TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Ruin was upon Israel and Judah in these chapters. Judah’s king Ahaz had turned thoroughly to idolatry, and the Israelite kings were not much different. A summary statement of their history in 2 Kings 17 is both agonizing and convicting:
1. God had been gracious to bring HIs people out of Egypt, but they turned to false gods. This disaster happened because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God who had brought them out of the land of Egypt from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt and because they had worshiped other gods. (2 Kgs. 17:7)
2. They did evil in spite of God’s warnings. "They served idols, although the Lord had told them, “You must not do this.” (2 Kgs. 17:12 )
3. The Lord loved them enough to send prophets to say, “Turn back.” Still, the Lord warned Israel and Judah through every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep My commands and statutes according to all the law I commanded your ancestors and sent to you through My servants the prophets.” (2 Kgs. 17:13)
4. Yet, the people ignored the warnings. In fact, the word is simple and pointed: But they would not listen. (2 Kgs. 17:14a )
I pray I do not live in such idolatry, yet I know it can be said of me at times, “But he did not listen.” Sometimes I forget God’s blessings in the past. Sometimes I take His mercy for granted. Sometimes I fail to count the number of times God has given me more opportunities to repent than I deserve. Sometimes I just don’t listen—and I need to hear this word today.
PRAYER: Pray with me that we will hear the Word of the Lord clearly today; that is, pray we will hear it and obey it.
TOMORROW’S READING: Isaiah 13-17