A different kind of Messiah

 

SEE-SAW

Israel and Judah are up and down and back and forth like yo-yos.  If sin prevails the people are happy, but reform brings rebellion and assassination.  Today we elect the kind of leaders we like and complain about the results immediately.  Voters can’t manage their finances, and elect the same to run the nation.  The two nations of the Jews will be quarrelling with each other next.

In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign.  Sixteen years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned two and fifty years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem.  And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done;  Save that the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places.  And the LORD smote the king, so that he was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house. And Jotham the king’s son was over the house, judging the people of the land.  And the ret of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?  2 Kings 15:1-6

The writers of the Chronicles report later that Azariah is stricken with leprosy because he sacrificed as only the priests should do.  The King James translators have again shifted the spelling of his name.  Little wonder thay may have been confused with so many kings rotating through these passages.

But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.  And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:  And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.  Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.  And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.  2 Chronicles 26:16-20

Now we switch back to the latest news from the other kingdom of Israel.  We have a new king approaching an old destiny.

So Azariah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.  In the thirty and eighth year of Azariah king of Judah did Zachariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria six months.  And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his fathers had done: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.  And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him before the people, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.  And the rest of the acts of Zachariah, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.  This was the word of the LORD which he spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation. And so it came to pass.  Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the nine and thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned a full month in Samaria.  For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and smote Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.  And the rest of the acts of Shallum, and his conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.  2 Kings 15:7-15

Zachariah only got to rule for six months.  Shallum made sure the prophesy was fulfilled to the letter, but he didn’t have long to enjoy his reign as king himself.  He only got one month to reign?  Crime sure didn’t pay for him!

Then Menahem smote Tiphsah, and all that were therein, and the coasts thereof from Tirzah: because they opened not to him, therefore he smote it; and all the women therein that were with child he ripped up.  In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria.  And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.  And Pul the king of Assyria came against the land: and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand.  And Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not there in the land.  And the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?  2 Kings 15:16-21

Menahem bought peace and had his ten years.  But this peace would come back to trouble Israel later.  He did at least die a natural death, and his son took his place as the reigning king of sin in Israel. 

And Menahem slept with his fathers; and Pekahiah his son reigned in his stead.  In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years.  And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.  But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king’s house, with Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room.  And the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.  2 Kings 15:22-26

Pekah kills Pekahiah and again he gets to be the king in his place.  His sins cause Israel to suffer more at the hands of the Assyrians though.

In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years.  And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.  In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.  And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.  And the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.  2 Kings 15:27-31

Now Israel has lost whole tribes to the Assyrians and they again vote with the sword.  Hoshea takes over by killing Pekah so the killer reaps what he sowed.  Israel is using a familiar form of government where the strong rule by violence.  Let’s see, what kingdom am I thinking of that runs like this?  Oh yes, the Klingon Empire of Star Trek is run this way!  At least we get a break in the news by returning to Jerusalem and Judah for an update.

In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel began Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah to reign.  Five and twenty years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.  And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done.  Howbeit the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burned incense still in the high places. He built the higher gate of the house of the LORD.  Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?  In those days the LORD began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah.  And Jotham slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead. 2 Kings 15:232-38

Judah had a few flaws, and the Syrians and Israel became their enemies.  War was beginning to come to them again.

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