2 Kings 1

Prayer

Father in heaven we thank You for seasons of health and sickness. We ask that by Your grace and mercy we might glorify You in whatever state Your providential hand should provide.

Today’s Hymn

Joseph Mohr

Words: Josef Mohr, circa 1816-1818. Stanzas 1 and 3 translated from German to English by John F. Young, 1863; translator of stanzas 2 and 4: anonymous.

SILENT NIGHT
Click here for tune.

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and Child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love’s pure light;
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Silent night, holy night
Wondrous star, lend thy light;
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

Holy night, peaceful night!
Through the darkness beams a light
There, where they sweet vigils keep
O’er the Babe in silent sleep;
Resting in heavenly peace,
Resting in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holiest night!
Darkness flies and all is light!
Shepherds hear the angels sing;
Hallelujah! hail the King!
Jesus, the Savior is here,
Jesus, the Savior is here.

Holiest night, peaceful night!
Child of heaven, O how bright
Thou didst smile when Thou was born;
Blessèd was that happy morn,
Full of heavenly joy,
Full of heavenly joy.

Holy night! Peaceful Night!
All is dark, save the light
Yonder where they sweet vigil keep
O’er the Babe who in silent sleep
Rests in heavenly peace,
Rests in heavenly peace.

Holy Night! Peaceful Night!
Only for shepherds’ sight
Came blest visions of angel throngs,
With their loud alleluia songs,
Saying, Christ is come,
Saying, Christ is come.

Thought Provoker

A few years ago several from our church visited a sister church in Hermosillo, Mexico. I was amazed at the number of Roman Catholic idols that covered the Mexican landscape. Just outside of Hermosillo was a hillside where the Virgin Mary supposedly made a personal appearance. We walked up hundreds of steps to this “sacred” site. Pilgrims seeking healing from sickness have ascended the stairway over the decades to light candles and say prayers. Flowing down the hillside was a huge river of wax from the melted candles. Today we are going to learn from King Ahaziah how tempting it is to turn to idols during times of sickness and pain.

Dad’s Study

The book of 2nd Kings follows the chronology of 1st Kings. The beginning of Ahaziah’s, the son of Ahab, reign began in 1 Kings 22:51 and continues in this chapter without a break. We are not sure how these two books became divided at this point. The net affect is to make a break between Ahaziah’s sins and God’s punishment. 1 Kings tells us that Ahaziah did evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the ways of his father and mother. The chapter closes by informing us that he was an idolater who worshipped Baal which provoked God’s anger (1 Kings 22:53).

2 Kings opens by reminding us that sin does not go without punishment from God. The consequences began with the revolt by the kingdom of Moab followed by Ahaziah falling through an upstairs lattice or window shutter. His injuries were such that he turned to the idol, Baalzebub (Lit. Lord of the Flies), the god of the Philistine town of Ekron (vs. 2-3). Read together verses 3-8 and discuss how God intervened in Ahaziah’s plans. What was the message from God to the king (v. 4)? How did God deal with the military captains of 50 and their troops (vs. 9-14)? Why did God spare the third captain and his troops (v. 13-14)? God’s punishment was just as He declared. The king never came down from his bed and God struck him dead!

Click here for Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

Truth in Practice

The sick bed can bring a great test of your heart. During times of sickness and pain many turn to empty religion rather than to the true God of the Bible. Many who seem to do quite well without God during health cry out to the God of their own imagination during times of sickness. However, sickness is not a cure for a depraved heart. O that God might open your heart to turn in faith to the true God, the Lord Jesus Christ, while you are blessed with health and strength. May you also be reminded that sin against God does not go unpunished. The righteous, omnipotent hand of God can in this life bring calamity and sickness to provoke the sinner to repentance. To the hardened, unrepentant heart He can even bring death followed by His eternal wrath. Has God graced you with health and strength today? Don’t delay! Trust in the Son! Delight in Him! Obey Him! Serve Him all the days of your life! Should you find yourself facing sickness and pain, could God be provoking you to turn from your sins and humbly embrace the Savior for forgiveness? In sickness and in health trust and obey God!

Catechism

Question 35

Q. What are the benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?

A. The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification (Rom. 5:1,2,5), are assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17), increase of grace, perseverance in it to the end (Pr. 4:18; 1 John 5:13; 1 Peter 1:5).