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The history of Israel and Judah is carried on through this chapter. And this is the period in which the prophets Hosea and Isaiah exercised their ministry. Here is a succession of several kings both in Israel and Judah.
The review of the parallel history in the 2nd book of the Chronicles, will form the best comment on the history of Azariah. Though it be said he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, it is intended by the expression only to imply that he did not abjure the worship of the Lord God of Israel and set up idols. It should seem that his name was more generally known by that of Uzziah, as he is uniformly called in the Chronicles; and the leprosy with which he was smitten is there more particularly recorded. See 2 Chronicles 26:0 , throughout.
I bring the whole into this compass, not only for the sake of brevity, but because the observations which are suited to one reign more or less will suit them all. Short as this chapter is, the events of it include a period of near 70 years; in which we have a succession of monarchs short in their lives, short in their reign, and for the most part full of evil. If the Reader feels disposed to examine into the length of each, a short calculation will soon enable him to ascertain the whole. But what I would chiefly beg my Reader to remark on the occasion is, the goodness of the Lord in watching over Israel, notwithstanding their rebellion, by the ministry of his servants the prophets. Hosea's whole volume is a succession of Sermons, delivered, as the title page tells us, in the days of Uzziah and Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam, the son of Joash king of Israel. Hosea 1:1 . Isaiah prophesied at much the same time. Joel and Amos were also contemporaries in this service. The Lord sent his servants rising early, and speaking, though they would not hear; and therefore he brought evil upon them in a progressive way, from one calamity to another, until the captivity of Babylon, which put a period to the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. But Reader! one sweet thought ariseth to relieve the mind of the believer under all; and that is, the ruin of kingdoms, and monarchies, the putting down one and setting up another, was all intended as preparatory to that glorious event when He should come, whose kingdom should be an everlasting kingdom, and his empire, which should never be destroyed. When by events the most unpromising, and according to human ideas impossible, the stone should be cut out of the mountain without hands; and the God of heaven, even our Father, should raise up, in the house of David, his Son Jesus, and send him to bless his people in turning away everyone of them from their iniquities. Hail, blessed Jesus! in thee we see that precious promise fulfilled; In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt, and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land; whom the Lord of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt, my people, and Assyria, the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance. Daniel 2:44-27.2.45 ; Acts 3:25-44.3.26 ; Isaiah 19:24-23.19.25 .
READER! can you review the successive history of these kings without emotion! Is there not here enough to teach any man, and every man, the folly, emptiness, and unsatisfying nature of all human greatness void of the grace and favor of God? Is this all the history of greatness that these men were born, that they began at such a period to reign, that they reigned so long, did evil for the most part in the sight of the Lord, and at their death were succeeded by others! Alas, alas! if this be the only arithmetic of human greatness, who would covet the envied purple, or look with longing desires to be among the higher ranks of this life.
Blessed Jesus! how sweetly in this instance, as in every other review of the present circumstances of human life, doth thy person, and our interest and relationship in thee, appear. Allied to thee, dearest Lord, thy people are royal indeed; for they are begotten of God the Father, the king of heaven, and earth, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away: they are the children and brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; and by the Holy Ghost made partakers of the divine nature, married to Jesus, and entitled by him to all the portions and revenues of royalty, and to a crown of glory hereafter that shall endure forever. Reader! pause and contemplate their privileges! Behold! See, even now, amidst all the disadvantages of their earthly state, though poor in outward circumstances, and the world owns them not, but their mother's children are angry with them; yet are they still but like the heirs of a kingdom in disguise, going home to glory, and each one of them bears the features, and resembles the children of a king. Their spiritual clothing, like the king's daughter, is all glorious within. The imputed righteousness of their husband and their Lord, is royal apparel indeed. Their provision in spirituals is all heavenly, being the bread of God which came down from heaven, the flesh and blood of Jesus; they ride moreover in the royal chariot of the Lord Jesus, the pillows whereof are silver, the bottom thereof gold, the covering of it of purple, and the midst thereof paved with love. They have a royal guard also to attend and guard their persons, angels being their ministering servants, and the Lord himself their God, their glory.
Think, then, ye humble followers of the humble and lowly Jesus, think of your high privileges in him, and his lawful right, who is the Lord your righteousness. And if ye are indeed a chosen generation, royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; show forth the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Live as children of the Lord. And seeing that ye have received a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Kings 15". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany