2 Kings 17:1–23 ‘All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God…’ (v7)
On this, our last day journeying through 1 and 2 Kings, we skip ahead to the last king of Israel. Although his name, Hoshea, means ‘salvation’, he does not deliver this.
He and his people sin against God, following the practices of the foreign nations and doing detestable things in secret. Instead of turning from their evil ways, they are stiff- necked, unwilling to bow before God in humility.
So after countless warnings go unheeded, God eventually removes Israel from His presence (v18).
This passage sums up many of the sins of God’s people in not following Him as they pursue other gods.
They will not bend their knees to worship Him and reject the covenant He made with them.
And so, the narrative concludes, ‘the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria’ (v23).
The author of this account wants God’s people to remember what led them into exile – how their disobedience causes the pain of leaving their home, the Promised Land.
Thankfully, the story of God’s people does not end there. Even in the midst of His righteous anger, God has in mind a great rescue – not only for the people of Israel, but for all humanity.
As you consider the book of Kings, reflect on two or three insights you’ve gained over the past four weeks. How can you apply them to your daily life? How has your faith been strengthened?
Spend some time thanking God for His constant and loving presence, His forgiveness and His loving correction, spoken through the Bible and the people He places in our lives. He welcomes us back into His gracious care, even when we fail Him.
A Prayer To Make:
‘Father God, thank You for the stories of how You lovingly call Your people to relationship with You. Thank You for never leaving me. Amen.’
An Action To Take:
Consider which of the actions related to Kings that you’ve implemented and, if it was helpful, do it again today.
Scripture To Consider:
Exod. 20:1–3 & 34:11–16; Luke 4:1–8; John 4:23–24