2 Kings 17:1-23:
When Jacob, father of Joseph, came to Egypt, he came with his twelve sons. These sons became the 12 tribes of Israel who eventually Moses led from Egypt. During the reign of Solomon, two of the tribes did not follow Solomon. Judah and Benjamin separated from the other ten tribes. They called themselves Judah (southern kingdom) and the other ten remained as Israel (northern kingdom). This was the beginning of the temporary collapse of both kingdoms.
In this chapter, God was not very pleased with Israel. Israel kept sinning against God, worshiping other gods and being influenced and following the ways of the nearby pagan nations. After Solomon, the next twenty kings were all bad and did not follow God. God sent Assyria to overcome Israel and bring them into captivity.
Israel received the full punishment from God for their continued disobedience. Have you ever felt distant from God, in a downward spiral with your life or feel abandoned by God? Israel would not listen to prophets, kings or God. My wife and I struggled through her cancer twice. All of us handle hard times differently. At times, Patti and I felt God was at a distant until we trusted and found Him still very near. We were the ones that had moved away from God and stopped listening. During this week, pray using verses 13 and 14, asking God to help you listen more to Him. Look at what and who is influencing your walk with God and pray for direction forward. Are you on God’s path or yours?