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The Arrow of the Lord's Deliverance.

The Arrow of the Lord's Deliverance.

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2 Kings ziil 19.

2 Kings ziil 19.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE ARROW OF THE LORD'S DELIVERACE.BY JOH BAIES, M.A.,2 Kings ziil 19.The history of the separated kingdom of Israelshows lis how much easier it is to lead peoplewrongs than to bring them back again to whatis right. And it shows us moreover not only thereligious but the political evils of revolution andrebellion. The Israelites thought fit to rebelagainst their lawful king^ and put a new race onthe throne, and consequently rival families werefor ever springing up and disputing the crownwith the king who wore it. This of course ledto civil war and all its horrors^ as adventurerafter adventurer arose and tried to win by thesword that to which the existing king had noright but the sword.256 The Arrow of the Lor ff 8 Deliverance. {Serm.And religious confiuion followed in the king-dom of Israel in the wake of political confofiion.Jeroboam tampered with the people's faith whenhe told them it did not matter where they wor-shipped, and when in defiance of the secondcommandment he pnt up at Bethel and Dan thecalves as emblems of Deity. He was content tostop there, but those who succeeded him were notso content. His family in time was swept fromthe throne by Omri, one of the military adven-turers I have mentioned, and under Ahab, Omri'sson, and his wife Jezebel, Baal-worship super-seded the worship of God. Omri's race in time
was destroyed by another military adventurer,Jehu the son of imshi. But he fell short of executing his mission, for though with the cus-tomary jealousy of an Eastern king he ruthlesslycut off all the sons of the old royal family, androoted out (albeit in a tricky and dishonourableway) BaaUworship from Israel, nevertheless heconnived at the worship of the images whichJeroboam had set up, and took no pains to re-move them. This continued for some time duringhis own reign and that of Jehoahaz his son. Heno more than his father cared about restoring thebroken unity of his church, and reconciling him-self and nation with the central authority at Jeru-salem. And this continued reluctance to do thevery thing for which the house of imshi hadbeen raised from obscurity and placed on theXIX.] The Arrow of the Lord's Deliverance. 257throne^ provoked at last God^s anger^ and Hazaelking of Syria was the chosen instrument of pun-ishment. Under him the Syrian troops pouredinto Israelis territory — ^laid it waste^ devastatedit^ and made slaves of the inhabitants^ — and evenwhen peace was made^ and a nominal indepen-dence secured to Jehoahaz, he was only allowedto retain a very small army^ for^ adds the histo-rian^ ^' the king of Syria had destroyed them andmade them like the dust by threshing/' Thingscontinued as bad under his son Joash^ and Hazael'syoke pressed hard upon them ; yet having beenchosen as God's people^ they were not cast off.'^The Lord was gracious imto them^ and hadrespect unto them, because of His covenant withAbraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroythem, neither cast them from His presence asyet/' They were to have another chance, and be
delivered once again. It is of this deliverancethis chapter treats, and it is to the extraordinarycircumstances attending the promise I wish toturn your thoughts. The time came for Elishato die, — his long career was at last to have anend. We know not how old he was, but morethan sixty years had passed since Elijah had'' cast his mantle upon him." He could remem-ber his master Elijah and his conflicts with Ahab,he could remember how the host of Israel hadgone out in battle array under the leadership of their warrior king, with hearts beating high ands258 The Arrcw of the Lord^ 8 Deliverance. [Serm.spirits inflamed by false hopes of lying prophets,to rescue Ramoth Gilead from the Syrians ; andhe coold remember a broken force of fagitiveshurrying back from the battle-field, and fillingthe streets of Samaria with the sad tale of abattle lost and a king slain. And he could re*member when his time had come, and Elijah wasto be taken away, that his eyes had been opened tosee '^ the chariot of fire and the horses of fire'' inwhich Elijah had been taken up to heaven. Fiveand forty years had passed since he had anointedby divine command the son of imshi to be king,and now his grandson was on the throne, — andthe summons came for the servant to follow hismaster. But he was not to be translated intothat invisible world like Enoch of old time, orthe great Tishbite, without seeing death. Forhim was reserved the common lot of all men, thesick bed, the wasting away, the gradual sinkinginto the grave.

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