Jeroboam II and Azariah (2 Kings 14:23 – 15:7)

Jeroboam, son of Joash, took the throne in Israel and reigned forty-one years.  He did evil in the sight of the Lord, just like his predecessor named Jeroboam.  However, he did restore territory to Israel that had been taken by Damascus and Hamath, which fulfilled the prophecy of Jonah.  He later died, and his son Zechariah reigned in his place.

Azariah, became king in Judah upon the death of his father Amaziah.  He was young, sixteen years old, and reigned fifty-two years.  He did what was right in the eyes of God, except he did not remove the high places, where people offered incense to idols.  The Lord struck Azariah with leprosy, and he dwelt in an isolated house until his death.  His son Jotham took care of his kingdom publicly.  Azariah died, and Jotham his son took his place.

Jeroboam was not a holy king, but he was a useful king.  God used even this evil man to being about His purpose of reclaiming territory that God intended for Israel to possess.  In this, God blessed him and allowed him to continue as king.  The moral here is that we should trust God’s plan, even if it seems someone is blessed that should not be blessed because of their lifestyle or sinfulness.  God is working things out for His purpose and for our good.  Trust Him!  Azariah reigned, and was holy.  However, for whatever reason, he did not completely drive our the evil being done in Judah at the high places.  The Scripture does not say explicitly, but it seems that the disease of leprosy came upon Azariah in response to his inability or unwillingness to cleanse the land of sin.  While the fates of these two kings may seem in conflict (Jeroboam not judged even though evil–Azariah judged, even though good), it is important to understand that we do not always know all the facts, and we may not always know God’s purpose in what is happening.  Therefore, faith is required if we are to trust God and see the eventual outcome of His plan.  Trust God regardless: He will always do the right thing for the kingdom of God.

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