In our last reading, we saw how bad things could still happen to a good king. Here we see how good things can happen when a bad king is in charge. Note, however, that the king had nothing to do with Israel’s fate. That was all God.
“For the Lord saw the bitter suffering of everyone in Israel, and that there was no one in Israel, slave or free, to help them.” Jeroboam II was in the right place at the right time to be used by God. It’s like God looked past his evil ways and used him anyway.
God’s grace was poured out on the people of Israel. God was the “help” the weak and powerless needed to survive. God’s grace is all we need, too. I love how Paul reminded us about his own pleas to God when he was feeling weak. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 we read, “Each time he [God] said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
How does it make you feel to know that God is there bringing grace into our messy lives? Hebrews 4:16 says, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” We can come boldly.
When we see how God has looked out for his people across the ages, we should feel confident in our own destiny. 2 Timothy 1:9 brilliantly confirms this. “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.”
Those ancient Israelites didn’t have the benefit of knowing Jesus like we do. But their downfall and sinfulness will be exactly what needs to happen to reveal their desperate need for Jesus Christ, Savior of the world. We’re seeing Israel’s moral and spiritual decline happen right before our eyes as we walk through 2 Kings.
We might say our current day world is declining in similar fashion. Each new day brings with it a new terror or revulsion. We need Jesus’ saving grace now more than ever!
Let’s pray …
Lord, thank you for your grace! I am overflowing with gratitude for how much you love me and take care of me. Forgive me for my sinful tendencies. I look around this world at all of the brokenness and can’t help but feel heartbroken. Use me to reveal your grace to those who are ready to receive it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.