July 11–17. 2 Kings 17–25: “He Trusted in the Lord God of Israel”


“July 11–17. 2 Kings 17–25: ‘He Trusted in the Lord God of Israel,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament 2022 (2021)

“July 11–17. 2 Kings 17–25,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2022

Image
Flight of the Prisoners

The Flight of the Prisoners, by James Tissot and others

July 11–17

2 Kings 17–25

“He Trusted in the Lord God of Israel”

When Josiah heard the words from the book of the law, he responded in faith. How can you respond in faith to what you read in 2 Kings 17–25?

Record Your Impressions

Despite the prophet Elisha’s impressive ministry, the spirituality of the Northern Kingdom of Israel kept declining. Wicked kings promoted idolatry, and war and apostasy abounded. Finally the Assyrian Empire conquered and scattered the ten tribes of Israel.

Meanwhile, the Southern Kingdom of Judah wasn’t doing much better; idolatry was also widespread there. But amid all this spiritual decay, the scriptural accounts mention two righteous kings who, for a time, turned their people back to the Lord. One was Hezekiah. During his reign, the Assyrians, fresh from their victory in the north, conquered much of the south. But Hezekiah and his people showed faith in the Lord, who delivered Jerusalem in a miraculous way. Later, after another period of apostasy, Josiah began to reign. Inspired in part by a rediscovery of the book of the law, Josiah brought reforms that revived the religious life of many of his people.

What do we learn from these two bright spots in the otherwise dark years of Judah’s history? Among other things, you might ponder the power of faith and of the word of God in your life. Like Israel and Judah, we all make both good and bad choices. And when we sense that reforms are needed in our lives, perhaps the examples of Hezekiah and Josiah can inspire us to “trust in the Lord our God” (2 Kings 18:22).

See also 2 Chronicles 29–35; the “Thoughts to Keep in Mind” section “Jesus Will Say to All Israel, ‘Come Home.’”

Image
2022 IC Individual and Family
Image
Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Ideas for Personal Scripture Study

2 Kings 18–19

I can stay true to the Lord during challenging times.

Most of us have experienced times that challenge our faith. For Hezekiah and his people, one of those times came when the Assyrian army invaded Judah, destroyed many cities, and approached Jerusalem. As you read 2 Kings 18–19, imagine that you lived in Jerusalem during this time. How might you have felt, for example, to hear the taunts of the Assyrians as recorded in 2 Kings 18:28–37 and 19:10–13? What do you learn from what Hezekiah did in response? (see 2 Kings 19:1–7, 14–19). How did the Lord sustain Hezekiah? (see 2 Kings 19:35–37). Ponder how He has sustained you in challenging times.

You might also ponder the description of Hezekiah in 2 Kings 18:5–7. What do these verses suggest about why Hezekiah was able to remain faithful when challenges came? How can you follow his example?

See also 3 Nephi 3–4; D. Todd Christofferson, “Firm and Steadfast in the Faith of Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2018, 30–33.

2 Kings 19:20–37

All things are in the Lord’s hands.

Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, had good reason to believe that his army would conquer Jerusalem. Assyria had defeated many nations, including Israel—why should Jerusalem be any different? (see 2 Kings 17; 18:33–34; 19:11–13). But the Lord had a message for Sennacherib, given through the prophet Isaiah, and it’s recorded in 2 Kings 19:20–34. How would you summarize this message? What truths do you find in these verses that help you have faith in the Lord and His plan?

See also Helaman 12:4–23; Doctrine and Covenants 101:16.

2 Kings 21–23

The scriptures can turn my heart to the Lord.

Have you ever felt that you were lacking something spiritually? Maybe you felt that your relationship with God could be a lot stronger. What helped you turn back to Him? Ponder these questions as you read about how the Kingdom of Judah fell away from the Lord under King Manasseh (see 2 Kings 21) and how King Josiah helped them recommit themselves to Him (see 2 Kings 22–23). What inspired Josiah and his people? This account might inspire you to renew your commitment to “walk after the Lord … with all [your] heart and all [your] soul” (2 Kings 23:3).

As you read these chapters, consider also studying chapter 6 in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball ([2006], 59–68), in which President Kimball suggested that the story of King Josiah “is one of the finest stories in all of the scriptures” (page 62). Why might President Kimball have felt that way? What do you find in President Kimball’s words, especially his comments about King Josiah, that helps you apply 2 Kings 22–23 to your life?

See also Alma 31:5; Takashi Wada, “Feasting upon the Words of Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 38–40; “Josiah and the Book of the Law” (video), ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Image
Rio de Janeiro: Portraits of Faith

The scriptures can help turn our hearts to the Lord.

Image
Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening

2 Kings 19:14–19.

What can we learn from Hezekiah’s example that can help us when we have difficult problems or questions? How has the Lord answered our prayers for help? Perhaps each family member could make something to display in the home that reminds them to turn to the Lord.

2 Kings 22:3–7.

The workers described in 2 Kings 22:3–7 were trusted with the money used to rebuild the temple “because they dealt faithfully” (verse 7). After reading these verses, you could ask family members to name things they have been entrusted with. How can we be trustworthy like the workers in these verses?

2 Kings 22:8–11, 19; 23:1–3.

What impresses us about how Josiah and his people responded to the word of God? How do we respond to God’s word in the scriptures? Members of your family could share scripture passages or stories that have increased their desire to follow Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

2 Kings 23:25.

What stands out to us about the description of Josiah in this verse? Your family could draw on paper hearts things they can do this week to turn to the Lord with all their heart.

For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.

Suggested song: “As I Search the Holy Scriptures,” Hymns, no. 277.

Improving Personal Study

Look for inspiring words and phrases. As you read, the Spirit may bring certain words or phrases to your attention. They may inspire and motivate you; they may even seem to be written just for you.

Image
Shaphan Brings the Scrolls to Josiah

Illustration of a scribe bringing a scroll of scripture to King Josiah, by Robert T. Barrett