READING: 2 Kings 16-17, 2 Chronicles 28
“Therefore, the Lord was very angry with Israel, and he removed them from his presence.”
2 Kings 17:18
Judgment had fallen on Israel. Hoshea, the last king of Israel, was imprisoned. The Assyrians had come to Samaria, and they captured the city. Assyrians even moved to the city and resettled it as their own. All of this tragedy took place, we are told, because the Israelites did not listen to God. Indeed, today’s reading echoes with these descriptions:
- They worshiped other gods
- They “secretly did things against the Lord their God that were not right” (2 Kgs. 17:9)
- They “did wicked things that aroused the Lord’s anger” (2 Kgs. 17:11), like setting up pagan altars
- They would not listen to the prophets God sent to warn them
- They “imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, ‘Do not do as they do’” (2 Kgs. 17:15)
- They did evil in the sight of the Lord, “arousing his anger” (2 Kgs. 17:17)
God had warned them again and again that He would remove them “from his presence” (2 Kgs. 17:23), but they would not listen. As the stories of their continual rebellion pile up, it’s not hard to understand why God would send them away into exile. They angered Him, ignored Him, rebelled against Him, and even replaced Him in a sense as they worshiped other gods. His prophets were not lying when they spoke of coming judgment—and we are wise, too, to remember that our sin brings consequences.
To be honest, what’s hard to understand is why God still kept His hand on them in the first place. Even exile was designed to bring them back to Him; once again, His commitment to them would trump their commitment to Him.
- Consider how often you might have ignored God’s warnings about something.
- Thank God for times when He allows us to pay a price for our wrong in order to bring us back to Him.
PRAYER: “Lord, I’m guilty, too, of sometimes ignoring Your warnings. Help me to hear You and follow You always.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Isaiah 13-17