The Need of a King

2 Kings 11-12

 

I.      Background

A.   Shift from dealing with the Northern Kingdom of Israel to the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

B.    To contextualize what is happening in Judah, see 2 Kings 8:25-29.

C.    Parallel account of this period is available in 2 Chronicles 22:10–24:27.

II.    The Temptation and Temporality of Power, 11:1-20.

A.   Athaliah’s power grab, vv. 1-3.

1.     Upon the death of King Ahaziah, Athaliah (his mother) sought to destroy all of the royal family to solidify her power, v. 1.

a.     Who was Athaliah?  She was a granddaughter of Omri the king of Israel and the daughter of Jezebel (8:26-27).  She had tremendous influence during the reign of Ahaziah.

b.     We must recognize the danger of power.  Whether it is in ministry or in work, there is always a temptation to gain more power.  It is attractive and often a sinful craving.  We should trust in God alone and be content with His will, however much authority He will give us.

2.     Jehosheba, King Ahaziah’s sister, hid Joash from his grandmother in the Temple, v. 2.

a.     Here we have David’s promised dynasty almost stopped and yet wonderfully preserved.  It is a demonstration of God’s providence.  The covenant that God made with David (and fulfilled through the Messiah, Jesus Christ) could not be broken.

3.     Athaliah reigned over the land for the next six years, v. 3.

B.    Jehoiada the priest’s plan, vv. 4-16.

1.     He plots to reveal Joash and to recognize him as the king, vv. 4-8.

2.     His plan is carried out, vv. 9-12.

a.     The captains were given hundreds the spears and shields that had been King David's.  He brought these things to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 8:7, 1 Chronicles 18:7).

1)    Since they were David’s spears and shields, they would be reminded of God’s covenant with David, which they were now acting to defend.

b.     The coronation event:

1)    Jehoiada put the crown on him.  The crown was a symbol of his being invested with kingly power.

2)    Joash was given the testimony. (What is the testimony? See Exodus 25:16, 31:18)  Because he was to govern by God’s Law, Jehoida gave him the testimony, the Scripture.  As King, he was to read it all the days of his life (Deuteronomy 17:18-20).

3)    Jehoiada anointed him.  The act was a token of receiving the Spirit, which was essential for the kingship to which he was called.

4)    The people cheered.  This showed the people’s acceptance of him and subjection to his government.  They consented to and concurred with the divine appointment of Joash.

5)    This event combines a commitment to the Davidic dynasty, to the Mosaic covenant, and to the people.

c.     Joash’s coronation was similar to that of King Solomon (1 Kings 1:39-40).  There are also other parallels—another was ruling, the need to establish the correct person to the throne, etc.

3.     Athaliah’s reaction, vv. 13-14.

a.     Athaliah saw Joash’s reign as treason when she was actually the one committing treason.  Sin will often confuse our morals.  We will also often rationalize what we know is right or wrong for the sake of gratifying our desires.

4.     Athaliah is put to death, vv. 15-16.

a.     Fulfillment of God’s Law, Leviticus 24:17.  Also Genesis 9:6.

b.     We cannot ultimately resist God’s will; we will all face His judgment.  Athaliah demonstrates the end of a life which disregarded God.  How much more should we realize the seriousness of our relationship with God apart from Christ.  Without being justified through Him, we are in rebellion against God and will suffer His just wrath forever.  Flee to the cross!!!

C.    Covenant renewal, vv. 17-20.

1.     Fulfillment of covenant obligations, see Deuteronomy 12:1-4.

2.     The people of Judah had forgotten who they were because they had forgotten who their God is.  By renewing the covenant, a proper sense of reality and identity was restored.

3.     Destruction of Baal worship is similar to Jehu’s reform in the Northern Kingdom (2 Kings 10:24-28).

a.     Demonstrates the exclusivity of the Gospel and the Christian faith.  Baal worship could not be synthesized with the worship of the Lord.  Neither can any other religion bring salvation.  See John 14:6, Acts 4:12.

4.     The people of the land rejoiced.  It is a cause for rejoicing when righteousness is demonstrated, see Proverbs 11:10.

III.  The King Reigns, 11:21-12:21.

A.   Jehoash is another spelling of Joash, in 11:21; 12:2, 4, 6, 7, 18.

B.    Summary of Joash’s reign, 11:21-12:3.

1.     He was young when he began to reign—7 years old, 11:21.

2.     Joash had a long reign and was faithful to God, 12:1-2.

a.     Influence of Jehoiada the priest led to Joash’s faithfulness.

b.     Contrast negative influence of Athaliah during Ahaziah’s reign with the positive influence of Jehoiada during Joash’s reign.  Good and appropriate relationships are tremendously important.

c.     The importance of Jehoiada also demonstrates the importance of biblical instruction of youth.  As Matthew Henry says, “It is a great mercy to young people, and especially to young princes, and all young men of consequence, to be under good direction, and to have those about them that will instruct them to do that which is right in the sight of the Lord; and they then do wisely and well for themselves when they are willing to be counselled and ruled by such.”  Parents have been entrusted with the responsibility to raise your children in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).  This obligation is not to be taken lightly!

3.     Allowance of idolatry for political expediency, v. 3.

a.     We must worship God properly.  Worship is to be directed to God, not to “seekers.”  In the Bible, God not only tells us that we are to worship Him, He also regulates how we are to worship Him.  We are not free to worship Him in any other way that that which He has prescribed.

b.     There is a danger in pragmatism and in seeking unity at the expense of truth.  It may have been easier to rule with idolatry in the land, but that did not make it right.  It may also be easier for us to look over doctrinal differences, but God’s truth cannot be sacrificed for the sake of unity.

C.    Joash decides to repair the Temple, vv. 4-18.

1.     In addition to the priests not taking care of the Temple over time, the sons of Athaliah broke into the Temple and desecrated the things inside for the Baals (2 Chronicles 24:7).  As a result, repairs were needed.

2.     The priests are to take the money from the assessment of persons and make the necessary repairs, vv. 4-5.

a.     What is the money from the assessment?  It was the tax levied by Moses for the tent of testimony.  See Exodus 30:13-16; 35:5ff.

3.     By the time Joash had ruled for twenty-three years, no repairs were made, v. 6.

a.     The people and priests were not responsible with money.  They did not ascribe the proper importance to the Temple, and their acts demonstrate the danger of money.  See Matthew 6:19-24.

4.     Joash changes the methods of collecting and paying for needed repairs, vv. 7-16.

a.     A chest to deposit the money.

b.     The king's secretary and the high priest would bag and count the money.

c.     The money was given directly into the hands of the workmen who would repair the Temple.

1)    The workmen were honest workers.  The importance of personal integrity and biblical morality in those who work for the Lord.  See 1 Corinthians 4:1-2.

d.     The money was not to be used for any "extras" (silver chalices, candle snuffers, trumpets, various vessels, etc.)—it was given to the workmen for repairing the Temple.

e.     The money from the guilt offerings and sin offerings was given directly to the priests.

1)    Guilt offerings—see Leviticus 5:15-18.

2)    Sin offerings—see Leviticus 4:22ff.

3)    These offerings are to be given to the priests—see Leviticus 7:7, Numbers 18:19.

5.     In order to prevent Hazael, King of Syria, from attacking Jerusalem, Joash pays him off, vv. 17-18.

a.     Joash did not trust in God and was not willing to go through the thorough repentance and reforms needed to truly revive Judah.  He was rebuilding the Temple while gutting its inside.  Compare with Jesus’ statements of whitewashed tombs (Matthew 25:23-33).

D.   The death of Joash, vv. 19-21.

1.     Joash’s servants conspired against him and struck him down.

2.     Conspiracy was due to the avenging Joash’s murdering of Jehoiada’s son (2 Chronicles 24:25).

 

Conclusions:

  1. These events demonstrate both God’s judgment and His grace.  The fruits and end of idolatry and sinfulness are revealed through Athaliah.  The renewal of the covenant, the ending of Baal worship, and the institution of a Davidic king all show God’s ongoing love and concern for His people.  Despite all of Judah’s shortcomings, God continues to be with them and bless them.
  2. God’s people continued to need a king to lead and direct them.  However, they are continually being shown that no king can meet their need.  The kings may do many wonderful things, including destroying Baal worship and repairing the Temple.  Nevertheless, they all fall short.  This is because of the inherent human condition.  There is only one solution—God must himself become their King.  He must lead them and direct their paths.  He would be their Messiah, and He came in the person of Jesus Christ.


The Need of a King

2 Kings 11-12

[Class Outline]

 

I.        Background

A.     Shift from dealing with the Northern Kingdom of Israel to the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

B.     To contextualize what is happening in Judah, see 2 Kings 8:25-29.

C.     Parallel account of this period is available in 2 Chronicles 22:10–24:27.

II.     The Temptation and Temporality of Power, 11:1-20.

A.     Athaliah’s power grab, vv. 1-3.

1.      Upon the death of King Ahaziah, Athaliah (his mother) sought to destroy all of the royal family to solidify her power, v. 1.

2.      Jehosheba, King Ahaziah’s sister, hid Joash from his grandmother in the Temple, v. 2.

3.      Athaliah reigned over the land for the next six years, v. 3.

B.     Jehoiada the priest’s plan, vv. 4-16.

1.      He plots to reveal Joash and to recognize him as the king, vv. 4-8.

2.      His plan is carried out, vv. 9-12.

3.      Athaliah’s reaction, vv. 13-14.

4.      Athaliah is put to death, vv. 15-16.

C.     Covenant renewal, vv. 17-20.

1.      Fulfillment of covenant obligations, see Deuteronomy 12:1-4.

2.      The people of Judah had forgotten who they were because they had forgotten who their God is.  By renewing the covenant, a proper sense of reality and identity was restored.

III.   The King Reigns, 11:21-12:21.

A.     Jehoash is another spelling of Joash, in 11:21; 12:2, 4, 6, 7, 18.

B.     Summary of Joash’s reign, 11:21-12:3.

1.      He was young when he began to reign—7 years old, 11:21.

2.      Joash had a long reign and was faithful to God, 12:1-2.

3.      Allowance of idolatry for political expediency, v. 3.

C.     Joash decides to repair the Temple, vv. 4-18.

1.      Because of a lack of concern and past problems, repairs were needed.

2.      The priests are to take the money from the assessment of persons and make the necessary repairs, vv. 4-5.

a.      What is the money from the assessment?  It was the tax levied by Moses for the tent of testimony.  See Exodus 30:13-16; 35:5ff.

3.      By the time Joash had ruled for twenty-three years, no repairs were made, v. 6.

4.      Joash changes the methods of collecting and paying for needed repairs, vv. 7-16.

5.      In order to prevent Hazael, King of Syria, from attacking Jerusalem, Joash pays him off, vv. 17-18.

D.     The death of Joash, vv. 19-21.

1.      Joash’s servants conspired against him and struck him down.

2.      Conspiracy was due to the avenging Joash’s murdering of Jehoiada’s son (2 Chronicles 24:25).

 

Conclusions:

  1. These events demonstrate both God’s judgment and His grace.
  2. Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of our need for a king to lead and direct us.