How sad it is to reject God, His Word, and His messengers.
Second Kings 17 explains how the nation of Israel, the ten northern tribes, rebelled against God. It also tells the consequence of their rebellion.
For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,8 And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.9 And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the Lord their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. (17:7-9)
And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them.16 And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger.18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. (17:15-18)
GOD’S REQUIRES OBEDIENCE TO HIS COMMANDMENTS
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. (17:13)
ISRAEL’S FINAL ANSWER
Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God. (17:14)
And the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.21 For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the Lord, and made them sin a great sin.22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;23 Until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day. (17:20-23)
We must each look into the mirror of Scripture and make sure we are obeying God’s commandments. Failure to follow God’s plan is a recipe for failure.
Judah, a few years later, is also rebellious and the Babylonians conquer them.
The question each one of us must answer is, “Are we willing to walk with God, keep ALL His commandments, or rebel against God and His Word?”
How we respond will determine our success or failure in this life and ultimately whether we end up in Heaven or hell.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001