were not so often defeated. 5. Hazael was raised up to execute judgment with the sword on the sinful nation. III. THE JUDGMENT ON THE HOUSE OF AHAB. 1. As the Lord watches over His own to . spare them, so He does not forget the des- % serts of the wicked. Visiting the Iniquity unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate" H im (Ex. 20:4, 5), the seed of Omrl and Ahab could not escape, who had "walked" in the ways of their f a t h e rs (Ezek. 18; Dan. 5:22). 2. To Jehu, a gen- eral of Israel, at the front with the army, Ellsha dispatched a son of the prophets, who anointed him king, and commissioned f r om Jehovah, who sets u p one and casts down another, and whose "hand none can stay, or I say unto Him, Wh at doest Thou? (Dan. 4:35)" to destroy the house of Ahab. 3. Read the graphic story of these chapters. ' See the retributive justice of God sweeping like a s t o rm over the guilty nation and overwhelming the last vestige of an idola- trous, oppressive, and cruel dynasty. Ahaz- iah of Judah, grandson of Ahab and Jezebel, has unwittingly delivered himself to jus- tice as a guest of J o r am (8:29). 4. The watch in the tower reports the approach of the troopers; and now he recognizes the furious driving of Jehu, the son of Nimshi; the horsemen are successively dispatched to meet them, b ut fall into the ranks of the galloping cavalcade; the royal pair, each mounts his chariot and hastes to learn the anticipated news from the field; a few min- utes later, with the cry of "Treachery!" they are fleeing for their lives; the full drawn bow of Jehu sends a well aimed d a rt between the shoulders and through the heart of the doomed Joram, whose welter- ing carcass is thrown into the field of N a- both, where his f a t h er met his retribution years before, (1 Kgs. 22:37. 38). Ahaziah, ¡pursued and wounded, makes his way to Miggiddo and perishes there; while, in ful- filment of prediction (1 Kgs. 21:23), cast f r om her palace, in all her bediezined a nd artificial beauty, a painted hag, Jezebel is devoured by a pack of canine scavengers t h at scoured the streets of Jezreel. "The mills of the gods grind slow, but they grind exceeding small." 5. Read on and see how dire rétribution falls on all the descendants of t h at evil house; and how the sons of the machinations of Satan are unavailing when arrayed against God's declared pur- pose. David's seed was not to fail: this was the promise of God, 1 Kings 9:5. The efforts of Satan to destroy the seed of the woman, manifested first in the mu r d er of Abel a na culminating in the death of Christ on the Cross, is an interesting record of the Word of Oort. The devil never had a better p a r t- ner t h an Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Tezebel, trained in all the satanic a r ts of her degenerated mother, she was prepared for the part of murderess which she played so well. She loved blood, gloated in h uman sacrifice; she lived as her mother lived and died as her mother died—slain at her own r>oors. Herod, like Athaliah, sought to slay the promised seed, but his efforts were as r y V PITH AN The chief lesson in this passage Is t h at of the immutability of God's Word. All of
Ahaziah come up from Jerusalem providen- tially to meet their doom. Great was the slaughter of the priests and devotees of Baal. 6. Say to all who disobey Jehovah and serve "the world, the flesh, and t he devil," "Except ye repent ye shall all, like- wise, perish" (Luke 13:5). IV. JUDGMENT AT JERUSALEM. 1. The godly Jehoshaphat had inconsist- ently "joined affinity with the house of Ahab (2 Chron. 18:1; 19:1-3)," and married his son to Athaliah, of Ahab and Jezebel. 2. That son, after a most discreditable reign of eight years, died a dreadful death by special visitation of God (2 Chron. chap. 21). 3. As queen regent on the death of her son Ahaziah (see above), she at once p ut to death all the "seed royal," mostly taint- ed with Ahab's blood, all save the i n f a nt Joash, who, rescued by his nurse, was brought up secretly in the family of his godly aunt ,Jehosheba, and Jehoida, her h u s- band, the priest. 4. It would have been easier to blot out the sun than t o destroy t h at child (Psa. 89:36, 37). It was "the seed of David," in whom the Messianic hopes of Israel and the salvation of m a n- kind were involved and guaranteed (see Ex. 2:1-9; Matt. 2:13, 15). We also are children of promise who believe (Rom. 8:38< 39). 5. The Boy King. The doom of Athaliah h a s- tened. At six years of age Joash was pre- sented to a select company of patriots in the temple, and a f t er judicious precautions to guard the sanctuary, Jehoiada caused him to be proclaimed king. Wi th glad acclama- tions, t h at reached t he palace, and the queen,, the people hailed him "God save the king!" 6. T h at worthy daughter of Jezebel, rushing into the court of the temple, seeing the cause of the shouting, with the cry of "Treason! treason!" fled through the gates, " h i t h er the executioners followed her, and completed judgment on the House of Omrl. 7. The fruits of a pious rearing were now seen in the great reformation t h at followed. (1> The altars and Images of Baal were overthrown. (2) The high priest of Baal was slain before the altar. (3) Officials were duly appointed for the worship of the temple and (4) for the protection of the government, and (5) unlike the revolution in Israel, we read of no wholesale destruc- tion either of political or religious delin- quents. D PIVOT. futile. How confident w e can be t h at the Word of God cannot be broken. A minister recently said t h at he did not believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many men deny the literal reign of our Lord upon an earthly throne, and yet the promise of the angel to Mary was, "Thou shalt conceive and bring forth a son and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of His F a t h er David and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever." All efforts to destroy the force of this promise will end as did the efforts of Satan through Athaliah to destroy t he heirs to the throne. Those who deny the Word of God will go down in iconfusion, for the spoilers of God's written Word are striking at the living Word and seek to m a ke His gracious pramise of none effect.
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