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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

April 26, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again


Daily Reading: II Kings 15-17

 

II Kings 17:1

In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years.

 

Hoshea would be Israel’s last king. In the ninth year of his reign Israel would be carried away captive by the Assyrians and would be replaced in their land by peoples from various foreign countries. These people would face a scourge from God in the form of lions invading the land. In response to this they called for the king of Assyria to send them a teaching prophet for Jehovah. This priest did his best and in a legal sense the inhabitants of the land complied with God’s commands. But this was only a form of worship, a hybrid mixed with idol worship and sacrifices made to false gods in high places. This group became known as the Samaritans, their false religion was widespread in the land of Israel (the geographic area known as Israel) during the life of Christ.

 

The Northern Kingdom lasted about 210 years. Its people were carried away in bondage by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. It was comprised of ten tribes and had a total of nineteen kings. Not one of those nineteen served God honorably. On the other hand, the Southern Kingdom lasted about 325 years and of its twenty kings eight obeyed God and served Him for the most part. However, they will be conquered in about 120 years by Nebuchadnezzar and carried away to Babylon.

 

During the time of the “Divided Kingdom” (Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom) the great prophets of God pleaded with the nations. Men like Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Amos, Hosea, Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, and Jeremiah spoke for God showing His love, and care for His people. In every way possible, God pleaded for His people to live by His commands. Namely, His message was: …Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them: But the Lord, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice. And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods. And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods. But the Lord you God ye shall fear, and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies. Howbeit they did not hearken… (17:35-40).

 

In this dark time in the history of God’s people make note of this ray of sunshine that the Lord gave to King Ahaz (he is introduced in today’s reading). He was the person that the prophet Isaiah was speaking to when he proclaimed; Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14) Imagine, Ahaz, the king that sacrificed his own son to a false god, was given the prophecy of the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amazing!

 

Dr. William T. Howe

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