Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bible devotion: A Good King - 2 Kings 15:6

2 Kings 15:6    As for the other events of Azariah's reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?

            Azariah began to reign over Judah when he was sixteen years old. According to the Bible, he was king for fifty two years. He was a good king, but we really don’t know anything about his reign. Today’s Bible verse hints at a book that has never been rediscovered – The Annals of the Kings of Judah. We don’t know what it contains because it was lost thousands of years ago, probably during the time of exile. There may have been many events, circumstances, and miracles during Azariah’s reign that would interest us, but we will never know of them unless archaeologists actually find those lost scrolls.

            The fact that he reigned over the nation for fifty two years must have meant that the land and his people had continuity, peace, and prosperity. Most of the countries around Judah were in turmoil at this time, so he must have been a strong leader, astute diplomat, as well as a wise king. Perhaps, one day in glory, we’ll get to hear about Azariah’s reign from his own lips because he appears to have been a very faithful king, too.

            In Shakespeare’s play ‘Julius Caesar’, Mark Anthony says this about the lives of leaders:
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;’

This, sadly, may be the case concerning Azariah’s life. Evil kings around him had their deeds recorded in the scriptures, but the life, work, and faithful ways of good King Azariah are unknown. Whatever he accomplished has been forgotten; how he faithfully served God is not remembered. However, this may be the case on Earth, but I don’t think that his goodness has gone unnoticed in the Heavenly realms.

            Sometimes faithful people despair at trying to be good. Taking and keeping the high road in personal circumstances, as well as against the tide of public opinion, can be grueling, exhausting, and often unrewarding. However, for those who endure despite the opposition, as well as the injustices smeared against them, the eternal reward is far greater than anything we can ever know, experience, or receive on Earth. As St. Paul wrote: “Blessings beyond our seeing, hearing, and knowing are prepared by God for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Questions for personal reflection

Where and when do I display the goodness of God in my life? What will other people remember about me?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, we try to be good people and faithful servants. We know that we don’t always succeed, but we pray that You will continue to grant us opportunities and circumstances that will allow us to positively witness to Your love, compassion, and kingdom. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or write a comment about today’s message, please send John an email to He enjoys reading and receiving your feedback.

Today’s image is one of John’s fun drawings for Halloween called “Text Hex.” If you would like to see a larger version of it, please click on the following link: Text Hex.

No comments: