In the last chapter of 2 Kings, it seems like all hope is undone. For many years, God has been making promises to his people, and they have slowly become realised: for a land, to become a great nation, for the temple, for a king. But in chapter 25, one-by-one, each of these is undone. It seems like all of God’s promises have failed, and God’s people are in devastation. But in the final story of the book, we get a glimmer of hope, that maybe God’s promises still have a hope of being fulfilled. The final king in the line of David is being cared for, even in exile. God loves to give hope in the darkest places.
As our series in 2 Kings approaches its pointy end, we see two kings contrasted against each other: Manasseh & Josiah. The first was one of the worst, the second was one of the best. And yet, not even Josiah – for all his amazing reform – could stay God’s hand of judgement against the sins of his people. What we need is a king who is like Josiah but better: absorbing the wrath of God in our place.
After a glowing appraisal, we hear a couple of stories of Hezekiah’s life where we’re wondering how he’s gained such a status of “the faithful king.” The question over these stories is: Will he be like his father Ahaz, or like his (great-great-great grand) father David?
In this dark chapter, we hear about Ahaz following after the other nations and other gods in their idolatry, and God exiling Israel from the land. In this talk, Sam helps us think about how we might have this same tendency in ourselves, and how we can check our hearts in their worship of Christ.
After God appoints Jehu to be his assassin, 2 Kings almost seems to turn into a Tarantino film. After years of patience, God finally steps in through Jehu to defeat all those who have been railing against him and his people. This raises a lot of hard questions about God’s judgement. But whilst facing these questions alongside the peace that Christ provides, Mitch helps us to see God’s plan in this passage.
The Lord’s new prophet now takes up our pages as Elisha begins his ministry of healing & miracles. This leads to an outsider seeking help from the Lord and turning to him at a time when God’s own Kings aren’t walking in his ways.
After spending a few years journeying through the books of Samuel & Kings as a church, this is the end of the stories in the kings of Israel. In this talk, Philip opens our new series by exploring stories of life & death in God’s history of his people, as we watch God’s words being fulfilled through a new prophet – Elisha – whom God raises up to speak truth to power.