Summary: God showed mercy to a disobedient Israel, not giving them what they deserved but provided a window of opportunities for them to return and repent.
We are going to swing back to ISRAEL (N) and look at King Jeroboam today.
• King JEROBOAM is the 3rd successor of JEHU, succeeding his father JEHOASH, who fought with Judah’s King AMAZIAH in the first part of 2 Kings 14 (we saw last Sun).
• Read 2 Kings 14:23-29.
Again verse 24 says “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit.”
• Yet he reigned for 41 years, by the grace of God. He wasn’t cut off quickly. God showed MERCY to a disobedient Israel.
• What we just read wasn’t really about Jeroboam’s deeds. Rather we saw more of God’s acts of kindness for His people.
One, God restored the boundaries of Israel, through Jeroboam.
• 14:25 He was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel from Lebo Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, in accordance with the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher.
• God SPOKE through His servant JONAH and prophesied a restoration of Israel’s boundaries. God would achieve that through Jeroboam.
• This was remarkable because the only other time Israel was that big was when Solomon was King. Jeroboam restored Israel’s land back to its former limits.
Jonah was the one who gave this prophesy, but we do not have a record of it in the Scriptures. We know Jonah from the book of Jonah. He was a prophet of Israel.
• Now we know why he was so reluctant to go to Nineveh when the Lord called him to, because Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, Israel’s enemy.
Two, God showed mercy because He SAW their pain.
• 14:26 The LORD had seen how bitterly everyone in Israel, whether slave or free, was suffering; there was no one to help them.
• We saw the same comment in chapter 13 when Jehoahaz was King. God saw how severely they were oppressed (under the Arameans) and sent a deliver.
• God was moved with compassion by what He saw. So take heart, God sees and He understands our need.
Three, God saved Israel through Jeroboam.
• 14:27 And since the LORD had not said he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, He SAVED them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Jehoash.
• (The author seems to be surprised that God did not judge them for their evil ways; at least, not yet.)
• So God helped Jeroboam overcame the Arameans and conquered Damascus, its capital. 14:28 mentioned his military achievements and how he recovered the lands for Israel.
God has been good to Israel. He spoke and gave them His Word. God saw their suffering and came to rescue them. He enabled them to overcome their enemies!
• From historical and archaeological records, it has been proven that Jeroboam’s reign was Israel’s most stable and prosperous time.
• And it has been all the works of God, by the grace of God, because of His mercy, and not because of Israel’s merit or goodness.
Did Israel see the hand of God in all of these? Did they recognised God’s blessings?
Did they turn from their idolatry and return to the One who cares for them?
To understand this we need to look at TWO Minor Prophets who ministered during this time. Beside Jonah, we have AMOS and HOSEA.
Amos 1:1 The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa—the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.
• If your bible has subtitles, you can flip through the pages of AMOS and get a sense of its theme.
• Amos warned Israel of God’s impending judgement for their disobedience, their unwillingness to return to God, for their pride and unrepentance.
• Amos 5:4-6 4This is what the Lord says to Israel: “Seek me and live; 5do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba. For Gilgal will surely go into exile, and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.”
6Seek the Lord and live, or He will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire; it will devour them, and Bethel will have no one to quench it.
The people ignored God’s warnings. See this interesting account:
• Amos 7:10-17 10Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: “Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words. 11For this is what Amos is saying: “‘Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land.’”