Today’s Passage – 2 Kings 16 – 17
(Second Milers Read – Luke 17 – 18; Psalms 1 – 5; Proverbs 1)
“Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,” (2 Kings 17:5-7)
In 2 Kings 17, we see the destruction of the city of Samaria along with the rest of the northern kingdom of Israel, and the carrying away of God’s people into the land of Assyria. God had warned the people literally for centuries that if they continued to reject Him and His Word, judgment would come. In this chapter we see that God’s patience with these northern tribes had finally come to an end. The warnings were over, and the punishment had finally come.
The passage goes on to explain the sins of the nation. So, God warned them many times not to do these things, and when they didn’t listen, God admonished them to stop and turn back to Him (v 13), but they did not listen (v 14), and then finally He punishes them through the nation of Assyria; and now, to be crystal clear, He explains why He was forced to punish them.
What were they guilty of?
1 They feared other gods (v7) – God was clear that the people were to put no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3), but Israel had tolerated and even encouraged the worship of many false gods. Along with this are many of the other sins listed in this passage including idol / image worship; burning incense in the high places; etc.
2 They walked in the statues of the heathen. (v 8 ) God had given them moral, ceremonial, and civil statutes (laws) to follow, but instead they followed the laws of the heathen nations around them. Israel was set up as a theocracy – a nation governed by the laws of God, but they had thrown God off of the throne, and they were now governing themselves. The immoral customs of the heathen nations became the accepted practice of the day.
3 They sacrificed their own children. Children have a very special place in God’s heart, and when the nation began to promote the sacrifice of children (v 17), God became very angry with them (v 18).
The nation of Israel had everything they needed to live a blessed, prosperous existence in the land that God provided for them, but instead “they sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord” (v 17).
I wonder what God will do to America. We were a nation tremendously blessed of God, but we too have forsaken Him. We have thrown Him out of our schools and our government, and we have allowed all kinds of immoral filth to permeate our society. We have also promoted and tolerated the sacrificing of our own children. Over one million babies are sacrificed every year through the abominable practice of expedient abortions. God is warning our nation to repent, but His warnings are falling on deaf ears. I fear His patience is running out on us just as it ran out on Israel. Wake up America!
Posted in Thoughts from 2 Kings by Phil Erickson with no comments yet.