Study Guide

God in 2 Kings

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God does a lot in 2 Kings, but he tends to personally keep it on the down-low, working through the prophets. Of course, there are big moments of divine intervention, like when God kills 180,000 Assyrian soldiers, saving Jerusalem from a siege.

But nevertheless, it's probably fair to say God's a little less chummy and intimate than he was when he spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai. He's still active, still speaking to people. Still, it seems like the sins of the people of Israel and Judah have tended to alienate him a little more. In the end, God just wants everybody out of his sight. Disgusted, he first allows the Assyrians to capture all the people in Israel, and then sends Judah into exile with the Babylonians.

Can't Step to This

However, God works hard to let people know that their own stupid actions can't ultimately destroy his divine plan. When the Assyrian conqueror, Sennacherib mocks God, God lets him know—through the prophet Isaiah—that God has been watching over him and planning out his moves the entire time:

But I know your rising and your sitting, your going out and coming in, and your raging against me. Because you have raged against me and your arrogance has come to my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth; I will turn you back on the way by which you came. (2 Kings 19:27-28)

God lays down the law, showing that he isn't like the gods of other countries, capable of being burned up with the idols that the Assyrians have been destroying. He's the Over-God, ruling over time and space and all of history. He forces the Assyrians—and ultimately, the Israelites too—to see just how vast and comprehensive his reign really is. And he's not afraid to strike terror into people's hearts when he needs to.

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