Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy.
Key Verse Thought: Read the key verse. What does it mean to fear the Lord? (A good example is Job. “… Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil” Job 1:1. He showed his fear by turning from evil.) To fear God is to obey His word. Church is a good place to learn God’s Word.
Emphasis: To recognize the importance of frequenting the house of the Lord often, knowing that it is there we will learn the fear of the Lord, seeking his mercy upon our lives.
Lesson Summary: In the lesson before Joel, we remembered the last two who reigned in Judah: Athaliah (an illegitimate queen), and Joash (a good king). Although King Joash made great reformations, he forgot God after Jehoiada (his uncle the priest) died.
So far, we have learned of the first eight kings of Judah, with only three good kings so far. In this lesson, we continue in our study of the kings of Judah. We will look at the next four kings of Judah. When Joash was killed, his son Amaziah became king. He reigned for 29 years and was a good king. After killing the servants who killed his father, he began his reign relying upon God. Nevertheless, like many kings before him, he forgot God. It was then that God’s anger was kindled against Amaziah. When Amaziah challenged the king of Israel, Joash, and they fought, he lost the battle. Amaziah turned away from following the Lord, and conspirators killed him in Lachish. His son, Uzziah, became king.
Uzziah reigned for 52 years, did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and did much good for Judah. Moreover, God blessed him. Uzziah defeated enemies around, built up the cities, the army, and the defenses of the cities in Judah. However, when he was strong, his heart was lifted up. He went to the temple to perform the duty of the priest (he could not because he was not a priest). When rebuked by the priests, he rejected that rebuke, and God struck him with leprosy. His son, Jotham, judged the people until he died.
After Uzziah’s death, Jotham became king. He did right in the eyes of the Lord, but he never entered the house of the Lord. When he died, his son Ahaz became king. He was a very bad king – for he did not right in the eyes of the Lord, but walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. He made images for Baalim and burnt his children in the fire to false idols. God delivered him into the hand of Syria. When rebuked by God’s prophet, not only did he reject the rebuke, but he also sought help from another enemy nation. Instead of helping, that enemy nation took more. Ahaz shut up the house of the Lord and made altars in every corner of the city – provoking the anger of God. When he died, his son, Hezekiah, became king. We will learn about him in our next lesson.
If you are doing this lesson with younger children, the following is a craft idea: