II Kings 17-18
A turning point for Israel finally comes. The turning point is that they are totally ravaged by Assyria and they are taken into captivity.
The Lord had dealt with this nation for many years. He had sent prophets to them warning them. But they “did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God.”(17:14)
If they would just believe Him and trust Him and be faithful to Him, their lives would be blessed. But no. They “followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the Lord had commanded them not to do like.”(17:15)
Now it’s becoming clear why the Lord was so adamant about His people not mingling with the nations around them. It’s just human nature for people to begin to accept whatever they see others doing. When the Jews saw those around them worshipping other gods and partaking of other customs, they too began to participate.
You can see that today. No one ever says to himself, “I think I will be a drug addict or alcoholic.” But people do become that. They begin to hang out with others who are doing such, and the behavior begins to seem normal. So they try it, again and again, and they too are hooked.
The Israelites were no different. They began to hang out with the other cultures and intermarry with them. Eventually they began to follow the customs of the heathens – and it seemed perfectly normal.
This is the reason that the Bible is so important. Just think if we had no Bible, and we had to make our judgments based on what we see and hear. Our beliefs would be totally different. We would be unable to determine the right course on many occasions.
I am so thankful for God’s Word. It explains to us the way to go, and the underlying principles. His Word is indeed a “lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.”(Ps. 119:105)
Back to the Israelis, they wouldn’t turn around and finally they nullified their covenant with God. A just God couldn’t continue to give special protection and consideration to people who wouldn’t be faithful to Him. So the Jews in Israel were taken into Assyria.
In the meantime, Hezekiah, king of Judah, tried to restore some faithfulness there. There’s a lot to say here, so we’ll take up that more tomorrow.
John 3: 19-38
“And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”(V. 19-21).
This passage really explains a lot. Do you wonder why Christians are hated by some people? This is it.
Of course, the people who are hating and mocking don’t realize who is pushing them to do it. Demonic forces behind the scenes who hate Jesus are influencing individuals to have this aversion.
Sometimes there are those who know what they are doing is wrong – and their conscience hurts them. Therefore, they avoid the “light.” They don’t want to be exposed.
The good thing about our Savior, however, is that when people want to turn from the darkness, He is always there – ready and waiting. Jesus is not judging them, but bringing them forgivenenss and empowerment to overcome the darkness which has invaded their lives.
Every individual judges himself by loving the darkness or the light.
I pray that our savior will enlighten our darkness, so that we can repent, receive forgiveness, and walk in the freedom of the light.
I want the brightest light, don’t you?
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