2 Kings 15

Prayer

Our merciful heavenly Father, grant us by Your grace to raise up our children to Your glory, teaching them Your ways, that they may live uprightly before You. Grant us the grace to be a faithful witness to them of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray that by Your sovereign electing grace You would save them and make them vessels fit for Your service to Your glory. Amen.

Today’s Hymn

Nikolaus L. von Zinzendorf

Words: Nikolaus L. von Zinzendorf, 1739 (Christi Blut und Gerechtigkeit); first published in the eighth appendix to his Das Gesang-Buch der Gemeine in Herrn-Huth.; translated from German to English by John Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1740, alt.

JESUS, THY BLOOD AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
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Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
‘Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.

Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

The holy, meek, unspotted Lamb,
Who from the Father’s bosom came,
Who died for me, e’en me to atone,
Now for my Lord and God I own.

Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,
Which, at the mercy seat of God,
Forever doth for sinners plead,
For me, e’en for my soul, was shed.

Lord, I believe were sinners more
Than sands upon the ocean shore,
Thou hast for all a ransom paid,
For all a full atonement made.

When from the dust of death I rise
To claim my mansion in the skies,
Ev’n then this shall be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived, hath died, for me.

This spotless robe the same appears,
When ruined nature sinks in years;
No age can change its glorious hue,
The robe of Christ is ever new.

Jesus, the endless praise to Thee,
Whose boundless mercy hath for me-
For me a full atonement made,
An everlasting ransom paid.

O let the dead now hear Thy voice;
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness.

Thought Provoker

In what ways is a son like his father? Sometimes the son may look like his father, have the mannerisms of his father, or maybe even follow in his father’s footsteps in his vocation. Sometimes a son will even follow in his father’s sins. The son of the drunkard may become a drunkard himself. The son who watched his father abuse his mother becomes one who abuses his wife. Truly the sins of the father are visited to the children to the third and fourth generations. Just as sons may follow in their father’s sins, so too they may follow in their father’s virtues. It is in this way that we pray the axiom of, “Like father, like son” will be true.

Dad’s Study

In 2 Kings 15 there is a parade of kings for us to compare and contrast. King Azariah or Uzziah was only 16 when he ascended to the throne of Judah, yet he followed in his father’s footsteps and did right according to all that his father had done. As a result he reigned long in Judah, 52 years. Although Judah was not without troubles, it appears that Uzziah had a peaceful reign and his rule was a blessing to the people. Uzziah was followed by his son, Jotham, who had ruled over Uzziah’s household since Uzziah was a leper and lived separately. Jotham had learned well and ruled well, as his father had done. He even built the upper gate of the house of the Lord. But even for all the good and obedience of Uzziah and Jotham, they had not removed the high places where the people sacrificed and burned incense. This sin had become so ingrained into the life of Israel that even these kings striving to do righteousness did not take it away. This remnant of sin in the life of Judah eventually began to bring God’s judgment as He brought people against them to afflict them and turn them back to God in these things.

Contrast this with the litany of kings of Israel. It is said of each that they did evil in the sight of the Lord and caused Israel to sin by following after false gods. Zechariah was murdered by Shallum; Shallum was murdered by Menahem. Menahem paid tribute to the king of Assyria to maintain his rule and exacted the tribute from the wealthy of Israel. Pekahiah was murdered by Pekah and Pekah was murdered by Elah. During this time Assyria came against Israel and began taking away territory and taking Israelites into captivity. The reign of these unrighteous kings, each of which had walked in the sins of their fathers, brought calamity to the people.

Click here for Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

Truth in Practice

Fathers you will be an example to your children, either for good or for bad. Be a good example and teach your children the ways of God (Deut. 6:6,7) and raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).

God desires to be worshipped only by the means and in the ways He has prescribed in His Word. The calamities that finally fell upon Judah and Israel were the result of their violation of the regulative principle of worship. Israel’s sin was gross idolatry and brought swift and sure consequences in the life of the nation. Judah’s sin was much more subtle and involved the introduction of sacrifices and incense burning that God had not prescribed. They were still worshipping Him and not false Gods, but they were not worshipping as He commanded. Let this be a warning to stay away from “worship” inventions of men and worship the living God in Spirit and in truth as He has commanded us in His Word.

Catechism

Question 38

Q. What shall be done to the wicked at their death?

A. The souls of the wicked shall at their death be cast into the torments of hell (Luke 16:22-24), and their bodies lie in their graves till the resurrection and judgment of the great day (Ps. 49:14).