There are many different ways to read & study the Word of God.

      1. Topical – where you find a topic of interest (such as healing) and you study all of the passages which speak of that topic.
      2. Person/Place – where you study all about a certain individual or a particular geographical location.
      3. Word Study – where you take a particular word and find all of the passages where that word is located… studying it’s various meanings and applications.

But my favorite way to read God’s Word is from a chronological/historical perspective. By reading it through like a novel (as we are currently doing) – one is able to see the heart of God clearly outlined in the various situations people find themselves in. You can hear His heart when He speaks to His people – through His prophets – and through the various acts. To me, it is encouraging to watch God deal with human beings (just like me) throughout history… I feel a sort of connection when Abraham is confronted with the choice to obey – or when Moses doubts his ability – or when David stumbles and then repents in tears. Those were real men – with real fears and doubts – all attempting to walk out a relationship with the Almighty One.

Which brings us to where we are now – in 2 Kings. As we have read orderly through the Word of God – from Genesis to 2 Kings – we have seen a very obvious progressive line that we are following. God’s heart is revealed right out of the gate in Genesis as a loving Creator doting over His beautiful world. As the tragedy of Genesis 3 unfolds, one can actually feel God’s heart break. Down through the generations that follow we watch the devastating effect of sin – and hear God lovingly pleading with His people to turn from that sin and return back to Him.

Along with the progression of mankind and sin – we can see the development of God’s people… from Abraham alone to a nation of millions – led by the mighty King David – into a world power under Solomon. Again, we watch God journey with them as a concerned parent… taking them by the hand in the desert – as well as scolding them when they rebel. One thing through all of this is clear… the Lord loves His people.

By the time we reach the Books of the Kings, one can feel dizzy and disoriented at the names and places mentioned. (Languages separated by time and distance have a way of doing that sort of thing!). How quickly it seems the years go by – and their casual mention can cause the reader to overlook that fact that these years represented real lives… generations rising and falling… wars – famines – weddings – funerals – births – deaths.

People… living their lives… just like us.

Woven throughout this story is another thread which we have pointed to many times so far… the thread of disobedience. From our birds-eye view we have the luxury of witnessing the success of the obedient and the failure of the rebellious. It can be tempting to place ourselves above the disobedient… once again forgetting that these people had no such luxury… they lived it.

So – with that overview in mind – as we have entered the 2nd book of the Kings… have you noticed the tenor shift? All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, we see the emergence of miracles. Not just the miraculous such as leading a nation out of Egypt and through the desert (although that was miraculous indeed!) – but more practical examples.

  1. Elijah resurrects a boy (1 Kings 17:17-24)
  2. Fire from heaven (1 Kings 18:30-40)
  3. Drying up of the Jordan River (2 Kings 2:7-8)
  4. Elisha healing the waters (2 Kings 2:19-22)
  5. Increase/multiplication of the widow’s oil (2 Kings 4:1-7)
  6. Healing of leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-14)
  7. Floating axe head (2 Kings 6:1-7)

It seems – as we read through this – that things have been kicked up a notch miracle-wise. Yes, there were plenty of miracles that happened previously… but after years of enduring evil kings leading His people astray – it looks like God has turned up the heat a bit. Although there were 1000’s of “prophets” in the land (actual schools of them) – it seems two main Prophets (Elijah and Elisha) stand out… and it is through them that the atmosphere changes.

God seems to be growing impatient a bit. He has been waiting for His people to return to the love that David showed for Him… yet that doesn’t seem to be happening. More and more generations are falling into progressively worse sin – worshiping Baal (and other false religions) – and rejecting God and His way. From the bird’s-eye view… God seems to be growing weary of waiting and decides to become a bit more proactive.

 

Ladies and gentlemen… the Prophets are coming…

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

Advertisements