Lessons From the Kings (Jotham & Ahaz)

Our Adult Discipleship group (a midweek Bible class) is going through the Kings of Israel and Judah. You are welcome to join us for any session in person or online.  See the calendar for dates. [View Series]

This chart is a map of our course of study.  We will go chronologically king by king.

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King Jotham

Around the first thirteen years of Jotham’s reign were during the life of his father. Recall how Jotham’s father, King Uzziah, had served the Lord faithfully until he entered the temple to offer sacrifice and became afflicted with leprosy.

He carried out projects successfully such as rebuilding a temple gate, building up the city walls, and building towns and towers throughout Judah. Like his father he enjoyed military success and received great amounts of tribute from his enemies.

“Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God.” (2 Chronicles 27:6) Compare his success with what happened with his father, Uzziah. “(Uzziah) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.” (2 Ch 26:4-5)

To read about Jotham: 2 Kings 15:32-38; 2 Chronicles 27

Serving the lord brings his blessing.

Examine Exodus 19:3-6 to see the special arrangement given to the people of Israel. God’s blessings for those who served him were a reminder of his covenant. We can expect God to bring blessings to those who serve him. However, why must we be careful not to equate our country or our household with the successful kings of Judah?

Jotham followed a godly father. But his father’s pride went to his head and caused him great trouble. Consider what impact it made on him seeing his sick father for the first ten years of his reign. What reminders of sin can help curb one generation from repeating the mistakes of their fathers?

Jotham lived as a testimony to the goodness of God. He enjoyed great success in Judah as he served the Lord. This happened during one of the most tumultuous and godless times in the northern kingdom which was about to fall into ruin. You are the salt and light in this world as you follow Christ your King. What contrasts do you see between the lives of believers and unbelievers?

Reexamine what should have motivated the people of Israel to serve their Lord according to Exodus 19:4. What motivates us to serve the Lord?

King Ahaz

Although he had a godly grandfather and father who enjoyed success, Ahaz turned to idolatry and ended up losing much of what had been gained for Judah.

He faced great military threat from the Arameans, the Israelites, the Edomites, the Philistines, and Assyria. He endured crushing blows of defeat and loss. Despite all this the Lord showed him mercy and gave him opportunities to repent. The prophets Isaiah and Micah were active during his time.

Nonetheless, he stubbornly remained loyal to Baal and imported the gods of Damascus to Judah. He sacrificed his sons in the fire and even defiled the temple. 

Read about King Ahaz: 2 Kings 16; 2 Chronicles 28; Isaiah 7:1 – 8:4

So close to losing so much.

What is the greatest sudden loss you have ever experienced?  How would you respond if God suddenly intervened and caused that loss to turn around? Read 2 Chronicles 28:1-15.  Describe the loss for the people of Judah. What caused the great turn of events to restore the people?

God sent this loss in order to humble Ahaz who had turned to idolatry.  How might God use a sudden loss in someone’s life to cause them to realize their spiritual danger?

Things were not going well in Israel during this time. Why do you suppose they might have relished their victory over Judah so much? Why does the world relish it when the Church is guilty and must suffer for it?  

People listened to the prophet Obed! It just took a handful of God-fearing leaders to change the situation. Can you describe a time when someone responded rightly to a powerful preaching against their guilt?

What does this account teach us about the heart of God when the guilty suffer because of their sins?