Bitesize Bible Study – The Book of 2 Kings

What happens in the book?

  • The story of the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah continues.
  • Elijah the prophet’s ministry ceases, and that of Elisha the prophet takes over.
  • Elisha performs many miracles in the northern kingdom of Israel.
  • None of the kings of Israel follow God, and the kingdom of Israel is taken into captivity by Assyria in 722 BC.
  • A handful of the kings of Judah do follow God, but 136 years later, the kingdom of Judah is also taken into captivity by Babylon.

What are the main miracles Elisha performed?

  • Increased the oil of a widow woman close to starvation (Chapter 4).
  • Raised the Shunammite lady’s son to life (Chapter 4).
  • Purifies a poisonous stew (Chapter 4).
  • Cures Naaman’s leprosy (Chapter 5).
  • Makes an axe head float (Chapter 6).

Who were the significant good kings of Judah?

  • Jehoshaphat – followed God in his early years, did not worship idols.
  • Joash/Jehoash – repaired the temple.
  • Uzziah/Azariah – did what was right in the sight of the Lord.
  • Hezekiah – removed the high places (altars to idols), did not depart from following the Lord.
  • Josiah – repaired the temple, finds the Book of the Law and institutes reforms throughout the land including the Passover.

Are there any other significant events?

  • There was one queen throughout this period, Athaliah.  She was wicked and tried to destroy the rest of the royal family.
  • The royal line from David – which God had promised would lead to Jesus – nearly came to an end in this period thanks to Athaliah, but one child was saved and hidden.
  • The morality of all the kings is judged by whether they did what was right, or what was evil, in the sight of the Lord.  A worldly king was a bad king.

What can we learn?

  • Human nature doesn’t change – throughout history people do not learn from their mistakes, the next generation has the same problems.  The people of Israel and Judah did not learn that when they followed God life was better.  Their evil ways eventually brought destruction.
  • In the miracle of Naaman’s cure from leprosy we see a sign pointing forward to baptism – Naaman was given new life following a cleansing in the water.

 

Next time: Bitesize Book of 1 Chronicles!

 

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