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2 Kings 13-17

4/11/2020 - 4/12/2020 - 2 Kings 13-17

A Devotional Journey
     led by Dr. Gene Pearson                                                                                                               
Thru the Bible in a Year

       While Jehoash is disobeying God in Israel, Amaziah is following Him more faithfully in Judah, although still failing to remove the high places.  After accomplishing the partial re-conquest of Edom, Amaziah challenges Jehoash and the two engage in war.  Without pause for theological reflection on the triumph of the less faithful king over the more faithful one, the writer simply records that Amaziah was defeated and a section of the wall of Jerusalem torn down by Jehoash in retaliation for the actions of his defeated counterpart.
       The narrative runs through a number of kings of both Israel and Judah, until it comes to Hoshea, the last king of Israel, and the Assyrian Exile.  In the end, we are told that “All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God....They worshiped other gods and followed the practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before them....The Israelites secretly did things against the LORD their God that were not right.......So the LORD was angry with Israel and removed them from His presence.”
       As Israel is led away into captivity, other people are settled in their place (people from Babylon, and other regions conquered by the Assyrians) on the premise that moving people out of their familiar locales made them easier to control and assimilate into the empire.
      The settlement of these aliens was mainly in the area later known as Samaria.  So many disasters occurred that the Assyrian king was moved to send one of the priests of God, taken with the captives to Assyria, back to the area to instruct the people in how to worship Him.  This was done on the assumption that each place had its own god and that you needed to know and appease the local god in order to prosper.
       The judgment against the Samaritans which would come down through the centuries to the time of Jesus Christ is recorded in 17:34:  “To this day they persist in their former practices.  They neither worship the LORD nor adhere to the decrees and ordinances, the laws...the LORD gave...Even while they were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols.  To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.”
       One of the lessons of Israel is that sooner of later God will act on His own behalf.  He is patient and understanding; He is gracious and forgiving; but He is also righteous and just.  No one may violate His standards with impunity. 
       We need to remember that while God may not remove all of our possessions or prosperity in response to our disregard for His standards and His will, sooner or later, we will experience His discipline.  As believers this is not designed to cut us off from Him, but to bring us back. 
       What do you need to change in your life in order to be more faithful to God.
        Start today!          

A. Eugene Pearson 2011