I preached this sermon, the sixth in our sermon series, “God, Israel, and Elisha,” at GGCF, Maxwell Hotel, Escario St., Cebu City, last Sunday, March 13, 2011.
As we study 2 Kings, keep in mind the purpose of the book of Kings. It is to teach Israel the blessing of honoring Yahweh and the curse of dishonoring him. One lesson we learn is that when you honor God, God in turn honors you. God gives you His full attention and care. God works with you and for you. But if you dishonor God, God condemns you.
That’s what we have here in chapter three, in a “Tale of Three Hearts”—a story of the hearts of two Kings and one prophet of God. The writer introduces Jehoram as king over the northern kingdom of Israel. His father was the wicked Ahab, who ruled with his more wicked wife, Jezebel, for twenty-two years. When Ahab died in battle, his son, Ahaziah, took his place. But Ahaziah ruled for only two years, having died in a fall from the palace balcony in Samaria (cf. 2 Ki. 1:2-18). So Jehoram took over power upon his brother’s death (cf. 2 Ki. 3:1).
We learn three spiritual lessons about one’s relationship with God—about our thoughts and actions that draw divine decisions—in the lives of King Jehoram, King Jehoshaphat, and the prophet Elisha. We shall look into the first two kinds of hearts today; and then the third kind of heart next Sunday. . . . more