So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. … Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the Law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart.
~2 Kings 10:28,31
Notes to the Leader: This is a study of four kings: Jehu; Joash; Jehoahaz; and Jehoash. Each missed an opportunity to help Israel experience God’s fullest blessings. Yet God gave His people opportunity after opportunity. This lesson points out one of the reasons we spend time in the Old Testament, to learn from the mistakes of our ancestors and to gain comfort from knowing that God is patience. However, the responsibility for action rests with each of us.
Use this part of the lesson to let your group interact and become comfortable with sharing experiences.
Have you ever had a missed opportunity only to find later that another opportunity has come along? Please share.
Read this short story to your group.
“Betty went forward to dedicate her life to missionary service when she was 17. After high school she went to a Christian college to prepare. There she met Alan and began to date him. Betty told Alan she planned to be a missionary, but Alan had his eyes set on a career in business. The two were deeply in love and so, despite misgivings, Betty married Alan and gave up her plans for missions. Today, Alan is successful. He and Betty have two children and three grandchildren. But Betty often wonders if she was right to marry Alan.”
Do you think Betty was wrong to marry Alan?
Did Betty miss out on God’s best for her life?
If you think Betty was wrong, do you think God would give her other opportunities to experience His best?
- There is no direct answer to these questions. It is not in our power to fully understand personal matters such as these. However, this lesson demonstrates God’s ability to provide more than one opportunity even when we may choose something contrary to what appears to be His service.
For added insight read Isaiah 30:21
Section One: Jehu
Have someone in your group read 2 Kings 9:6-10
Note: In the Scripture leading up to these verses, we find that God delayed Judgment on Ahab because of his apparent repentance after hearing the rebuke of Elijah. In choosing the military commander Jehu as the instrument to execute His judgment on Ahab’s line, God gave Jehu and Israel an opportunity to return to Him.
Now read 2 Kings 10:30-31 to your group.
How do you reconcile the fact that Jehu received blessings from God even though he was not careful to obey God’s law?
- This is the hope of all Christians, for none are righteous. God limited the reign of Jehu’s decedents to only four generations, eventually bringing about the final defeat of Israel. God remained patient with Israel but did not tolerate their worship of idols.
Can you characterize this attribute of God with a more modern story?
- While we are a blessed nation of wealth and abundance, God is consistent in that He does not tolerate mediocrity. What most people have and worship today (worldly things) is temporal. This not only means we loose it when we die but we can loose it in the here and now also. Please also note that because we may suffer hardships, that does not directly contrast with sin. In the end, we just cannot comprehend God’s full plan for us, our families, our country and this world. Ours must be a life of complete faith and trust in God.
Section Two: Joash
Have someone in your group read 2 Kings 12:2-8.
Note: Joash was enthusiastic about the reconstruction of the temple. He monitored the priests and when he found that results were not being produced, he revised the funding and construction plan.
What do you see wrong with Joash’s enthusiasm?
- Joash waited 23 years before doing something about the lack of progress.
Now read 2 Kings 12:13-14 to your group. The money had been improperly used for glitter not substance.
Re-read 2 Kings 12:2 to your group. While Joash was under the direction of the high priest Jehoiada, he lived a righteous life. However, it is implied that as Jehoiada was removed from a direct day-to-day influence on Joash, he returned to things that distracted him from his enthusiasm.
Can you parallel Joash and Jehoiada with an example that we all deal with in today’s world?
- While there may be many examples, one comes to mind. While we may find our selves impacting some young Christian through our living demonstration of the Gospel, the real question is what happens when we no longer have influence?
As children leave home, can they maintain their Christian beliefs even after parental influence has been removed?
Can a young, new Christian maintain their enthusiastic faith even if they move into a new town or different church?
Can a church survive the loss of a dynamic pastor?
How do we keep this from happening?
- The finality of belief and faith are personal between God and each person. However, we can work to understand that to impact someone’s spiritual life, it will take prayer, commitment on your part, time, patience, love, etc.
Section Three: Jehoabaz
Make a list on your whiteboard or easel of the things people pray for.
Have your group look for any interesting patterns?
- Typically, there is a heavy emphasis on petitions requesting God’s interaction with our lives. People tend to ask God for things, services, etc. And our God is generous, He answers our requests most frequently.
Have someone in your group read 2 Kings 13:1-9.
What do you think about God and Jehoahaz “seeking of the Lord’s favor?”
- God demonstrates His patience and love continuously by overlooking the sinful nature of mankind and listening to our prayers.
Section Four: Jehoash
Have someone in your group read 2 Kings 13:14-19.
This is a story of stopping too soon. How can this story of Jehoash and Elisha, the prophet help us in today’s world?
- This is an issue of obedience and persistence. Both can be detrimental to even the best of Christian intentions. It is not enough to share the Gospel once or twice, to seek the blessings of stewardship during times of abundance or to petition with deep repentance during times of great need. Each Christian is to do these things and more until God provides us clear direction and/or alternatives. Only God can determine when enough is enough.
Have someone in your group read 2 Kings 13:20-25.
This study and scripture has been about the lives and records of kings of both Judah and Israel who failed to seize opportunities to know God’s blessings.
What then does this short description of a dead man coming to life have to do with our study lesson?
- The Hebrew kingdoms were dead spiritually, just like the man thrust into Elisha’s tomb. The people had turned to idolatry and leadership proved unwilling to grasp any of the opportunities God gave them to take the path of obedience and blessings. The restoration of the man whose body brushed against Elisha’s bones makes the answer clear. God has the power to restore the dead! It was only the unwillingness of the kings to respond when God opened the doorway to blessings that kept the two nations from experiencing the spiritual renewal symbolized by the restoration of life to the dead body.
Bible Truth Being Taught
God can restore those who are spiritually dead. However, seizing the opportunity is our responsibility.
To understand that God invites us to experience His blessings by loving Him completely and serving Him with all our hearts.