READING: 2 Kings 15-17
They were the people of God, but their history was one of rebellion and rejection. Kings did not follow God’s ways. The people rejected God’s leadership and instead worshiped false gods. They continually “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (2 Kings 15:9). Some were “engaging in the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites” (2 Kings 16:3). Idolatry reigned among the people God had called His own.
The result? God sent those people into exile in the land of their enemy. I am sure the people could have come up with other political, social, or military reasons for their demise, but the Word is actually quite clear here: “And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt” (2 Kings 17:7). The people committed both private and public sin (2 Kings 17:9), and they rejected God’s continual attempts to direct them back to Him through His spokespersons: “But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the LORD their God” (2 Kings 17:14). Stubbornness cost them their freedom in more ways than one.
What we must learn today is this: God draws a line in the sand, beyond which He judges His people for their rebellion. He is gracious and loving — in fact, His sending His people into exile is intended to bring them to the end of their sin and return to Him — but He also remains a God of judgment and righteousness. He does not allow His people to live however they wish.
We Christians would be wise to remember that truth today and live accordingly.
- If you are living in rebellion against God, turn from your wrong and back to Him.
- Pray for someone you know who is living in rebellion.
- Pray for our nation and its leaders. Countries, too, can fall under God’s judgment.
PRAYER: “God, remind me with every choice I make today that there are consequences to my actions.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Kings 18-19