I wish I could read two particular books: The Annals of the Kings of Israel and The Annals of the Kings of Judah. These two volumes are mentioned thirty-four times in the book of Kings. Perhaps they served as source books for the writer of Kings. He always tells us there is more about each king in these now non-existent volumes, but how we wish he would have told us more himself.
That, however, was not his intent. The writer of Kings had no interest in chronicling the reigns of the Jewish kings. His mission lay along the lines of showing us what kind of kings they were spiritually. That’s why the Kings of Israel are measured against Jeroboam and the kings of Judah are measured against king David.
As we journey through this section of Kings, its author had another mission as well. We are reading of the northern kingdom of Israel in a very unfavorable light. The author is not prejudiced. They really were awful people. And yet, in chapter 13 and again in 14, we are specifically told that though God sent disciplining punishment on His people, his face was not turned from their plight. He knew what was going on, and He felt for them. And when they would finally cry out for reconciliation, God answered.
That’s the thing to remember about God. If I might paraphrase an old hymn: Though our cross may be hard to bear, though our lives may be filled with care, though misfortune be ours to share, God never forsakes His children.