Hosea Chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8

The book of Hosea will not take many posts to get through because they are rather short chapters compared to other books, so more chapters are combined together. Although it is a shorter book, definitely not the shortest, but one of the shorter ones, it has so much greatness in it! It is amazing to read about a prophet that God used his whole life to represent Israel. So Israel was going through a tough time, so Hosea’s life wasn’t the easiest either; look at his marriage, and the name of his children.

 

Chapter 5 starts out with a prophecy about how Israel and Judah are going to be punished. But the key word to look at in this prophecy is that God says, “I will discipline all of them,” Hosea 5:2. God is not punishing the people of Israel and Judah just for the sake of doing so, but so that they can be disciplined and for the hope that they will learn from their actions of going against God. It wouldn’t’ be called punishment if it were not done as a way to prevent it from reoccurring; if it were out of wanting to harm the Israelites and the people of Judah then it would be called the torture of them, not the punishment. God says that Ephraim has been whoring with other gods that they have forgotten about the almighty God, and they will not remember Him unless they are punished. What God says of Judah is interesting as well. He said, “They have dealt faithlessly with the LORD; for they have borne alien children. Now the new moon shall devour them with their fields,” Hosea 5:7. I believe that by God using the word “alien” to represent them so much is huge! I looked up the NIV version as well, because I was confused on what God meant by calling them alien children, and NIV has the word “illegitimate” instead of “alien” and it makes so much sense. The people of Judah’s children have been raised without God, so they are not seen as truly his children. The blame goes onto their parents but they are being punished as well. Their parents’ actions have caused them to no longer be seen as part of God’s people. He sees them as the children that show up at their parents’ house because their other siblings make them go…they have no relationship with Him. God returns to his anger with Ephraim because they went to Assyria for help before looking to Him for guidance. God says He will leave them until, “they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me,” Hosea 5:15. This is the part of discipline: will the people after their punishment finally recognize that they need Him, or will they need more punishment to realize it still.

 

Hosea starts off chapter 6 by saying that Israel and Judah need to come to God willingly for He will heal them if they do. One of my favorite verses is in this chapter: “Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth,” Hosea 6:3. God wants to water us with all the water in the world but we must ask Him and press on Him to water us. He is not going to do it if we do not acknowledge him or repent for our actions. The people of Israel and Judah were game for asking God for help and love and living righteously as long as they were receiving water from Him, but their righteousness was only short lived. They would no longer be grateful and start living unclean again. God wants their love steadfastly not whenever they find it to be convenient. They lack faith in Him.

 

Chapter 7 tells of how once God heals Israel then Ephraim and Samaria’s evil deeds will be so evident. The people are adulterers because they are looking to the kings and princes for guidance and if they do not serve the people as they will then the kings are taken down. People cannot take on all the love and pressure that you want because humans are incapable. God can only hold what all people want to make them happy. God wants the people to know that He sees through them and their lies. These kings that the people are having rule over them, do not even turn toward God either. People are being lead by unrighteous leaders so of course their country is falling apart. God tries to strengthen the Israelites and the new strength they get from God, they use against Him. It is terrible to think about: God loves you enough to make you a strong person, and your response to this new strength is to try to take Him down so that you can have the glory, not Him. It is terrible.

 

When God shows His anger against the people of Israel, they respond with “My God, we – Israel – know you,” Hosea 8:2. But they do not know God; they know God enough in the fact that they know that He has such great mercy for His people. They are ungrateful for His mercy, yet they rely on it. God says “The calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces,” Hosea 8:6. So God will discipline and force obedience on them, no matter how stubborn they are against Him. Their stubbornness will eventually falter and they will have to follow Him. Once again the focus is on God disciplining them, not wrecking havoc on them for no reason. God says that He will not accept their sacrifices because they rather do the easy way out: they rather reap wind than grain for the fear of someone taking their grain. No one would be able to take their wind away. At the end of chapter 8, Hosea prophesizes through God that God will have the people of Israel return to Egypt, where He had once helped them to escape from.

Hosea Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4

Hey y’all! So the new book that I will write about in about 4 posts is the book of Hosea. Hosea is one of my favorite books and my testimonial verse is actually within this book, and I will explain why when we get to that chapter which will not be for a few days. An important thing to understand about Hosea is that his life was to represent Israel. Who he marries and the names of his children reflect so. Since I already posted about the Kings, it is nice to understand when he was alive. He was alive while Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah was reigning over Judah and Jeroboam II was reigning over Israel. So he dies while one of the best kings was reigning over Judah, but he was living in Israel where wickedness was still ruling. So just remember that Hosea represents Israel.

 

So the first thing that we learn about Hosea is about his wife, and his children. Of course his wife and his children have HUGE symbolic meaning to Israel. God told Hosea to marry a whore, because Israel was whoring by forsaking the LORD. So Hosea openly knows that he is committing himself to a whore. Now we get to the name of his children. First his wife bore a son which God told him to name Jezreel, because God is going to punish the house of Jehu in Israel for Jezreel’s blood and Israel would end. Next his wife bore a daughter and God told Hosea to name her ‘No Mercy’ because God will have no mercy on the house of Israel and he wont forgive them, BUT he will forgive the house of Judah. Hosea’s last son was named ‘Not My People’ because God did not see Israel as his people any longer. So I would say that God was obviously not happy about Israel. God does tell Hosea after his children are born and all that one day all the people of Israel and the people of Judah would raise up together and they will have someone over them.

 

Chapter 2 is a long, long prophecy that God tells Hosea. The prophecy tells of the punishment that is to come to Israel. If you read through this chapter the “her” is Israel. Remember that God called Israel out for whoring, and most nations are referred to as feminine. God tells of how he will surround Israel so that they cannot escape. The prophecy said, “’I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths,’” Hosea 2:6. The people of Israel used all that God had given them and blessed them with to worship false gods like Baal. He will make Israel regret all that they did, even though God had told them many times that they were wrong and he punished them and then gave them mercy, so this would be the last punishment for them. After the prophecy goes on about this the prophecy continues on to what is the mercy that God gives them to later. God says that after he gives them mercy that the Israelites will be as loyal as they were when Moses lead them out of Egypt. He wrote that he would treat them with, “’steadfast love in mercy,’” Hosea 2:19. He exclaimed through Hosea, “’And in that day I will answer, declares the LORD, I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth, and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel, and I will sow her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people,’ and he shall say, ‘You are my God,’” Hosea 2:21-23. So all of Hosea’s children’s names that represented the problems of Israel were redeemed.

 

So chapter 3 we return our focus to Hosea’s wife. Now his wife represented the whoredom of Israel, so when he married her he was automatically forgiving her old ways. In chapter 3 we learn that his wife began to whore around again, and God told Hosea to take her back even after she was having affairs with other men. Hosea is representing God in this analogy, because Hosea took back his wife even though he had already forgiven her, and then she returned to her old ways and he forgives her AGAIN. God forgave Israel before and then they went back to being evil, and God forgave them AGAIN. The wife has to commit herself to Hosea like how Israel had to promise to commit herself to God again when God gave them mercy again.

 

Chapter 4 is another long prophecy. It describes more of how Israel has, “’no faithfulness or steadfast love; and no knowledge of God in the land,’” Hosea 4:1. Israel is breaking all of the commandments of the land. Israel forgot Him so He will forget them. He says, “’They shall eat, but not be satisfied; they shall play the whore, but no multiply, because they have forsaken the LORD to cherish,’” Hosea 4:10. He will make their glory shame again because they do not glorify Him. He wants Israel to make sure not to affect Judah in their evil ways (we know because of 2 Kings that it does not happen).

 

Hosea is one big allegory of Israel.

2 Kings Chapters 24 and 25

We have officially come to the end of the book of 2 Kings. I will miss it, but I know many people would not list the Kings as 2 of their favorite books. I know it has been tough to get through, but I am really excited for the next book I will be blogging about…I will wait to tell y’all. 

Chapter 23 ended with Josiah’s death and then the kings Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim who both ruled wickedly unlike Josiah. So Jehoiakim was actually a servant to Nebuchanezzar of Babylon for three years until he rebelled. But then God actually allowed various kingdoms to rise up against Judah. God wanted to literally “remove them out of his sight,” 2 Kings 24:3. He pretty much wanted them out of the land that he provided to them. He wants them gone because of the innocent blood that Manasseh had shed throughout all of Judah and also with the wickedness he reigned in. He brought back temples and high places for other gods that Hezekiah had finally gotten rid of. Remember also that God said he would bring down Judah following Josiah’s death because he did not want such a great king to witness the downfall of his people, and now Josiah has been dead for around 5 years. God allowed Babylon to take over Judah, including the areas that were actually already considered Egypt’s territory.So when Babylon took over, it was the end of Jehoiakim, and the beginning of Jehoiachin, who only ruled for 3 months. Babylon besieged Jerusalem, and Jehoiachin pretty much waved the white flag and gave himself over to Nebuchanezzar and all of the powerful people of Judah were taken (around 10,000) people and only the weak and the poor were let in Judah. This is where you should think about Daniel; this is when he was taken into the court of Babylon and deciphered dreams of Nebuchanezzar and later other leaders of Babylon. Judah had now officially become a vassal state or puppet state to Babylon. Babylon chose their leaders and decided what happened within Judah, but there was still an actual king over Judah but he had no real power. The king of the vassal state was Jehoiachin’s uncle Zedekiah. Zedekiah reigned for 11 years and was evil and God ultimately was done with the people of Judah and casted out all of those that were left aka he did not watch after or protect any longer. Zedekiah then rebelled against Babylon.

So the thing about a vassal state is that the ruler of the nation holding the puppet nation does not like to be disobeyed, so when Zedekiah rebelled, Nebuchanezzar was not pleased and seizes Jerusalem again and this time for many many years, until the famine was so bad that the men of war fled the city. Now of course the Babylonians surrounded the city so the men did not get very far. The Chaldeans were waiting for them, and the Zedekiah and the men were taken down in the fields of Jericho. The Chaldeans killed Zedekiah’s family in front of him and then took him off to Babylon. I can

not imagine witnessing my own family’s death….gives me the chills. So to make this even worse for Judah, the Babylonian captain of the body guards burned down the House of the Lord in Jerusalem, and all the other homes in Jerusalem. The Chaldeans tore down the wall of Jerusalem and only the poorest were left to be plowmen for that area. All the pillars and treasures from Solomon’s time were taken and tore down and all of the priests left were put to death in Babylon. A governor was put over what was left of Jerusalem aka the plowmen and his name was Gedaliah. Gedaliah actually wanted peace amongst Judah and wanted the people of Judah to just serve the king and take care of the land in order to avoid any more disaster (in a way it seems wise after all that Judah had just gone through). The people did not agree of course and struck him down after only 7 months, and those that went against him fled to Egypt. How ironic…the people of Judah had fled Egypt in the past and now they are running back…So the last bit of 2 Kings says that the 37th year of Jehoiachin’s exile he was finally freed by the new Babylonian king, Evil-merodach. His name literally has evil in it. Jehoiachin was treated as royalty in Babylon.

So pretty much all of Judah, and Israel were in shambles. We will eventually get back to what happens after this but for now I will be reading and blogging about a lighter more fun book. The book of Hosea is up next!! 

Matthew 18:3-4

The focus of my study this week is on how Jesus taught and lead his disciples. So we are pretty much going through various occurrences throughout the Gospel, mostly in Matthew, and seeing how Jesus lead the disciples whether it be discreetly or not. This verse shouts out to you how Jesus lead them. He wants the disciples, and all of us for that matter, to turn towards God as our Father and to embrace being his children. Children have questions and not too many boundaries when forming a relationship. Children are not afraid to ask for help and just want all the love they can get along with sharing their love as well. It is hard when you are an adult, or even a young adult in college for my instance and to think about going back to being a child. Children are seen as defenseless and in a way weak in everyday life, and we need to just be like that as God’s children. We should rely on Him and go to Him for protection.

I thought throwing in a toddle picture of me would be fun, and I wanted an excuse to go through all my baby pictures.

2 Kings Chapters 22 and 23

Josiah

We are almost at the end of 2 Kings so there will only be one post following this one left, and then we will be moving on! I have learned so much from this book and I hope y’all have as well. My summer so far has focused on prayer and evangelism, and I have learned so much about prayer from these books, whether it be from Elijah, Elisha, Hezekiah, Josiah, and so on. Overall this historical book is filled with so much spiritual juice, and you just have to squeeze it out and focus on the bigger picture and not on all the various leaders and cities and so on. This post will tell of another great ruler in Judah, and then more not so wonderful, and unrighteous leaders.

So the key person in these chapters is Josiah, king of Judah for 31 years. He ruled righteously and the Bible says he “walked in the ways of David his father,” 2 Kings 22:2. Okay so if a king is compared to David, it is a BIG DEAL. You know he was a great, spiritual man with fervor to share the awesomeness of his LORD. Other good leaders who were righteous were always labeled as being still less than David, so you know Josiah was class A in character. So one of the first things Josiah does as king is that he repaired the temple and unlike other leaders from the past, he completely trusts the money to the workers. He puts his faith into them instead of watching them like a hawk. He trusts also Hilkiah, the high priest at the time, with the operations of the reparation. Something amazing happens during the repairs! Hilkiah finds the Book of the Law…he found THE LAW from God. The temple must have been cluttered or something, but Hilkiah was able to find it. When the Book of the Law is read aloud to Josiah, Josiah reacts as many do, he “tore his clothes,” 2 Kings 22:11. What does this mean? Josiah was humbled and honored to be in contact with the Book of the Law that he showed his devotion and acceptance of not being worthy to be in sight of the Book by baring himself and purify himself in the presence of this object. The picture from Wikipedia above shows the joy Josiah had when he heard the Book of the Law. Josiah turns to a prophetESS, A WOMAN PROPHET, y’all I really have never heard of a woman prophet, so when I read about her I was just excited and ecstatic. Girl Power! Her name is Huldah, and was keeper of the wardrobe (I of course automatically think of Narnia). Huldah shares God’s message to Josiah. God tells her to say that Judah will face great wrath because of how they have been living (think to the last post about Manasseh), but because Josiah is so humble and faithful, the wrath will not occur while Josiah is alive. God will wait for Josiah to be at peace in his grave with his fathers before He takes down Judah. God says, “Your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place,” 2 Kings 22:20. What anxiety Josiah probably experienced! His beloved country would be in shambles and there is nothing he could do about it, but at the same time he is blessed with not having to see it. 

Upon hearing the prophecy, Josiah begins many reforms for Judah. Josiah had all citizens, priests, prophets, I mean literally everyone of Judah and especially of Jerusalem to gather around him. Josiah then read aloud the Book of the Law for all to hear. No one could now say that they have never heard the Law because Josiah is preaching it from the actual source. After reading the Law in front of all, he then made a public covenant with the LORD to, “walk after the LORD and to keep his commandments and hist testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book,” 2 Kings 23:3. All of the people of Judah joined in on this covenant as well. Josiah then had the false gods (like Baal) taken down…all their temples, statues, priests, prophets, and so on. He also stopped a popular culture thing at the time-male cult prostitutes. Josiah wanted all uncleanness out of his kingdom, so the people would feel no pressure or desire from Satan or the flesh to become reattached to the false gods. Josiah also restores Passover, which had been forgotten or not practiced for a long time. The Bible says that no king would ever lead with all their heart and soul like Josiah had. So after we read about all the restorations and new reforms, it tells that although Judah has done a complete flip from their past, that Judah would still be punished because of Manasseh. Josiah dies in battle against the Pharaoh of Egypt, and was returned to Jerusalem to lay in peace. So we all know that based on the prophecy that Judah’s end will come soon. Josiah’s son Jehoahaz rules for 3 months and was the complete opposite of his father. He was evil and eventually held captive by the Pharaoh Neco of Egypt, and the Pharaoh then named another one of Josiah’s sons as king, and his name was Eliakim and was then renamed by the Pharaoh: Jehoiakim. So Egypt was using Judah pretty much as a puppet state at this point. Egypt was indirectly controlling Judah until they payed to get Jehoahaz back. Jehoiakim was able to gather all the talents he needed to pay off the Pharaoh so that he could get his brother back, but he did so by heavily taxing the people of Judah. Jehoiakim reigned in Judah for 11 years and was evil like his brother. I just always wonder how they could have had such a great and righteous father, yet they are pure evil. We will find out what happens next in the last chapters of 2 Kings in the next post! 

1 Peter 5:6-7

Humility in prayer is so so important and this verse shows it. Tell God everything, and express your weakness and His strength. Like the parable of the persistent widow, why would our just God ignore us when we cry out to him in prayer? You must believe in Him and be willing to lay yourself out there to Him and talk to Him. He loves you so much and wants to hear you speak to Him and ask for His help. Don’t be afraid to ask for His help, guidance, or maybe even something materialistic and selfish. God wants us to come to Him for everything. Most people go to their dads asking for help or something, so why don’t we go to our Father? 

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2 Kings Chapters 19, 20, and 21

Hezekiah

It is now the beginning of having Isaiah throughout 2 Kings. It is definitely more interesting to read about how awesome God’s prophets were and their stories to go along with it. Since Elisha’s death, it has been a lot more about the chronological wars, and kings and not as much about the prophecies of God, which are of course more interesting. Isaiah is just great to read about, especially his book. Stick with me through these 3 chapters…please? :) A common theme, and it might be because I am so focused on it at the moment for my summer program with my campus ministry is PRAYER! We are doing a character study on Daniel, but Hezekiah shows so much boldness in prayer like Daniel did as well and I am glad to know that I am realizing how important the prayer is to all people no matter what time it is! 

So the end of the last chapter had the messenger from Assyria talking bad about Hezekiah and the members of Judah were silent and did not follow him. Naturally, Hezekiah became nervous for his kingdom. He went to ISAIAH and asked him to pray with him for Judah. Isaiah passed on a message from God, “‘Thus says the LORD: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with chichi the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land,” 2 Kings 19:6-7. I mean you know, I know, Hezekiah knows, and Isaiah knows that this prophecy will of course come true. So the messenger returns to Assyria because he heard of the king fighting with Libnah, and feels false hope. Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, sends yet another messenger to how that he has not forgotten about Judah I am guessing, and the messenger says the same things as before; Hezekiah is an evil ruler and leading under a false god and Assyria never loses…yada yada yada. Pretty much a bunch of crap! Hezekiah then does what so many people have a hard time doing, including myself, he got on his hands and knees and just prayed to God! He prayed and praised God and just asked for protection. One of the coolest parts of his prayer was, “‘Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear, open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God,'” 2 Kings 19: 16. I mean God is always listening and seeing us in prayer and it is just awesome to think over it! Millions of people can be praying at once and he is listening and seeing all of us at once! So following Hezekiah’s prayer, Isaiah prophesies Sennacherib’s downfall which as all his prophecies from God do, comes true. What is cool is that before the prophecy he tells Hezekiah that God has heard his prayer about Sennacherib! THIS IS PROOF THAT GOD WAS LISTENING AND SEEING. So so awesome! Isaiah’s prophecy was that Assyria would not win and that God would protect Judah out of zeal. Zeal is a very big word. You don’t just throw out “zeal” whenever you want. That next morning, God struck down 185,000 Assyrian soldiers and Sennacherib returned to Assyria where he was killed by his own sons.

Around the time that all of this was happening, Hezekiah fell ill (pretty much waiting for death). Isaiah came to him and told him that God’s message was that Hezekiah needed to have his house settled for he would pass away soon. What was Hezekiah’s response? Prayer of course! He prayed to God that God would bless him and keep him alive longer, and he reminded God that he was a servant to God and had Judah living in His hands again. He prayed this prayer right after Isaiah left, and literally before Isaiah was able to leave the palace walls (I am thinking he had just gotten down a few hallways), God told Isaiah to give Hezekiah a new message. The new message is that Hezekiah was a true loving servant and for that reason, Hezekiah would live for 15 more years. Prayer works, and people that don’t think it works, must not understand God and the Spirit. So towards the end of his life, Hezekiah befriends the Babylonians and gives them a grand tour of the palace and the kingdom. Isaiah shows up after..which could be good news or bad news. For this instance it was not good news like it recently had been. God says that he wished that Hezekiah had not shown the Babylonians the kingdom because eventually Babylon will conquer Judah and take all the treasures and bring ruins to Judah. Hezekiah’s own sons would end up being eunuchs in Babylon. So not happy news at all for the people of Judah. 

Alright so Hezekiah passes 15 years after his illness, and soon after he befriends the Babylonians. Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, rules Judah for 55 years. He was opposite of Hezekiah! He was evil, and rebuilt the pillars and high places which Hezekiah had FINALLY taken down. He sacrificed his own sons, and worshipped so many idols that if you looked up idolater in the dictionary you would see a pic of Manasseh. Manasseh was able to “provoke” God to anger…which that takes a lot of effort which I have mentioned before! God is patient and kind, but Manasseh was able to make him so angry. God had many prophets tell of how  God will tear down Judah because of Manasseh and his idolatry that he has brought back to Judah. On top of all of this Manasseh killed many innocent people throughout all of Jerusalem. Manasseh finally died after his long reign and his son Amon reigned in Judah. Amon only ruled for  years,  and was evil like his father. He was eventually conspired against. The conspirators, after they killed Amon, were actually killed by the people of Judah because they did not approve. They then put Josiah, his son, into power rather than having a conspirator rule.

 

 

Pic at the bottom is suppose to be an image of Hezekiah praying to God! Of course it can really be anyone praying to God and expressing themselves completely to God! Thank you http://www.bibleline.org for the picture!

Romans 1:16

The verse I am memorizing is shorter but stands for so much! My campus ministry has been focusing on sharing the Gospel/Evangelism, which I am honestly not the best at. I am always nervous to bring up the Gospel for many reason, whether it be the fear of rejection, not knowing how to answer questions, or not “feeling” like I am close enough with the person to share. I am not super social either, so that is against me as well. I don’t want to say I am ashamed of the Gospel, I just feel like I cannot share it with all of the glory that it deserves. This verse shows however, that you shouldn’t be ashamed but feel filled with love. I need to share this love with others through sharing the love, and grace of God through His son. My goal this summer is to begin to feel comfortable with sharing the Gospel! And I know I will get better and I will definitely be praying to be more confident. I need to trust that the Spirit will fill me while talking of the Gospel, and I cannot wait! 

Oh and isn’t the moon just gorgeous in this pic! I was glad that I was at the beach during the “honey-moon.” 

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2 Kings Chapters 17 and 18

Hey y’all! Sorry for the lack of posts, I was on vacation for a week! It was a great trip and was able to get some good reading in. If you haven’t read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, you should! Both my Dad and I read it at the beach! Takes me back to when I read all of the Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe books, except this time the allegory is very obvious, since the locations are heaven and hell. Maybe I will post about the book one day….but for now we are working our way through 2 Kings still! These two chapters are not many transfers of kings throughout the different kingdoms, but more fixated. A lot begins to happen! Lets get it started!

So in Israel, Hoshea reigns for 9 years and he was evil but not as evil as those before him…but he was definitely not the nicest person.The Assyrian king attacked Israel and pretty much had Hoshea paying him money as a vassal, which is pretty crazy. As a history major I am thinking of how Hungary was continuously giving money to Germany during WWII, but still was ruled by their own leader, but let be real Hitler was ruling. Anyway, sorry about that! I love history (I am a nerd I know)! The Assyrian king felt betrayed by Hoshea at one point, because Hoshea sent a messenger to the king of Egypt for help, and then Hoshea did not pay “tribute” to the Assyrian king…so Shalmaneser(Assyrian king) was not too happy and bound up Hoshea and threw him into prison and then invaded Israel. Kind of overdramatic, but I guess he wanted his point across? In my art history class in high school we had to remember the different time periods for ancient artwork, and we remembered the Assyrians as the ASS-ryians. They were not very friendly people in general, so their leader was no exception, that is for sure. Shalmaneser took all the Israelites into captivity in Assyria. “And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,” 2 Kings 17:7. So throwing in this verse shows how God was punishing them for pretty to appreciating their Savior and continuing to worship idols rather than their LORD. Thank God for Jesus, because goodness only knows what would happen to the nations of today in this considered “post-church” era. There are two paragraphs in this chapter about what all the Israelites had done to make God angry, and in verse 11 it says, “provoking God to anger.” God is patient with them but they continue to ignore him. This stuff was happening for hundreds of years and I guess God was saying enough is enough. God eventually removed all of the Israelites other than the tribe of Judah. God did allow all of the Israelites to be plundered, and had them removed from their land. God wanted them out of their sight aka in Assyria. This next part is surreal and shows how evident God is in our lives, no matter what people may think…atheist or agnostic, how can you deny this. So Assyria had new ethnicities move into Samaria (Israel) and they refused to worship God, so what does God do? He sends in lions to eat them. To prevent these new groups of being killed the Assyrian king sent a priest that was in Samaria previously before being exiled to Assyria back in order to change the people’s hearts to the Lord. Shalmaneser obviously feared the Lord. The people that moved into Samaria were similar to the Assyrian king…they feared the Lord but continued to worship their other gods. 

Now refocusing onto Judah! Hezekiah rules Judah for 29 years and he was wonderful in the eyes of the LORD; he even lived on the same level of David! Which with the other good kings there is always that sentence that says they did not live up to David’s legacy, but Hezekiah does! He did what others had yet to do! He removed the high places and pillars and idols! God was with him always and the Bible says that none would rule as great as he did after he was done. Hezekiah was able to stand up to Assyria because God was there to support him! Hezekiah was able to prosper as king! Eventually Assyria kept on threatening Judah though, even after they lost, and Hezekiah began to give them silver, gold, and other treasures so that Assyria would leave Judah alone. The rest of the chapter tells of Assyrian people speaking about how Judah should surrender because Assyria always win and that God would give Judah to Assyria like he had done with Israel. The soldiers that were speaking beforehand were going around telling the people of Judah that Hezekiah was a bad person and that they should be turning to their “other gods” aka false gods for help, not Hezekiah and the LORD. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how the people of Judah respond to the Assyrians! The people were silent. Not a peep was said, because Hezekiah had told them that the Assyrians would try to persuade them and the best thing to do was to remain silent no matter what. 

I cannot wait to post about the next chapters because Isaiah will be thrown into the storyline! Isaiah is just an amazing prophet, and his book is awesome! So much insight from the prophecies that God gave him to share with us all! 

Hebrews 12:11

I have been on vacation with my family so I have not been able to post! However I have still been keeping up with studying the word and memorization. This is the verse for this week! This week the verse revolves around the theme of the week which is a word study on “discipline,” “diligence,” and “self-control.” All hardships we face are a test for us to go through with God. Like a common metaphor throughout the Bible, being with God is like a race, a race where you never give up and instead of winning a trophy, you win an eternal life. 

 

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