Read 2 Kings 16
Ahaz defiles the Temple; fall of Samaria; captivity of Israel.
In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria (II Kin. 17:6).
Hoshea, who did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord (17:2), was the last king to reign over the ten tribes, the Northern Kingdom.
The ten tribes who had been delivered from Egyptian bondage and kept from slavery for over seven hundred years were now conquered by the Assyrians and deported from the promised land to be slaves (II Kin. 17:6,22-23). Hoshea made a last desperate effort to strengthen the Northern Kingdom against Assyria by making a secret alliance with the king of Egypt. The king of Assyria retaliated, cast Hoshea into prison, possessed the whole land, and beseiged Samaria for three years (17:1-5). The city was finally captured, and the Israelites were carried away to near Gozan, and the cities of Media.
During the reign of King Hoshea, the prophet Hosea pleaded with the nation: O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity (Hos. 14:1). However, the nation disregarded this warning. There is no record that King Hoshea ever prayed or turned to God for help. In fact, not one of the nineteen kings of Israel in more than 210 years' history was recorded as being a true worshiper of Jehovah (with the possible exception of Jehu). This illustrates something that the Word of God speaks of called a "generational curse" (Ex. 20:5; 34:7; Num. 14:18; Deut. 5:9). The wickedness of these leaders was continually passed down from one king to the next including their practices of worshiping false gods instead of the One True God (Col. 3:5-6).
How different could have been the outcome of the nation if King Hoshea had made a covenant with the King of all kings and had humbled himself and prayed, as the Lord ordered when He appeared to Solomon and said . . . If My people . . . shall humble themselves, and pray . . . and turn from their wicked ways; then will I . . . forgive their sin, and will heal their land (II Chr. 7:12-15). Individuals can truly make a difference if they turn themselves and all that is theirs over to God (James 5:16). In this case, a whole nation could have been surrendered to God by the prayer of one man. That nation would have been saved and spared the horrors of being enslaved.
Through Thee will we push down our enemies: through Thy Name will we tread them under that rise up against us (Ps. 44:5).
Thought for Today:
The chastening of the Lord is always designed for our good.
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 Rev. Gladys V. Davis • Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Government Officials: Rep. Gary R. Herbert (UT), Rep. Ted Deutch (FL), Rep. Candice S. Miller (MI) and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO) • Country: Comoros (563,000) in the Mozambique Channel of the Indian Ocean • Major languages: Shaafi Islam (Swahili dialect) and Malagasy • Limited religious freedom • 99.7% Muslim; .2% Roman Catholic/Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to fill you with love for the unlovely (I John 4:7-8).
Optional Reading: Romans 10
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 5:21