In the time of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came and took Ijon, Abel Beth Maakah, Janoah, Kedesh and Hazor. He took Gilead and Galilee, including all the land of Naphtali, and deported the people to Assyria. (2 Kings 15:29 NIV)
The writer of the account in Kings rattles through a number of kings who ruled the northern Kingdom of Israel in the 15th chapter of 2 Kings. These are bookmarked by the reign of two kings in the southern kingdom of Judah. Those kings of Judah followed a similar pattern to Joash – starting well in relying on God, ending not so well. At least, however, they had an ongoing intentional relationship with God. This is in complete contrast to the litany of disastrous reigns in the northern kingdom of Israel.
As soon as God’s word was fulfilled about Jehu and the fourth generation had ascended to the throne, there followed conspiracy and coup after conspiracy and coup. Jehu’s great grandson was assassinated. The man who did it became king … and subsequently was assassinated.
King after king showed little regard for God and little regard for their predecessor. Only one king succeeded his father on the throne, but inevitably even he became a victim of a conspiracy. The display of disrespect and disregard had an impact on the stability of the country. The Assyrians rose to become a prominent threat to the country, plaguing them with attack after attack, chipping away at the land, claiming portions of it and furthering the decay if the northern kingdom of Israel.
Unrest and upheaval afflicted the kingdom of Israel in no small way due to the disregard for God. The length of each reign mattered little if the state of the country only worsened with each passing ruler. As other insights would inform us, it is not as though God was silent or had never left a word on how they could be. The connection is clear – do what is evil in the sight of the Lord who has clearly expressed His requirements and deal with the debilitating consequences.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden