King Zechariah’s reign marked the beginning of the end for the Northern Kingdom of Israel… the final 30years before the Assyrian Empre finally took the capital city of Samaria. He was the exclamation point on that last period of relative calm ever seen in the N. Kingdom.
Before Zechariah, Israel’s monarchy had enjoyed 4 peaceful successions. Zechariah inherited the throne from his father, King Jeroboam2, who inherited it from Zechariah’s grandfather, Jehoash, who inherited it from Zechariah’s great-grandfather, Jehoahaz, who inherited the throne from Zechariah’s great-great-grandfather Joash.
After Zechariah, only 1 of Israel’s remaining kings successfully transferred power to his son. Only 1 died under peaceful conditions. 4, including Zechariah, were assassinated by their successors. 1 was carried away into exile in 722BC, when the Assyrians descended on the land as instruments of God’s judgment.
The 4 kings who preceded Zechariah averaged over 30years apiece on the throne. His father, Jeroboam2, reigned for more than 40years. But, Zechariah and the kings who followed him averaged less than 7years each. Zechariah himself only managed 6months on the throne – embarrassing, compared to the rest of his family.
I. Zechariah’s Abomination (2Ki. 15:8,9)
Like his royal predecessors, Zechariah “did evil in the sight of the Lord” – he perpetuated the sins of his fathers, worshiping false Gods. By this time, though, God had had enough. The endgame had begun.
II. The Assassination of Zechariah (2Ki. 15:10-12)
Zechariah was assassinated in front of his own people. And, instead of his son, His assassin, Shallum, succeeded him as king.
If Zechariah had paid more attention to God, maybe his end would not have come as such a shock. Years before, God had promised Zechariah’s great-great-grandfather, Joash, that his dynasty would last 4 generations – God’s reward to Joash (the closest thing Israel would have to a good king) for purging the N. Kingdom of Ahab’s family and their idolatry. With the ascent of Zechariah, God’s promise had been fulfilled – and with his death, the monarchy descended into chaos.
By this point – for Israel – it was too late. Their actions were bringing consequences. And God was allowing them to receive what their actions said they wanted.
Grace and mercy are wonderful things… especially God’s grace and mercy. But, there is a limit even to God’s grace and mercy.
Don’t reject God too long. Respond to His love today; tomorrow may be too late.
You can read Zechariah’s story in 2Kings 15:8-12.