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This chapter brings some consolation, to the mind in the history of the kings of Israel and Judah, in relating to us the good reign of Amaziah. He is slain, however, by a conspiracy; and is succeeded in the kingdom by Azariah. Here is an account also of the reign of Jeroboam king of Israel.
The twenty five years of Amaziah's reign may be brought into a narrow compass. His history, as is here related, consisted chiefly in restoring order in the temple service, by which it is said he did right in the sight of the Lord, though not like David. The other parts are much like that of others in extending his authority, and in a wish to extend his conquests, in which, however, he was worsted. The parable of the thistle and cedar, which Jehoash made use of to correct Amaziah's folly, was well chosen. And the event corresponded to its figure. But what I would chiefly desire the Reader to remark while passing through these chapters, of war, and desolation, and the sword, is to view in them the sad consequences of a fallen state. Even in the history of Israel, the nation whom God chose for himself from all the earth, we see the same sad ruin by reason of sin. No man hath ever contemplated to the full, the dreadful situation to which our nature has been reduced by the fall. And never will it be fully ascertained in this life. And hence no one, not even the redeemed who feel the precious effects of regeneration, can ever while they remain in a body of sin and death calculate the glorious consequences of redemption by Jesus. Oh! thou blessed, gracious, dearest Lord Jesus! when shall I know to the full thy loveliness, and the immense mercies thou hast accomplished for thy people to the praise of thy Father's grace, and the purchase of thy blood?,
I cannot pass over this verse without remarking the name of this king of Israel. One should have thought that the name of Jeroboam was so detestable that it would have been shunned with horror. Was it in presumption, as if defying the Lord? Alas! to what a state of sin was Israel at this time reduced?
The most remarkable events here recorded are concerning the Lord's preserving mercy to Israel, who though giving them up to their enemies, and about to suffer them when the time arrived to go into Babylon, yet would still preserve them a name. Destroy it not, said he that looked on, for there is still a blessing in it. Jesus, the promised seed, is in it. Oh! precious truth! Isaiah 65:8 . And the ministry of the prophet Jonah is worth regarding in this place, for he exercised his ministry about this time. Though the book of his prophecy which the Holy Ghost hath caused to be preserved in the church contains the account of his commission to Nineveh only, yet we find from this chapter Jonah ministered also to Israel. See Jonah Chap. 1 to the end. But I beg the Reader, in the perusal of this chapter, to mark the expression concerning Israel's misery. The Lord saw the affliction of Israel that it was very great. Yes! their affliction was very great. But observe, there is not a word said that their sorrow for sin, or their repentance for seeking pardon, was proportioned. Alas! alas! punishment, however extreme, or sorrow, however aggravated, will leave the heart just where it found it, as hardened as ever, unless the Lord gives repentance to Israel and remission of sins. Oh! precious Jesus! thou, that art exalted as a prince, and a Saviour, bestow, Lord, those ascension-gifts upon my soul. Grant me that true godly sorrow which worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of, and keep from me that sorrow of the world which worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 .
BEHOLD, my soul, in the ruined state of Israel, which this chapter presents to thy view, the sure consequence of sin and the evil thereof. Whoever hardened himself against God, and prospered? - Is this Israel whom the Lord brought out of Egypt; carried him on eagles wings; rained manna from heaven for his food, and gave water from the rock to his thirst; led him by a pillar of a cloud by day, and sheltered him in a pillar of fire by night? Is this the same? Alas? how is the gold become dim! how is the fine gold changed!
But behold also, may soul, the bowels of mercies of Israel's covenant God. The Lord saw the affliction of Israel. And will not the Lord send deliverance to his people? Yes! blessed be his name. The deliverance is only in him. He hath sent a Saviour, and a great one, and he hath delivered them. Oh! for grace to receive Jesus, to believe in him, to rest upon him, and on the bended knee, in transports of rejoicing, to bless God for his unspeakable gift!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Sunday after Epiphany