Jotham’s Good Reign in Judah

Philosopher Herbert Spencer wrote, “Not education but character is man’s greatest need and man’s greatest safeguard.” Chuck Swindoll wrote, “Character is the moral, ethical, and spiritual undergirding that rests on tru … More

Compromise

Pekahiah, Menahem’s son, reigned two years before being killed in a conspiracy by Pekah. Pekah then assumed the throne of Israel. It seems that he had never accepted Menahem’s claim to the throne and prior to this had set up a rival government east of the Jordan River in Gilead. Apparently he began ruling in Gilead at the same time Menahem took the throne in Samaria.

When Pekah took the throne in Samaria he made a treaty with Rezin, king of Damascus, against Assyria. This resulted in a military campaign by Tiglath-pileser into Philistia and then Israel. He took all of Gilead east of the Jordan River, Galilee and the northern portion of Israel.

As a result of Israel’s defeat, Hoshea conspired against Pekah, assassinated him and succeeded him as king of Israel. Meanwhile in Judah Jotham began to reign as co-regent with his father Azariah.  He reigned for l6 years and finally became co-regent with his son, Ahaz. Jotham was a good king but he did not remove the high places. One of his big accomplishments was the rebuilding of the north gate of the temple to encourage the worship of God.

Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, king of Israel united against Judah and forced Jotham and Ahaz to join them against Assyria. This proved to be a test of faith for the Judean kings and therefore brought great pressure from the two northern kings.

Application

Jotham did much good but he compromised by failing to get rid of the false idols. For me a lifetime of doing good is not enough. I must put God first in all areas of my life.

II Kings 15:23-38 (English Standard Version)

In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned two years. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin. And Pekah the son of Remaliah, his captain, conspired against him with fifty men of the people of Gilead, and struck him down in Samaria, in the citadel of the king's house with Argob and Arieh; he put him to death and reigned in his place. Now the rest of the deeds of Pekahiah and all that he did, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twenty years. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. He did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin. In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and he carried the people captive to Assyria. Then Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah and struck him down and put him to death and reigned in his place, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah. Now the rest of the acts of Pekah and all that he did, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, Jotham the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty- five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jerusha the daughter of Zadok. And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah had done. Nevertheless, the high places were not removed. The people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. He built the upper gate of the house of the LORD. Now the rest of the acts of Jotham and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? In those days the LORD began to send Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah against Judah. Jotham slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father, and Ahaz his son reigned in his place.

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