DAY 258 -BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE UNITED MONARCHY
Reading: 2 Kings 17
Today’s devotion looks at the exile of the Northern Kingdom of Israel to Assyria during the reign of King Hoshea. After many generations of kings who did evil and followed after the sins of Jeroboam, God allowed the worst Covenant curse of all to befall the Kingdom of Israel. According to the Covenant, if the nation continually rebelled against God, they would be forcibly removed from their land and sent to another land where they would be in slavery.
The writer of Kings tells us that the Israelites would not hear the word of the LORD, but stiffened their necks, they rejected His statutes and the covenant that He had made with their fathers. They followed idols, became idolaters and went after the nations who were all around them. They rebelled against all the commandments of the Lord their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. They even caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord. Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone. To add insult to injury, King Hoshea turned to So, Pharoah of Egypt, for help and stopped paying tribute to Assyria. This is something the Israelites were warned not to do. The Egyptians were not able to help them, and Assyria took the Israelites captive because they did not pay tribute to Assyria. King Hoshea should have sought the LORD for help, not Egypt.
From this time forwards, the Northern Kingdom really ceased to exist and the Assyrians put other nations in the Northern Kingdom. People from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim were introduced into the land. Those living in Samaria were now viewed by the Jews as half- casts and as ‘unclean’. From the Northern Kingdom’s perspective, God’s people Israel were scattered among the nations, out of the Promised Land and living under foreign rule.
Dear Father, may we turn to You in times of trouble and not put our hope in people, who will prove unreliable. Thank You for the trustworthy people You have placed in our lives and for the encouragement and support, they bring us.
For the family
Over the next few days, watch this video about The Exile
Stop and discuss the theme together as a family.