Praise in 2Kings
The loyalty of faithful friends (2:6)
Freedom from the wickedness to which idolatry often leads (3:27)
His provision for the helpless (4:6)
Freedom from fear (19:6-7)
Faithful leaders who seek to please god (22:2)
His word, which is readily available to us and which convicts us (22:8-13).
Worship in 2Kings
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This law aptly describes God’s relationship with Israel and Judah during the divided kingdom. When God established his covenant with the Israelites, he promised that he would reward them for obedience and punish them for disobedience. So when they behaved in a certain way, good or bad, the appropriate consequences eventually followed.
In 2 Kings we see this principle at work. Because God’s people failed to worship him with their whole heart, they lost their prosperity and their independence. The apostle Paul’s warning to the Galatians could also be considered the motto of 2 Kings: “Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow!” (Galatians 6:7).
Second Kings records the history of Israel and Judah from t he death of Ahab of Israel (about 850 B.C.) up to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians (587 B.C.). As with 1 Kings, this book describes the activity of great prophets who remained loyal to the Lord in a culture of unbelief. According to 2 Kings, Judah fared somewhat better than Israel regarding their spiritual health, and some of its rulers are commended for their efforts to restore the worship of the Lord. But these reforms came too infrequently or too late to stave off the inevitable judgment (24:1-4). The writer of 2 Kings sees the fall of Israel and Judah as God’s judgment for the people’s failure to keep their covenant with the Lord and for refusing to heed the warnings of his prophets (17:7-23).
So much is left unsaid about this woman, yet we admire the passion of her struggle with Elisha over her son’s death. Her struggle is one of faith. Those who have a faith that has been untested by disappointment or grief will have trouble understanding this woman’s struggle. When she grabbed Elisha’s feet, refusing to let him go, she was saying, “This is it. Everything hinges on this moment. I trusted you for a son. Now, will your God abandon me or not?” As the woman lay on the ground grasping the feet of Elisha and praying for help, she was in a spirit and posture of genuine worship. God heard her cries and restored her son to her. As we encounter moments of testing in our faith, let us imitate this woman and fall before God in worship, making our requests known to him.
We should always look to God for our strength and not turn to other people or things when we are afraid (1:16).
God can intervene in our world in surprising and powerful ways; we should respond in grateful worship (4:32-37).
God’s abilities are not limited to our meager expectations (7:19-20).
God demands that we follow him with our whole heart and not allow compromise in our devotion to him (10:30-31).
Giving money to the Lord’s work is an important part of worship (12:4-16).
There will always be rivals that vie for our worship (17:29).
We should call on the Lord, who can deliver us from oppression (19:14-19).