Both Israel and Judah under evil control. Ahaz reigns in Judah, defiles the Temple and gives silver and gold found in the House of the Lord to the king of Assyria; Hoshea reigns in Israel until the fall of the Northern Kingdom; captivity and deportations of Israel by the king of Assyria.
The defeat of the ten tribes first involved the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh on the east side of Jordan, where they chose to settle just outside the promised land. As should be expected, the Assyrians conquered them first. Today's reading is very important because it explains why their fall was inevitable. They were among the more powerful tribes, but, rather than enter the promised land that God had chosen for them, they chose what was best for their cattle. When they rejected the one true place of worship, they were soon unfaithful to their covenant with the One True God, and accepted the gods and conduct of the Canaanites.
Hoshea, the last king of the Northern Kingdom, paid tribute (money in exchange for peace and protection) to the king of Assyria. While pretending loyalty to him, he made a secret agreement with the king of Egypt, hoping to receive help from them and freedom from Assyrian control.
When the king of Assyria learned about Hoshea's agreement, Egypt made no attempt to help Hoshea. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took (defeated) Samaria and carried Israel away. . . . the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out His sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only (II Kin. 17:6,18).
The real reason for Hoshea's defeat was : They left all the Commandments of the Lord their God. . . . For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam (17:16-22). What a warning against unfaithfulness to God!
Some today are making the same mistake. They attend church and call themselves Christians, but Jesus said: This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoreth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me (Matt. 15:8).
The Israelites disregarded the Word of God and suffered the consequences. This is a reminder that whoever or whatever receives our loyalty becomes our idol, be it a person, purpose, or possession. Jesus warned: Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matt. 7:14).
Thought for Today:
What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul (Mark 8:36)?
Through the original Brasen (brass) Altar made by Solomon (II Kin. 16:14; II Chr. 4:1). The Brasen Altar is a type of the cross on which Christ, our whole burnt offering, offered Himself to God (Heb. 9:14). Unlike the necessary daily sacrifices offered by the priests on the Brasen Altar, this He did once (once for all), on the cross, when He offered up Himself (7:27).
16:11 against King Ahaz =before King Ahaz arrived; 16:13 meat offering =meal or grain offering or unleavened bread, oil, and a portion of incense (see Lev. 2:1); 16:18 entry without, turned he from =he removed the covered walkway for the king of Assyria.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Willet Adams, Sr. • Government Officials: Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO) and Rep. Candice Miller (MI) • Country: India (986 million) in southern Asia • Major languages: Hindi and English • Religious freedom, but increasing harassment and persecution of Christians by religious radicals • 78% Hindu; 12% Muslim (mostly Sunni); 3% Christian; 2.5% Indigenous; 2% Sikh; .9% Buddhist; .5% Jain; .3% Parsi; .2% Baha'i; .1% Jewish; .5% non-Religious • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for your Christian friends (Phil. 1:4).
Optional Reading: Romans 10
Memory Verse for the Week: John 1:3