2 Kings 15:8-12

Zechariah, King of Israel

We shall not enter into the chronological difficulties raised concerning the date of the accession to the throne of Zechariah, the son of Jeroboam II, our purpose not be­ing to answer here the attacks of unbelief. When difficul­ties are raised by human reasoning, wisdom consists in waiting upon God to resolve them, if we lack the necessary light. Our dependence upon Him is thus put to the test, and we can be certain that in due time we shall receive the answer. How often have Christians who were in hum­ble submission to the Word made this experience!

Zechariah, the last king descended from Jehu, reigns only six months at Samaria. "And he did evil in the sight of Je­hovah, according as his fathers had done: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Is­rael to sin." If, as we have seen, the godly kings of Judah were lacking in energy to abolish the high places-and how Solomon's negligence in respect to this had born disastrous results among his successors, accustomed to patterning themselves according to the customs tolerated by the glori­ous head of their dynasty-those of Israel, by contrast, had walked resolutely in the custom instituted by Jeroboam I. Examples are not wanting in present‑day Christendom to characterize these two tendencies. From the moment when, not going back to the pure fountain of the Word of God, Protestant Christendom, at the very time when accept­ing the scriptural truths proclaimed by the reformers, also accepted certain anti‑scriptural dogmas which these had not given up, all was already destined for quick ruin. From the moment when, walking in the semi‑idolatrous religion of the bishops of Rome or of the East, Catholicism forsook the Word of God to substitute its own fables for it, judg­ment must overtake it. It has been pronounced and will in the near future fall on the great harlot.

Here the final period of usurpations and of assassinations which precede the carrying away of the ten tribes begins, the period of which Hosea, the prophet of Israel, had said: "They are all hot as an oven, and devour their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto me" (Hosea 7: 7). The heart of the prophet in his lengthy lamentation betrays his anguish concerning Israel. The time had come when God would "visit the blood of Jiz­reel upon the house of Jehu, and cause the kingdom of the house of Israel to cease" (Hosea 1: 4). The Lord had kept si­lent about the blood shed by Jehu at Jizreel; He had not spoken of it to anyone, no, not even to guilty Jehu. Con­trariwise, it might have seemed to him that when God said to him, "Thou has executed well that which is right in my sight" (2 Kings 10: 30), and I shall reward thee, that God was approving all that Jehu had done. Far from it! If the Lord had raised him up for judgment and approved him in that, the time was come when the fleshly guile and the furious violence of this king must find their chastisement. The word of the Lord: "Thy sons shall sit upon the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation" (2 Kings 15: 12), had been ac­complished as recompense, and now His word was being accomplished in retribution and in righteous judgment. What a God is ours! Who is able, as He is, to weigh in the same balance both the acts He approves of and those He condemns, to reward and to punish them in rendering retri­bution according to His ways of righteous government?