In Today's Scripture Reading:
Ahaz reigns in Judah, defiles the Temple; Hoshea reigns in Israel; fall of Samaria; captivity and deportations of Israel
Fearing the growing power of Assyria, Pekah, king of Israel, made an alliance with Rezin, king of Syria (Aram) (II Kings 15:37). Together, they attempted to force Ahaz, king of Judah, to join them. When Ahaz refused, Aram's King Rezin and Israel's King Pekah came up to wage war against Jerusalem. They besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him (16:5). In retaliation, Ahaz made an alliance with Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, to attack Syria and Israel. This cost Ahaz all the silver and gold that was found in the House of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king's house . . . (which he) sent . . . (as) a present (as required payment) to the king of Assyria (16:8). The king of the Assyrian Empire conquered the small kingdom of Syria and killed Rezin, its king (16:9). Tiglath-pileser also defeated the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh on the eastern side of the Jordan. He then took control of the northern part of the Jordan Valley, making Galilee and Gilead into Assyrian provinces (15:29; compare Isaiah 9:1). All that was left of the ten-tribe northern kingdom of Israel was the capital city of Samaria and the surrounding hill country of Ephraim.
The captivity and dispersion of the northern kingdom throughout Assyria took place because the Israelites served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep My Commandments and My statutes, according to all the Law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets. Notwithstanding they would not hear (II Kings 17:12-14, 15-23).
The Lord's chosen people 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 (Matthew 7:14).
Through the Brasen (brass) Altar made by Solomon (II Kings 16:14; II Chronicles 4:1). The Brasen Altar is a type of the cross on which Christ, our whole burnt offering, offered Himself to God (Hebrews 9:14). Unlike the necessary daily sacrifices on the Brasen Altar, on the cross, this He did once (once for all), when He offered up Himself (Hebrews 7:27).
16:11 against =efore; 16:13 meat offering =eal or grain offering or unleavened bread, oil, and a portion of incense (see Leviticus 2:1); 16:18 entry without, turned he from =e removed the covered walkway.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Bett Brown, Mrs. Judith Anne Ross, and Mrs. Henrine Anding and in memory of Nathaniel Graham Keith Government Officials: Sen. Pete Domenici (NM) and Rep. Candice Miller (MI) Staff: Rita Guerra Country: Russia (146.5 million) northeastern Europe and northern Asia Major language: Russian Religious freedom 55% Russian Orthodox; 9% Muslim; 1% Protestant (Baptist, Pentecostal); .8% Shamanist/Animist; .6% Buddhist; .5% Roman Catholic; .5% New Religions (e.g., Hare Krishna); .4% Jewish; .1% Old Believers; 32.1% Agnostics/Atheists/Others Prayer Suggestion: Pray for boldness to tell others about the Lord (Acts 4:29).
Optional Reading: Romans 10
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 9:1