Second Kings 14 Commentary
Amaziah is comparatively a good king. We are however shocked by his childish war games with Jehoash, king of the sister kingdom of Israel. He is oblivious to the usual casualties of war and the subsequent suffering on individuals and communities. No doubt, this mindless war made many women widows and left behind many fatherless children. Pride can be very costly.
Pride is often described as the sin of the religious. See how the temple is emptied because of Amaziah’s stupidity! The saint is warned. Pride robs the saint; it leaves the real temple empty of tools of worship.
According to the word of the LORD through the prophet Elisha, Israel enjoys a period of relative peace. Under Jeroboam the second, Israel makes steady progress and recovers some lost territories. But we still feel this recovery is temporal as the nation remains apostate. The prophet Jonah, whose other works are detailed in the book that bears his name, is mentioned here.
The well-known story of Jonah may draw us to the thought of the LORD’s compassion on a repentant pagan city. Is the LORD reminding us of what real repentance can do to the community of God’s people? If a pagan city can repent and avoid God’s wrath, won’t Israel get more from real repentance?
From what we can see, Israel under Jeroboam remained sinful. Jeroboam ruled Israel for forty-one years – the longest period for the northern kingdom of Israel. We can see the generosity of the LORD right in the midst of sin. This longevity of rule must be seen as a grace period and as a refuge chamber in time. Even very bad individuals can look back at their own lives and see many moments of grace. It is a call for them to get back to the LORD they have ignored but the LORD who hasn’t forgotten them.
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