2 Kings 8 Restoration and Calamities

Yet the Lord would not destroy Judah, for the sake of his servant David, as He promised him to give a lamp to him and his sons forever. 2 Kings 8:19

Chapter summary.  Gehazi, once Elisha’s servant, is telling the king of Israel about the boy Elisha raised from the dead when living proof, the woman and the son himself enter (8:1-6).  Clearly, tales of Elisha’s miracles have taken root:  the content for faith-building is present in Israel.  But Israel does not respond and the future is grim. Elisha anoints Hazael, destined to devastate Israel, as the next king of Syria (vv.7-15).  Even Judah suffers a spiritual and consequent national decline under Jehoram (vv.16-24) and Ahaziah (vv.25-29).  The spectacular works of Elisha have not produced faith in either kingdom.

Jehoram of Judah (853-841 B.C.).  Jehoram’s 8 year reign is short and brutal.  He has married Jezebel’s equally wicked daughter, Athaliah.  Now Jehoram follows their religious and moral example.  He kills his 6 brothers to be rid of potential rivals, the only king of Judah to do so.

Both Edom and the city of Libna successfully rebel against Judah’s authority, and the Philistines, who had feared the godly Jehoshaphat a few years earlier, attack Judah and capture the king’s family.  Jehoram is cursed by God with a lingering, painful, and fatal disease.  When Jehoram dies, there is only relief in Judah: no one mourns.

Ahaziah of Judah (841 B.C.)  Jehoram’s only remaining son rules just 1 year.  He follows his father’s example, encouraged in “doing wrong” by his mother Athaliah.  He is killed while visiting Joram of Israel.

Key verse 8:19 Man strays, but God remains faithful.

Personal application.  We can provide living proof of the power of God, whether or not others respond.

–>  The chapter begins with God’s divine protection of the Shunammite woman during the time of famine for 7 years and then restoration of her properties afterward.  This occurs in the midst of divinely executed calamities through which the evil kings, people and nations are being punished.  God will protect the individuals who are faithful.  Each of us is not insignificant in God’s eyes.  He is God who can operate on any level.