2 Kings 17:1-23

Hoshea Reigns over Israel

17 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned nine years. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, only not as the kings of Israel who were before him. Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against him, and Hoshea became his servant and paid him tribute. But the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea, who had sent messengers to So king of Egypt and had offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year; so the king of Assyria shut him up and bound him in prison.

Then the king of Assyria invaded the whole land and went up to Samaria and besieged it three years.

Israel Captive

In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and settled them in Halah and Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

Why Israel Fell

Now this came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and they had [a]feared other gods and walked in the [b]customs of the nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons of Israel, and in the customs of the kings of Israel which they had [c]introduced. The sons of Israel [d]did things secretly which were not right against the Lord their God. Moreover, they built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. 10 They set for themselves sacred pillars and [e]Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, 11 and there they burned incense on all the high places as the nations did which the Lord had carried away to exile before them; and they did evil things provoking the Lord. 12 They served idols, concerning which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.” 13 Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah through all His prophets and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets.” 14 However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck [f]like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them. And 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 them. 16 They forsook all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an [g]Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. 17 Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him. 18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from His [h]sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah.

19 Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the [i]customs [j]which Israel had [k]introduced. 20 The Lord rejected all the [l]descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them [m]out of His sight.

21 When He had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel away from following the Lord and made them [n]commit a great sin. 22 The sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them 23 until the Lord removed Israel from His sight, as He spoke through all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away into exile from their own land to Assyria until this day.

Finally the hammer falls, and I don’t even know that it was God who had enough, but before when Israel was attacked, they often turned to God and asked for help. Not always, but there were several times that happened. But this time, Hoshea doesn’t even think of that, but goes to Egypt for help. Apparently they were no help at all, and still Hoshea doesn’t bother to ask God for help.

There are other areas in the Bible where we see the word of the prophets as they tried to warn Israel, so we have to keep in mind that it wasn’t like no one told them this was coming. They knew what was coming, they knew how to fix it, and they went to Egypt instead, and no help came.

There’s other lessons to learn from Israel along the way, but at the end of it all is this: don’t be like Israel. When you know what is right, and you don’t do it, you’ve got no one to blame. Do what is right, do what you know in your heart. Search it out with your mind if you need to, but you’ll find the same answer just as Solomon did so many centuries before. The duty of man is to “fear God and keep His commandments…” You can’t improve on that, no one ever will. Stop fighting what you know, and serve the God who has done everything to adopt you into his own family.

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