February 26th, 2022: Haftarah - 2 Kings 12:1-17
This week’s Haftarah portion is taken from 2 Kings 12:1-17. Listen in as Dr. Jeffery Myers evaluates the "coincidental" synchronization of the reigns of the kings of Judah and Israel.
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Haftarah:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftarah Portion - 2 Kings 12:1-17
Lion of Judah Ministries
Dr. Jeffery L. Myers
As we open up the Haftarah portion for this week’s parshah VaYak’hel, we see in verses 1 and 2 the Biblical way of giving us the timing of what is being recorded; it uses the synchronization of the reigns of kings of Judah and Israel. It repeats that Yoash was but 7 years old when he began his rule, and that it happened when Yehu, king of Israel, was in his 7th year of ruling over Israel.
Notice the “coincidence” of the 7’s: the new king of Judah was 7 years old, and the king of Israel at that time had been king for 7 years. This enlightens us that what is happening here was of a divine plan. YHVH’s purpose in every aspect of our lives will unfold whether we see it or not. The plan of YHVH can’t be stopped by man or the enemy. His will and purpose will be done in each of our lives.
In II Kings 12:3,4 we get an interesting statement that we can investigate. It says that Yoash did what was right from YHVH’s perspective; but at the same time, he left the high places intact and that the people still sacrificed and worshipped at those private altars and king Yoash sanctioned it. We see in verse 3 that king Yoash did right from YHVH’s perspective as long as the High Priest was alive and had influence in his life. Yoash made a turn towards the bad upon the death of his mentor, advisor. So true with us, when people who we have allowed to guide us, direct us die or are no longer of importance in our lives, we begin to walk away. The question needs to be asked, “Was it truly your heart’s desire to serve YHVH or was it just the influence of someone in your life?” If we truly serve YHVH with our hearts and have a relationship with Him, even though it might be harder without our instructor, our commitment will allow us to continue in the path of righteousness. Who are we serving? Are we serving man or YHVH?
There is a deep spiritual lesson for us to learn from this chapter that revolves around the life of Yoash, if we have ears to hear. The mistake we make is that we merely abolish, denounce or destroy the errors of our thinking and our false practices of the past, without at the same time affirming and observing what is right and true and holy. This will get us in trouble. Scripture tells us in Matt 12:43-45 that when a defiling evil spirit is expelled, it drifts around looking for someone else, if it doesn’t find anyone, it returns to the one that is clean and vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits more evil than itself and they all move in. That person ends up far worse off than if he’d never gotten cleaned in the first place.
Nature abhors a vacuum; thus, something is going to fill up the space and purpose of that which has been removed or abolished. As believers, when it comes to our faith doctrines, if we negate or abandon what the Ruach has clearly revealed through YHVH’s Word as being false and having no merit in our lives, without at the same time replacing it with what is Biblically right and pure, then what really have we achieved?
If we glance back a couple of chapters in II Kings, King Jehu did exactly as YHVH commanded him to do and destroyed Ba’al worship in the northern kingdom. On the other hand, in order to replace the Ba’al worship with something else, he didn’t lead the people back to the Torah, which would have been the right thing to do. Rather, he led them into the same Golden Calf cult, it is true that these calf-images were taught to be images of YHVH. But YHVH is specific about graven images in the ten commandments. Plus, to use the Egyptian religious calf god image makes it all the more terrible; and this is the case no matter if some good intent was involved.
We do this all the time; take something evil and try to make it appeasable, acceptable to YHVH. It will not happen no matter how you connect it spiritually. So, we read Yoash honored the Temple and the Levitical Priesthood on the one hand, on the other he allowed the people to do something that was specifically forbidden in the Torah; to sacrifice at places other than the Temple in Jerusalem.
What’s so bad about that if at least it was YHVH who was being honored? First, they broke a specific commandment, these high places were essentially private family altars. Individual families performed sacrifices without the required officiating of the Levitical priesthood, and instead did it in ways that seemed good to them. I wonder in our own lives what we do that seems good to us but breaks the commands of YHVH? The god that was theoretically being honored at these high places was YHVH, God of Israel. These were not altars to Ba’al. But in reality, the sacrifices on our private altars will not be accepted because they would be an affront to His holiness.
So, it is insufficient for us merely to replace one bad doctrine with a dubious new one. YHVH may commend us for turning away from something that is abhorrent to Him. But have we actually done good when we only turn around and adopt another doctrine or observance in its place (even if it is fun, joyful, and meaningful to us) that is NOT truth or light, even if it is not quite as wicked and wrong as that which we practiced before? In the end, we are only deceiving ourselves and tempting YHVH to act against us.
It is time to clean house, to get our hearts right, to run back to our Father. We need to stop having two opinions and trying to please YHVH and ourselves. It is a call for action, it is not a time to talk about what you can do, but what you will do. Let’s do what is right in YHVH’s perspective but at the same time get rid of the altars that are not pleasing to Him. Let’s not serve Him half way…let’s be sold out completely to YHVH! Let’s not only remove the things that are not pleasing but fill the vacuum with what is right, true and holy!
Shalom Alecheim Mishopocha