Text: 2 Kings 15:13-26 (KJV)
13 Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the nine and thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned a full month in Samaria.
14 For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and smote Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.
15 And the rest of the acts of Shallum, and his conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
16 Then Menahem smote Tiphsah, and all that were therein, and the coasts thereof from Tirzah: because they opened not to him, therefore he smote it; and all the women therein that were with child he ripped up.
17 In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria.
18 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
19 And Pul the king of Assyria came against the land: and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand.
20 And Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not there in the land.
21 And the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
22 And Menahem slept with his fathers; and Pekahiah his son reigned in his stead.
23 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years.
24 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
25 But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king’s house, with Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room.
26 And the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
Key Verse: “Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the nine and thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned a full month in Samaria. For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and smote Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.” – (2 Kings 15:13,14)
Sometimes, life is like a movie. Movies tell us stories of men or events that keep us on the edge of our seats and make us think, smile or even cry. One uniqueness of movies is the ability to compress a whole lifetime into hours or even minutes. Movies give a picture of how brief life can be.
Our passage today is like a movie clip of the story of the northern kingdom of Israel. While the southern kingdom of Judah was relatively stable during the reign of Uzziah, Israel was changing kings like garments. First was Shallum, the conspirator who assassinated Zachariah. He lasted only one month on the throne before he was killed by Menahem who replaced him as king. Menahem reigned for ten years and after his death, his son Pekahiah took over. Even though these kings differ in their tenure, some things are common about them all. Firstly, they did evil in the sight of the Lord. Though at variance with one another, yet they all agreed to keep up idolatry. Secondly, with the exception of Pekahiah, his two predecessors were traitors who violently killed their lords.
While it is true that change is inevitable in life, it is important that we watch out for the kind of change that takes place. Crass ambition blinded the vision of these kings such that they created instability in the kingdom and without any specific goals and pursuit, they drove the nation into idolatry the more.
The believer must watch against unbridled ambition. Each life is a movie being shot at different locations. Generations unborn will eventually see and praise God or condemn you for your actions. Every wasted opportunity will count in eternity when the heavenly Father will finally review the movie clips of your life in full. We should be wiser than these Israelite kings and live consciously for the glory of God.
Thought For The Day: Our years are tales being told.
The Bible In One Year: Proverbs 4-6
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