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Friday, September 29th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 1

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-18

  1. Intro:
    1. This book records the collapse & captivity of the kingdom of Israel (Ch.’s 1-17) and the Kingdom of Judah (ch.’s 18-25).
      1. Spiritual decay led to political and social deterioration.
      2. This becomes a warning not only to nations but also to individuals, to listen to God’s Word & obey it.
        1. Prov.29:1 He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
    2. Review of last chapter of 1 Kings.
      1. The narrative of 1,2 Kings was originally one work that was divided in antiquity, likely because its length required 2 scrolls. (run together, not a good break)
      2. Ahab was truck by an arrow drawn at random, in his chariot.
      3. Jehoshaphat (southern king/Judah) being a contemporary of Ahab (northern king of Israel) & faced many of the same pressures...yet remained faithful to God...showing that righteousness is a matter of the heart, not outward circumstances.
      4. Read last part of ch 1 Kings 22:51-53.
    3. 2nd Kings overview
      1. We continue the story of 2 kingdoms, Israel in the North, Judah in the south.
      2. 2nd Kings starts from the time of the deaths of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and Ahab, king of Israel.
      3. What we are about to read in this book covers 3 centuries (covering 16 kings from of Judah & 12 kings of Israel).
      4. The shadows get darker, the apostasy more evident, the impending doom and more certain (F.B.Meyer, pg.177.)…then captivities (Israel to Assyria. Judah to Babylon)
      5. During this period there lived the following prophets: Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Joel, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Obadiah. [wow, the grace of God]
      6. Here we start with the last 2 stories about Elijah (ch.’s 1,2).
    4. Let’s meet a man named Ahaziah.
      1. He was another apple not falling far from the sin/tree (Omri, Ahab, now Ahaziah)
      2. He’s known as the guy/king who fell through his own upper rooms lattice.
        1. Picture him leaning on his roofs railing, when it gives way.
        2. Yep, God’s word thought of everything...Deut.22:8 When you build a new house, you must build a railing around the edge of its flat roof. That way you will not be considered guilty of murder if someone falls from the roof.
  2. THE KINGS KRASH (1-18)
    1. (2) Baal-Zebub - lord of the flies. An intentional corruption of Baal-Zebul, lord-prince.
      1. According to the writer of kings, he was nothing but a god of death who simply attracted flies. :) [a parody designed to be insulting]
      2. Ahaziah’s messengers had to pass right through Jerusalem on their way to Ekron in their idolatrous quest. It was therefore, a direct insult to Jehovah to ask help from this fly attracting oracle.
    2. (7) What kind of man was it?
      1. Well, more important than his physical appearance, he was a man guided by the Lord. He was a man who glorified the Lord (he wanted to Ahaziahto know that Jehovah alone was the true God). He was a man who trusted the Lord to care for him (Elijah was 1 man against 51 soldiers, but the Lord protected him). And, he was a man who did the Lord’s will.
    3. (9) Man of God - a title only used of Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, David & Timothy.
    4. (9-12) Remember, fire in the OT is associated with the divine presence.
      1. But instead of submitting to God, he tried to slay God’s messenger.
    5. Had they forgot about the fire he called down from Heaven?
      1. Elijah could stand on Ps.27:1-3 The Lord is my light and my salvation - so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? 2 When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.
      2. Confident...but in what? Former French prime minister Georges Clemenceau fought many duels with various rivals. On one occasion, he surprised his assistant by asking the attendant at a Paris railroad station for a one-way ticket to the duel. “Isn’t that a little pessimistic?” asked his assistant. Not at all, Clemenceau replied. I always use my opponent’s return ticket for the trip back.
      3. The grip of fear can debilitate one’s heart, mind, &/or will.
        1. But Christians have a strength greater than any fear we can face.
        2. Are you struggling with fear? Whatever battle you’re fighting, rest confidently in God’s protection. He is your Strength, & He will deliver you. Wiersbe
      4. (Ps.27:2,3) The enemy comes at us 2 ways: Sudden & Settled.
        1. Suddenly (vs.2) - a sudden invasion. Takes us by surprise.
        2. Settled in (vs.3) - Though an enemy may encamp against me.
          1. I’d prefer the enemy suddenly show up, than to have him camped on my doorstep.
          2. Do you have an enemy camped in your home, in your office, or in your neighborhood?
            1. Somewhere in your life an enemy has probably settled.
            2. But David says your heart doesn’t have to fear (3b).
              1. Whether a sudden invasion or a settled battle.
      5. Confident - Goes all the way back to vs.1. Confident in the Lords light, the Lord’s salvation, & the Lord as our fortress.
    6. (12) So, twice Elijah is successful at calling down fire again. But how different the dispensation which we live in today.
      1. Jesus forbade his disciples to attempt to imitate this episode. Lk.9:54-56 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”
      2. You & I need to breathe the spirit of our age...The age of the Holy Spirit. The age of revealed love. The age of grace abounding over sin.
        1. The fire we need to call down is the fire of Pentecost, which destroys not souls but sin. The Spirit’s fire that consumes sin & transforms sinners.
    7. (13-15) The 3rd captain humbled himself & God spared him & his company.
    8. (18) Elijah’s prophetic ministry was essentially over. He had challenged the highest king & the lowliest widow to follow God alone.
    9. Maybe Ahaziah was the original Humpty Dumpty..in whom all the kings horses & all the kings men couldn’t put Humpty together again!
      1. Ask: What was Ahaziah’s problem?
        1. He never asked the King of Kings to put him back together. He never asked The One who is still in the business of fixing broken lives.
      2. Ask: What should have been Ahaziah’s 1st step to fix his broken life?
        1. The individual must present himself before God in openness & acknowledge responsibility & accountability.
        2. A broken life may look/feel like: Personal defeat, messy failures, broken relationships, pain & personal humiliation, destruction, consequences, shattered ideals, wrecked lives, collateral damage/innocent people around us deeply hurt.
        3. Broken lives are not uncommon, it can happen to any of us. And if it does, we may not be able to control the damage. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. (Gordon Macdonald, Rebuilding Your Broken world. pg.2 (words adapted))
      3. ​​​​​​​Ask: Did Ahaziah try to control his own damage?
        1. Yes, with his army/power move.
      4. Ask: What was Ahaziah’s Cure?
        1. The King of Kings & the deep reality of His grace given freely.
        2. The God of the bible is a God of the rebuilding process.
      5. If your world is in pieces...even if its your fault, don’t give up...better yet give your-self up...to The Rebuilder. And instead of hearing the words Ahaziah heard and you shall surely die, you will hear, you shall surely live!
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 2 Kings 1". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/2-kings-1.html. 2017.
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