2 Kings 1 – Moab prepared to attack Israel when King Ahaziah was sick. He told his men to ask the god Baal if he would recover. God then told Elijah to meet these guys and rebuke them for not asking the true God, and then told them Ahaziah will die. When the messengers returned to the king without making it to Baal, he realized that Elijah had intercepted them because the man said he would die. So Ahaziah, determined to snuff out this belief in the God of Elijah, sent a captain with his 50 men to get him. When they approached Elijah, fire came down and killed them all. Ahaziah sent another captain with his 50 men and the same thing happened. When the third captain came with his 50 men, he humbled himself before Elijah and asked for mercy for he and all his men. God then told Elijah to go with those guys all the way to King Ahaziah. So when Elijah finally confronted Ahaziah and told him again that he would die, and then he died.

Application for Today: Fighting against God is a foolish and losing battle. We may not fight against the Spirit to the degree that Ahaziah did, but there may be subtler battles going on in our souls. A good thing for us to do from time to time is ask God to reveal any wayward way within us, and confess it as sin, and ask Him to remove it. It’s kind of like activating an anti-spyware program on our computers every so often. We are always better off afterward.

2 Kings 2 – “Oh, it’s just aliens.”

The spiritual baton is passed from Elijah to Elisha. Somehow Elijah and many other prophets knew that God was about to take Elijah to heaven. Elijah brought Elisha with him knowing that he would be the next anointed prophet. As they traveled together, Elijah asked Elisha to stay behind but Elisha would not. He wanted to stay close to him and Elijah allowed it. When they reached the Jordan River, Elijah took his mantle and touched the water with it and the water divided allowing them to cross on dry land. Now Elijah knew his parting was imminent and he asked Elisha what he could do for him before he leaves. Elisha asked for a double portion of the anointing. For some reason Elijah knew he would get it only if Elisha saw him being taken up to the clouds via a whirlwind. He did see it. Afterward, he tested his anointing by striking the river with the mantle and it divided just like it did for Elijah. So he knew he had it. Against Elisha’s wishes, men searched all over for Elijah, thinking that perhaps God placed him upon a mountain, but they did not find him. Then some men told Elisha that the land around their city was unfruitful and the water was unfit to drink. He promptly threw some salt into the spring and the water was good right away and continued to be good. Later, a gang of young lads began mocking Elisha because of his baldness, so he cursed them. Two bears came from the woods and tore them up.  I believe these events were simply establishing his position of being a major prophet that needed to be heeded for the sake of the nation.

Many programs on the History Channel try to explain Biblical miracles in modern-day scientific terms. Various archaeologists and scientists have theorized that the strong east wind parted the Red Sea for Moses as it exposed a raised portion of the sea floor. While it is true that the Moses’ account mentions that east wind blowing all night, this account of Elijah and Elisha had no such “assistance” when the river water separated. Moreover, Scripture states in more than one place that there were “walls of water” as the Jews passed through the Red Sea. Winds do not produce this phenomenon. So why don’t these TV programs deal with entire claims of Scripture? All those theories that I have listened to are flawed. They leave out specific parts that do not fit their thinking. To be fair, I do not think they are trying to totally negate the existence or influence of an all-powerful God, but rather explain that what was once considered to be supernatural was actually natural. I cannot help but to think that there is a bit too much arrogance behind these men and their thinking. I am not saying that God never uses natural forces of our known laws to achieve a purpose, but these TV programs are devoid of the Holy Spirit and need to be viewed with the same skepticism as they have for a supernatural God. I also believe that the bigger agenda of this type of program is to convince people that aliens are materialistic, super advanced creatures that make up the God that we trust and know. In other words, in the end, there is nothing supernatural. After all, Elijah was simply picked up by aliens in a space ship and the ignorant humans could not explain it in any other way but had to ignorantly attribute it to a god. The mantra is, “Everything is natural, but we just are not technically advanced enough to understand it….BUT WE ARE GETTING THERE!” This big lie finally rears its ugly head….it goes hand in hand with the spirit behind evolution. Its theme can be traced to all sci-fi movies and even Stat Trek. It asserts that man’s brilliance is gaining over time and will save mankind in the end. It is the same lying spirit that ruled the people at the Tower of Babel when they rebelled against God and tried to reach Heaven with their own abilities and possibly build their own protection from another flood. Be ready, more of this type of deception is coming.

The Truth from the Bible about the above lie is that God told us in advance that knowledge would increase near the End in Daniel 12:4. Mankind is not evolving slowly. God is sovereign, and He has hovered over and intervened throughout all history. I also believe His timing and methodologies were groomed to bring about the maximum goodness (and saved souls) lasting throughout His eternity. With this in mind, we can celebrate God’s most exciting intervention with renewed enthusiasm during each Christmas and Easter season.

2 Kings 3 – Does God Love Jews More?

Another Jehoram – this one was Ahab’s son. He became king of Israel and he did evil but not as bad as his parents did. Moab came against him, so he solicited the help of Judah (Jehoshaphat). After marching 7 days, there was no water. Jehoshaphat sought the Lord via Elisha. Elisha knew both of these kings and would never have met them if Jehoshaphat was not among them, that’s how much he detested Jehoram and Israel’s long history of evil kings. Elisha first had a musician play and this brought an anointing to him. He said they would not see rain but have water in the valley, and God would give the Moabites into their hand. When the Moabites saw all the water, it appeared to them as being blood so they thought a battle between Jehoram and Jehoshaphat occurred and they could rush in and take the spoil. But when they arrived at the camp, they were soundly defeated. In a last ditch effort to gain a victory, the king of Moab killed his son (next in line for the throne) as a sacrifice to his god. This is extremely appalling.

Applications for Today:

1) Music has spiritual power, therefore we must use it soberly.
2) We tend to not perceive the magnitude of evil the pagan nations demonstrated until we see things like what this Moabite King did to his son. God knows what is in mankind. He had to continually intervene to preserve righteousness on the earth by trying to keep the Hebrews away from those cultures. Without this understanding, people today tend to reject the God of the Bible because it appears to them as though He likes the Jews more than the rest of us, and gives them power and favor while rejecting everybody else. Nothing could be further from the truth. God’s ways are above our ways, and it appears to me that He chose the best way to lead this rebellious world to the Truth by patiently working through a small number of people, making them survive against all odds as a testimony to His existence, and inspiring His Holy Word through them for all the others to see and hear. I also believe that this approach maximizes the number of saved souls far beyond the Jewish race.

2 Kings 4 – Elisha’s miracle power continues. A poor widow of one of the prophets had nothing but a little oil. Through Elisha, God multiplied the oil so she could sell it for a profit and live. Then a woman with no son and a husband that was very old helped Elisha with lodging and was generous to him. To pay her back he prophesied she would have a son the next year and she did, despite not believing him. After the boy grew up, he suddenly died and Elisha brought him back to life. Then it was discovered that some poisonous gourds got mixed into a stew for the prophets and Elisha threw in some meal and made it safe to eat. Then there was not enough food to feed 100 men, but God via Elisha multiplied what they did have so that food was left over after all had eaten enough.  This seems to me that God was giving the people of earth a prophetic glimpse of what the Messiah would later do.

2 Kings 5 – The captain of the Syrian army named Naaman had leprosy. His army had taken captive an Israeli girl who knew of Elisha and the power of her God. So Naaman packed up and traveled to Israel’s king. The king wanted nothing to do with him, but Elisha heard about Naaman and had the king send Naaman to him. Rather than seeing Naaman face-to-face, Elisha sent a messenger to him before he arrived at Elisha’s house. The messenger told Naaman to wash off in the Jordan River 7 times and his skin would be healed. This made Naaman very angry for he thought that this prophet should have met him himself and the rivers in Syria were just as good or better than in Israel. It is obvious that Naaman, being a Syrian, did not like Hebrews. But I wonder if Elisha had his own bias against this Syrian. In any case, Naaman’s servants persuaded him to do what they called a minor thing. He was instantly healed. He returned to Elisha and confessed that there was only one God and He is in Israel. He offered gifts and money to Elisha but it was refused. Despite Naaman’s confession of faith in the One True God, he asked Elisha to pardon him when he bows his knee to the Syrian god Rimmon when his king bows in that temple. Elisha simply said, “Go in peace.” Elisha’s servant named Gehazi wanted those money gifts from Naaman, so he pursued him and said Elisha changed his mind and wanted them for two new prophets that had just arrived. But Gehazi hid the gifts in his house. Elisha, of course, saw it all in his thoughts and confronted Gehazi. At first he lied to Elisha, but he was found to be guilty and was cursed with leprosy. His children would be leprous as well as all his descendants forever.


1) Elisha’s refusal to accept money for the healing was classic! This way, it became evident to all that heard about it that there was no self-centeredness or political motivation at work. False prophets have a history of accepting money (even today!).
2) Naaman discovered what many in Israel did not believe — the True God. This irony was later magnified by Jesus (Luke 4:23-30) when He was frustrated over the Jews’ indifference to Him.

Applications for Today:

1) I like the contrast between the Israeli slave girl compared to the well-respected man of valor Naaman. He was in charge of the entire Syrian army. In other words, he was a big shot and she was practically nothing in the eyes of this world. Yet it was she whom God used to get this man healed. That’s so like our God. Stay humble folks. God will use you more than you can imagine.
2) Naaman’s cure did not come from some magic in the Jordan river. I think he was being tested to see if he could trust God’s Word to him. God may ask us to do something that makes no sense to us at the time, but over time, it may make sense. Or, it may never make sense. We need to walk in faith.
3) Naaman, after confessing God, asked Elisha to pardon him for going along with his king’s ritual of bowing to a false god. Some people could use this verse to justify compromising God’s Word in their lives by acting outwardly in a wrong manner, but not with their heart into it. Elisha simply responded by telling Naaman to “go in peace.” This is not an okay to do things against God so we don’t get in trouble or so we don’t insult others. I think maybe Elisha was saying “you will do what you think you must do” and hoping that Naaman would, over time, grow spiritually strong enough to do what is right. Just a guess on my part. Commentaries have not been too much of a help on this one.
4) Gehazi lusted after wealth. Watch out for lusts, they can addict us and lead to other sins (i.e., lying like Gehazi did to Elisha).

2 Kings 6 – The sons of the prophets were cutting trees to make more houses for them when one of them lost an ax head into the Jordan River. He was very upset because it was borrowed, but Elisha threw a stick into the water and the iron ax head floated to the top and the man retrieved it. Later Elisha warned the King of Israel not to pass through a certain area because the Syrians, lead by Ben-Hadad, were ready to pounce. Hadad was furious when he found out Elisha thwarted his plans. Rather than fearing the Lord, Hadad was more determined to stamp out Israel. Hadad heard that Elisha was staying in Dothan so he surrounded it with his troops. Elisha was trapped and his servant was terrified. Elisha calmed him saying there was more for them than are against them. Elisha was referring to the spirit realm (unseen to the natural eyes). God “opened” the servant’s eyes and he saw the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire. Then Elisha asked God to blind his enemies and He did. God led them to Samaria, right into the hands of the king of Israel. God then opened their eyes (they must have been terrified, assuming they would be slain). The king asked Elisha if he should kill them, but Elisha said no and told the king to give them good food and drink, and send them back to Syria. Needless to say, they were quite shocked and they did not attack Israel. Later, however, Hadad laid siege to Samaria where there was a great famine. It was so bad that at least two women resorted to cannibalism (a son was eaten). When the king of Israel found out, he tore his clothes which revealed that he had sackcloth on underneath so he was morning the current state of Israel. But he somehow blamed Elisha for all the bad stuff and wanted him dead. The king stormed into where Elisha was staying and blamed his God and thought it was foolish to ask Him to help.

Applications for Today:

1) We need to be ever mindful of the spiritual support we have when confronting this world’s attitudes and behavior, or when someone or some group hates us because we are Christians. Not only are there lots of good angels, but there is the Lord Jesus Christ who overcame all sin on our behalf. When we have faith in Him, our spiritual enemies cannot destroy us (unless, in extreme cases, we are called to martyrdom…but even here, we are not really destroyed and we win big).
2) Elisha practiced what Jesus taught about loving your enemies and conquering evil with good when he did not have the Syrians executed, but rather gave them food and drink and sent them home. Conquering evil with good puts us directly in the center of the heartbeat of our Heavenly Father. There is tremendous power in this. He did this very thing in the body of The Son. If someone does not like you, pray that God will orchestrate a situation where you can be kind to them.
3) Cannibalism – this demonstrates what is in the heart of fallen mankind. I believe that if the grace of God is removed and desperate conditions arise, humans will resort to unspeakable evil to survive.
4) God is blamed for so many things. I cringe when tornadoes and hurricanes are labeled as “acts of God.” The bottom line truth is that if humans obeyed God, there would be no tragedies. God critics fail to understand that God made everything perfect and it was we humans that rebelled against Him, and our disobedience causes all maladies. This is not to say that if a person or family gets hit with a horrible tragedy that it was a result of some specific sin on their part. I am saying that tragedy exists only because humans sin and that God did not make the world like it is today.

2 Kings 7 – There was a bad famine in Samaria and the King of Israel had just rushed into Elisha’s place blaming “his god” for the famine. Elisha quickly prophesied that the next day food would be so abundant that it would sell very cheaply, but the king’s royal officer would not eat it. Later, four lepers sat at the gate of Samaria and came to the conclusion that if they stayed there, they would surely starve to death, even if they went back into the city. So they thought they could have a chance of surviving by going into the Syrian camp and at least eat as their slaves (if they weren’t killed in the process). Upon entering the camp, they found it deserted because God had made the Syrian army hear the roar of many horses and chariots. They fled leaving all provisions behind. In the meantime, the king of Israel appointed his royal officer to stand by the gate of Samaria. When the people inside the gate heard about the available food, they stampeded through the gate and killed that officer according to the Word of the Lord that said “But you shall not eat it.” Food was so quickly abundant that it did sell very cheaply as well.

2 Kings 8 – Elisha told the woman whose son he brought back to life to travel away from there because there would be a famine for 7 years. So she went and lived with the Philistines for that time period. When she returned, she went to the king to get her land and house back. When she arrived in the king’s presence, Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, was telling him about her boy who Elisha raised from the dead. To Gehazi’s shock, in came the boy’s mother! Needless to say, the king made sure she got everything back that she had owned before she left. In the meantime, Elisha went to Damascus. King Ben-Hadad was sick and wanted to know if he would recover so he sent his servant Hazael to seek out Elisha. Elisha said he would recover but would still die. Then he stared intently at Hazael and began to weep because God showed him that Hazael would become king and slaughter many men, women, and children of Israel. Hazael quickly denied that he would ever do such a thing. When he returned to Ben-Hadad, he told him he would recover, but the next day he smothered the king to death and became King of Syria.

Application for Today: The way this woman whose boy was raised from the dead was looked after by Elisha seems to symbolize how God takes care of us. He arranges circumstances so we can gain favor. I’ll be ever thankful about how I “walked into” my teaching job after graduating from college. The teacher whom I replaced did not tell school officials that he was leaving until late August, so the principal was desperate to find a health teacher in just a couple of weeks. Meanwhile I just “happened” to walk into the Health and PE Building at SUNY Brockport and saw the advertised opening on a bulletin board. I had looked before and it was not there. I was granted an interview immediately and was hired. To this day, I think I was the only person who had applied (good thing I had no competition or I may have been out of a job). I had job offers from Gouverneur, NY and Waltham, MA but never felt God wanted me in those places. For whatever reason, God wanted me in Spencerport. He promises us that if we put His Kingdom first, all earthly necessities will be provided for us (Matthew 6:33).

2 Kings 9 – Some time after the death of her evil husband king Ahab, Jezebel finally met her doom. Elisha sent a prophet to prophesy over Jehu that he would be the next king of Israel. Part of this Word from God spoke of Ahab’s demise as well as Jezebel’s. In fact, she would be eaten by dogs and not have a burial. After receiving this word about him being king, Jehu promptly killed Ahaziah and Joram and did indeed become king. He rode to where Jezebel lived and told her officials to throw her out of the window. They did, and she was killed from the fall, then the dogs did the rest.

2 Kings 10 – Ahab had 70 sons and they were all executed by Jehu. He also killed Ahab’s priests, acquaintances, and some great men. He killed the relatives of Ahaziah also. Then he told the Baal worshipers that he would promote Baal more than Ahab. This was a ploy to get them all gathered into the house of Baal for execution. His men not only killed all the Baal prophets, but burned the sacred pillars found in the inner room. He made the site into a latrine. God was pleased and promised Jehu that his descendants would rule for the next four generations. Jehu, however, did not follow after God very well after all this, so the Lord began to cut off portions of land from the Hebrews. Jehu reigned 28 years over Israel and died. His son Jehoahaz took over. God’s Word never fails. It may take some time, but it does not fail.

2 Kings 11 – Once again evil is swept out of Israel and a “breath of fresh air” emerges in Judah. Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel and mother of the late evil King Ahaziah, rose up and killed all royal offspring and reigned herself for about 6 years. Unbeknown to Athaliah, a priest hid one baby son from her murderous escapade. The baby’s name was Joash. In the 7th year of her evil reign, the high priest who hid Joash summoned many soldiers to guard him day and night. Later, when the priest brought him out, he was crowned king and the people celebrated loud enough for Athaliah to hear it. She came and shouted “Treason!” But they seized and executed her and tore down the house of Baal to which she had re-introduced the southern kingdom. They also destroyed all his images. It was quite a house cleaning. Mattan, a high priest of Baal, was also executed. Little Joash was 7 years old when he became King of Judah and would turn out to be a decent king, at least for a while.

I can see a pattern with some of Satan’s schemes. Anytime there was potential for a decent person to gain authority, he tries to kill him before his time. Joash’s birth and baby days were similar to Moses’ and Jesus’. In all cases, there was a concerted effort to kill these babies just after their births, and God used certain people to hide and protect and nurture them. It is comforting to know that God’s plans cannot be canceled or snuffed out by Satan.

2 Kings 12 – Joash ruled for 40 years in Jerusalem. He did right except he left the high places where people burnt incense and sacrificed (both practices were wrong). The Temple was repaired from its run down state. Hazael, the king of Syria, captured Gath and was about to attack Jerusalem, but Joash gave him many valuables and that sent him away. Then some servants rose up and killed Joash. Amaziah, Joash’s son, became king.

2 Kings 13 – During the 23rd year of Joash’s reign over Judah, Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu became king of Israel and ruled for 17 years. He did evil, so God allowed the Syrians led by Hazael to have victories. God never allowed the enemies of the Hebrews to completely wipe them off the earth because of His promise to Abraham. Jehoahaz died and his son, Joash (a different one), took over. He reigned 16 years over Israel and did evil. He died and Jeroboam (a different one) took over. Then Elisha became sick with the disease that would take his life and Joash came to him and mourned. Elisha told him to shoot an arrow out an opened window to signify he would attack and take the Syrians. Then he told him to take arrows and strike them to the ground and he struck them 3 times. But Elisha said he should have struck 4-5 times because then the Syrians would have been completely destroyed. Elisha died. Later in the spring of the year when the Moabites were attacking, some men were carrying a dead man about to be buried. Because of the attack, they had to cast the dead man into Elisha’s grave, but it so happened that it touched Elisha’s bones and the body came to life!

What an anointing upon Elisha that his bones would carry healing and resurrection power! When he asked Elijah for a double portion of anointing, I guess he really got it. It is a great thought to know that a person who has departed from earth can still have positive effects on people who live after him/her. Have you ever wondered what effect you would leave after you die? If we affect just one person for the better, that one may influence one or thousands more. We’ll never know until Judgment Day. Don’t hide your light under a bushel, but let the world see it and you will have a treasure stored in heaven where no one can steal it away. I want to put something on my gravestone about Jesus, just in case someone may read it and get saved. I’d like to keep it short, but pregnant with meaning and it needs to reflect Jesus, not me. I’ve thought about quotes such as:

“Because of Jesus I am not here.”
“You must read what Jesus said.”
“Only Jesus can give you purpose and eternal life.”
“God proved His love through Jesus.”
“Confess your sin to Jesus and it will be forgiven.”
“Jesus never made a mistake, especially when He died.”

2 Kings 14 – Kings took over and then were killed. Amaziah was one of the decent ones.

2 Kings 15 – More kings took over and all were evil except Azariah and Jotham. Bloodshed and battles for power continued.

2 Kings 16 – More evil kings, but this chapter ends with Hezekiah, Ahaz’ son, becoming king. He was one of the few good ones.

2 Kings 17 – God had had enough! Because of the prevalence of evil and idolatry throughout all of Israel (except Judah, although Judah was also in sin), God allowed the Assyrians to invade the Hebrews and take them all into exile. These Hebrew people continuously stiffened their necks against the Lord and His commandments. They followed vanity and became vain. They became so bad that they made their daughters pass through fire, practiced divination (fortune telling), and performed enchantments. These were behaviors that seemed to automatically occur when the hearts of a people were forgetting God. So even the descendants of Israel were rejected by God at this time. Then the Lord sent lions into Assyria and they killed some people, so the king sent a Hebrew priest to the Hebrews to instruct them about their God. But they really didn’t listen and continued in their evil ways. Lions -1 God’s Chosen People – 0. Fortunately, Hezekiah is coming. This time period was one of the lowest in Israel’s dark history. The Promised Land became saturated with all the evil and sin it had contained before God brought His people into that area. If I were God (heaven forbid) I would have given up on mankind kind right here. But God always remembered His promise to Abraham, the man who was willing to give up his only son to God. That must have struck so deep into the center of God’s heart that it sealed the great promise. Just think how much it would please God if we are willing to give up all for Him.

2 Kings 18 – Hezekiah began his reign over Judah from Jerusalem at age 25 and ruled for 29 years. This guy was something. Unlike the few good kings before and after him, he followed God whole-heartedly like David did. He actually had all the altars in the high places torn down and insisted all worship be done properly in Jerusalem. He even destroyed the bronze serpent that Moses used to help the Hebrews prevail in a battle because people were burning incense to it. In other words, they were worshiping it rather than God. Humans tend to do that, even today with various objects. It’s sad.

So Hezekiah had enough faith in the Lord to rebel against the oppressive Assyrians. In Hezekiah’s 4th year of reign, the king of Assyria came after the Hebrews of Israel (not Judah) by laying siege to Samaria and finally captured it in 3 years. The king carried off the Hebrews to exile because they were not obeying the Lord as Hezekiah’s people were. In Hezekiah’s 14th year of reign, the king of Assyria named Sennacherib came up against the fortified cities of Judah and surrounded them with mighty armies with far more soldiers and horses and chariots than Hezekiah’s side had. Hezekiah thought that he had done wrong and offered to pay Sennacherib with much gold and silver from the Temple and his house so that his people could be spared from slaughter or exile.

But Sennacherib sent armies and a spokesman to the walls of the city of Jerusalem and gave a ranting message about his power over all the gods of other nations that were defeated by him, and that there is no god that can beat him (this is all our God needed to hear – kind of like arrogant people saying that even God could not sink the Titanic). Following this rant, Sennacherib wanted to know whom Hezekiah relied upon. He eliminated all possibilities (i.e., Egypt) due to their own weaknesses. Then he displayed his ignorance of the Hebrew faith. He accused Hezekiah of tearing down altars in the high places that were for the worship of his God. This was not true. These were evil practices that Hezekiah destroyed. Sennacherib even tried to convince the Hebrews that it was their God who was sending him against them. He said many things to discredit Hezekiah in the eyes of the Hebrew people. But they remained silent to his rants because Hezekiah ordered them to be silent. It was good to see their obedience at this pivotal point. Finally, Sennacherib played his last card — he offered food, shelter, and a nice life if they would just surrender to his army. The Hebrews stayed quiet. Now Hezekiah was not there hearing all this, but he was about to get the report from his officials.

Application for Today: This whole passage may well represent spiritual battles we face today. There are always groups of people or individuals that will rant against what we believe, even sometimes belittling our God. Hollywood does it all the time by the way it portrays Christians or presents immoral actions as being okay and/or full of glamor. Christians who do nothing to be the salt of the earth as Jesus ordained us to be, often will listen to that voice that promises physical comfort if they do not take any action to stem the tide of evil in society, or in the smaller realm of their workplace. When people rant against the Bible, they often misquote it which reveals their lack of understanding of the Holy Scriptures that God wrote to mankind. They lack understanding only because they have rejected God and do not want Him ruling over them (much like the people demanding the release of Barabbas rather than Jesus).

If a decent church becomes under attack, it is important to not only keep faith in God, but to obey the leaders just like those Hebrews obeyed Hezekiah by not responding to his rants. I can see how media interviews from folks who do not like Christianity would try to slant public opinion against that church. Sometimes it is best to decline interviews. Pray that God gives the pastor(s) and the congregation wisdom. God will have His victory. God allows attacks against believers so that His truth can reach more people, assuming that the Christians handle it all with the proper spirit. This world needs to see true Christianity in action. Attacks should not catch us off guard, but rather we need to be prepared to stand firm in the faith. Always be mindful that a comfortable life on earth is only temporal, but fighting the Lord’s battles has eternal weight.

2 Kings 19 – Upon hearing the great boast and threat from the mighty Syrian army and king, Hezekiah tore his clothes and immediately sent a servant to seek the Word of the Lord from the great prophet Isaiah. God spoke through Isaiah saying Hezekiah was not to fear those words from Assyria. God would make Sennacherib go back home where he would be killed. And so it happened, while he was worshiping his false god. God also struck and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. Any time someone delivers a boastful challenge to God, they get into trouble, sometimes even death results.

2 Kings 20 – Hezekiah became deathly ill and Isaiah told him to “put his house in order.” So Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed and reminded God about his good service to Him. Then God told Isaiah to say he would live 15 more years and He would also deliver him from the Assyrians. Isaiah then told servants to take a cake of figs and lay it on the boil, and it went away. But Hezekiah still wanted to know if he would recover and asked God for a sign. The sign was to have the shadow of his stairs move backward 10 steps, and it did. Later, just before Hezekiah’s death, God told him that all the valuables in his house and some of his sons will be carried off to Babylon (possibly because Hezekiah showed off these things to some Babylonian visitors). His sons would become officials there. Hezekiah’s reaction? He was comforted in knowing that at least during his remaining time on earth it would be peaceful. (Kind of self-centered?!). So he died and his son Manasseh became king.

Did the sun actually move backward? It may have been by arresting the earth’s rotation, and causing it to retrograde on its axis to the extent indicated by the return of the shadow. Or it may have been by a miraculous bending, or inclining of the sun’s rays. As there is no evidence that the event was observed elsewhere; and as it is not necessary to suppose that the earth was arrested in its motion, and that the whole frame of the universe was adjusted to this change in the movement of the earth, it is most probable that it was an inclination of the rays of the sun; or a miraculous causing of the shadow itself to recede. This is the whole statement of the sacred writer, and this is all that is necessary to be supposed. What Hezekiah desired was a miracle; a sign that he should recover. That was granted. In Joshua 10:13, the Bible also states that the sun and the moon stood still. These two Biblical references allegedly got the attention of computer scientists.

Did NASA computer scientists discover there was some time missing in the past when calculating future orbits of satellites, and did the Bible help them solve the problem? No. Unfortunately, this was a rumor generated by Harry Rimmer’s book in 1936, titled “The Harmony of Science and Scripture.” It was later revived by Harold Hill’s book, “How the Live like a King’s Kid” in 1974. For details on this story, go to http://www.snopes.com/religion/lostday.asp

2 Kings 21 – Hezekiah’s son Manasseh took over when he was only 12 years old and reigned 55 years. He did evil by bringing back all that his father destroyed. He also engaged fully in witchcraft and mediums and killed innocent people. God then spoke through His prophets condemning Manasseh and the people of Israel and Judah. They all would be either killed or taken captive by their enemies. Manasseh died and his son Amon took over. Amon was 22 when he became king and reigned for only 2 years. He did evil and was assassinated by his own servants. Then the people rose up and killed the conspirators. Amon’s son Josiah took his place.

2 Kings 22Josiah was only 8 when he became king and he ruled 31 years. He did right like David did. As the Temple was being repaired, an old Book of the Law was found. It hadn’t been available to anyone for quite some time. I assume the people were not interested in it. Not so with Josiah. When told of its discovery, he wept and repented and had it read to him. God saw this and told Josiah that he would have peace until his death, and that he would not see any of the bad judgments coming against those who had rebelled against Him.

2 Kings 23 – Josiah had all the people of Judah and Jerusalem come together for the hearing of the Law from the Book. He made a covenant to the Lord to walk with Him, and all the people agreed. Then Josiah “cleaned house.” After that, he commanded that the Passover be celebrated for it had not been recognized throughout all the days of the Judges and the Kings within Israel. He was one of the best kings since David. God would still judge Judah for all of her sin once Josiah died. He was killed by Pharaoh Neco, and Neco put a “puppet” in charge (Jehoahaz) who did evil and had Hebrews paying taxes to Pharaoh.

OT Dark Ages vs NT Dark Ages – The time during which God’s Old Testament Word was not being read brought about the “Dark Ages” of OT times. The Dark Ages of NT times was during the time when the Roman Catholic Church ruled the world and did not allow anyone to read the Bible. About 1200 AD marked the middle of these “Dark Ages” as the historians have labeled them. During the Protestant Reformation, however, the power of the Catholic Church began to weaken as Bibles started getting into the hands of common people. The more the Bible was read, the more people found out who God was and how to be saved. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17) and salvation is by grace not works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Throughout the years of the Reformation, more truth was revealed about what Christianity is all about. This awakening was similar to the days of Josiah. Fortunately, the Reformation lasted much longer than the days of Josiah. Unfortunately, many people “built walls” around various truths of the Bible during the Reformation and did not take anything else further. Hence, denominations began to form and, of course, still exist today. It seems like the devil wants to first keep people away from God’s Word, but if he can’t, then he divides the believers into separate camps so they cannot work together for God’s Kingdom. The old saying of “divide and conquer” works all too well. We must all keep our eyes on Jesus Christ and love Him with everything we have in order to follow Him, and not man and his ideas about religion.

2 Kings 24 – Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem and Josiah’s son Jehoiakim (formerly Eliakim) surrendered the city to his army. After 3 years he rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, but was utterly defeated as the Word of the Lord said would happen. Then his son, Jehociachin became king at age 18 but reigned only 3 months because he continued the evil path. So God used Nebuchadnezzar to conquer Judah and carry away her riches and her people into exile (this included Daniel when he was around teen age). Only the unskilled people were left. He made his uncle king and changed his name from Mattaniah to Zedekiah. Zedekiah was 21 years old when he began his rule and he reigned 11 years in Jerusalem. He also did evil and later rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar.

2 Kings 25 – Nebuchadnezzar then came back and wiped out the remaining Hebrews and religious valuables from Jerusalem, even the Temple valuables. The city walls were brought down and the Chaldeans overran the place and many Hebrews were carried off to exile.

These last two chapters of 2 Kings detail the unfolding of God’s promise to destroy Israel and Judah because of the tremendous evil that ruled far too many generations.