Today, we continue our journey through the Bible with today’s study of 2 Kings. May we remember to ask God to show us what He wants us to learn? Psalm 19:14; “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.”
As we study the Bible alone or in a group setting, I think there are several questions we can ask ourselves to help us dig deeper. The five questions are as follows:
- What does the scripture say about God?
- Then what does the scripture say about me?
- Does something in this passage challenge me?
- What gives me hope in this passage?
- Is anything unclear to me?
I hope these questions help you as much as they help me.
- Author: Unknown: Possibly Jeremiah or some other prophets
- Audience: For Israel living in exile
- Date Written: about 586 BCE
- Length: 25 Chapters
- Key Words: “Man of God” and “Word of the Lord”
- Key Verses: “The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: ‘Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.’ But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God” (17:13,14)
- Key People: Elijah, Elisha, the woman from Shunem, Naaman, Jezebel, Jehu, Joash, Hezekiah, Sennacherib, Isaiah, Manasseh, Josiah, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar
Summary of 2 Kings:
2 Kings begins just where 1 Kings left off: Ahab is dead, and his house and his queen, Jezebel, await their destruction. However, this becomes delayed for a period, although Ahab’s son Ahaziah dies after falling through a lattice. Meanwhile, Elijah hands off the mantle of his prophetic role to Elisha before he ascends to heaven in a whirlwind and a chariot made of fire.
The country is ruled by some horrible kings during this time. One of these vicious kings was King Manasseh, whose wickedness caused Judah to lose its divine protection. By the end of the period of Kings, the Israelites no longer inhabited their Promised Land. Much of the country had been rendered uninhabitable due to the Babylonian army’s violent tactics. In contrast, God’s people become enslaved and scattered by their enemies.
Sections of the Book:
The book of 2 Kings has four sections which are:
- The last days of Elijah (Chap 1-2:2).
- Ministry of Elisha (Chap 2:3-13:21).
- The passing of Israel (Chap 13:22-17)
- And the passing of Judah (Chap 18-end)
Messages in 2 Kings:
This book also features many unique events and people. Two people were raised from the dead (2 Kings 4:32–37; 13:20–21). The prophet Elijah left this earth without dying (2:1–18); Enoch was the only other man in the Bible to do so (Genesis 5:21–24). The waters of the Jordan River rolled back twice (2 Kings 2:8, 14). These miraculous events testify to God’s continuing work among His people despite how they sinned again Him again and again.
We also see God’s characteristics displayed in the following ways in the book:
- God is compassionate – 13:23
- Our God is one – 19:15
- He is wrathful – 19:28, 35, 37; 22:17
Although great judgment fell on Judah for the nation’s disobedience towards God, He still spared a remnant of them. Those who remained kept the royal line of David alive. It is thought that line which Christ entered the world. Judah’s abandonment of their faith caused the judgment from God, yet God remained faithful to His covenant during this time. As David’s direct descendant, Jesus would all free His people from the captivity that held them in sin.
Lessons from the Bible
Each book of the Bible contains lessons for us to learn and historical information. We need to study God’s Word to see what to do and what not to do in life. Paul reminds us of the importance of the words within the text in 2 Timothy 3.
2 Timothy 3:14-17; “14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Grant me the understanding and knowledge of You and Your word. As I open my Bible to read the scriptures, it gives me wisdom and discernment. And even as I sit and listen to the pastor, preacher or apostle reveal what Your Holy Book is speaking into my life, help me see and understand. Help me know Jesus Christ and how He lived His life so that I can follow in His precious footsteps.