As a mom of two young kids, I often myself giving them careful instructions on various occasions, repeating them as often as needed with the hopes that they can avoid finding themselves in an unpleasant situation. The higher the risk the more I have to emphasize the importance of sticking with the plan. Sometimes it works and at other times they have to experience the lesson of failure for themselves (if you know what I mean).
The relationship between the God of all universe and the children of Israel was in some ways similar to this. Several weeks ago while we journeyed through the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, we saw God’s instructions for His children were very loud and clear. This is how I would para-phrase it:
I love you. You need to love me with all your heart and worship no other gods. If you don’t do this, my protection over you will be removed and you will be taken captive by your enemies and the land will become desolate.
However, unfortunately over the years the people of Israel strayed away from keeping the commandments of the Lord and incurred the Lord’s anger and wrath that He spoke of in Deuteronomy 29.
After the kingdom split into two, the Northern kingdom of Israel did not have a single king who followed the ways of the Lord and so eventually, they were the first to experience destruction by their enemies: the Babylonians.
2 Kings 17: 7-23 is one of the saddest texts in the scripture as it outlines in detail of how and why Israel was exiled.
Yet, in the midst of this great downfall, there still remains hope. The king of Judah, King Hezekiah at that time still has a relationship with the Lord and sees some amazing victories and experiences supernatural healing. Prophet Isaiah is very much a guiding voice in his life.
God also uses other prophets to speak his message of hope to the people of Israel and Judah. Even in the midst of captivity and calamity there is hope.
But the question is whether the kingdom of Judah will learn from the outcome faced by Israel or if it will also eventually succumb to the same fate. We will continue to unravel that as we continue this Bible journey through the history of God’s people.
But for now and this week, we will simply read about the last of Israel, few of the kinds of Judah and some of the messages God spoke through his prophets. And below is the plan to do that for this week.
As the sins and rebellion against God continues, the kingdom of Israel is taken captive while Judah’s kings continue to reign. God’s prophets continue to speak the Word of the Lord boldly and persistently to the people of Israel, Judah and the surrounding nations.
Weekly Reading Plan
If you want to dig deeper here are some of my suggestions:
- Use the above schedule to read through all of the text
- Read Deuteronomy 8:19-20, 11:26-28, 29:1-29 and 30: 15-20 to recollect the word spoken by Moses regarding God’s covenant and its requirements.
- Optional: Read Psalms 58-60
And that is it for week 22!
Happy Bible Learning!