptly began carrying out the purge that GOD had ordered and prophesied years earlier against Ahab and Jezebel. Jehu killed Joram, Ahaziah, Jezebel, and all of Ahab's sons.
Now when Jehu had come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she put paint on her eyes and adorned her head, and looked through a window. Then, as Jehu entered at the gate, she said, “Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?” And he looked up at the window, and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” So two or three eunuchs looked out at him. Then he said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses; and he trampled her underfoot. And when he had gone in, he ate and drank. Then he said, “Go now, see to this accursed woman, and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.” So they went to bury her, but they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. Therefore they came back and told him. And he said, “This is the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; and the corpse of Jezebel shall be as refuse on the surface of the field, in the plot at Jezreel, so that they shall not say, “Here lies Jezebel.”’”
(2 Kings 9:30-37 NKJV)
When GOD promises, it happens. Period. Every time. Fear the LORD, for His power is limitless. If you walk in the way of evil as Ahab and his family did, GOD might just choose to wipe your family off the face of the earth as He did with Ahab. Look at the result of this one man's poor choices, and really it goes back before him, all the way to Solomon. Had Solomon listened to GOD, kept his heart pure, and not married those foreign wives then Israel's history would have been a lot different!
Each of us must take responsibility for loving and cleaving to GOD. The results for choosing evil are catastrophic!