2 Kings 17:1-18
In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel, and he reigned nine years. 2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him. 3 Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria. And Hoshea became his vassal and paid him tribute. 4 But the king of Assyria found treachery in Hoshea, for he had sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year.
Therefore the king of Assyria shut him up and bound him in prison. 5 Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and came to Samaria, and for three years he besieged it.
6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria, and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
7 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 8 and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel, and in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced.
9 And the people of Israel did secretly against the Lord their God things that were not right.
They built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. 10 They set up for themselves pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, 11 and there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the Lord carried away before them.
And they did wicked things, provoking the Lord to anger, 12 and they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this.” 13 Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.”
14 But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been,
who did not believe in the Lord their God.
15 They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the Lord had commanded them that they should not do like them.
16 And they abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. 1
7 And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight.
None was left but the tribe of Judah only.
How will we condense this Scripture passage into a Psalm - the way David did so many times?
Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!
The people of Samaria had sins. The people of Israel were sacrificing children for their infant blood to make prosperity and security. None of this was apparent. They did away with their faith - like we read about people 2,000 years later tell us the honest people inspired by the Holy Spirit did not write Scripture.(This makes it easier to say Scripture is not the Word of God.)
Where will we put our trust as times and seasons change?
Thanks to God, we can put our faith in Jesus Christ. His promises are faithful. Not in Isaiah, who had 2 kings utterly ignore him. Not in Hezekiah who stripped gold off the Temple doors to pay to Assyria before suddenly becoming braver in Father God Almighty.
Today, we know utterly and completely all have fallen and are sinful. We do not see people wandering around with right hands and eyes removed. Instead we have to say we rely upon Jesus and trust Jesus to be our righteousness. In Jesus, we will not forsake what we can do and will not claim cheap grace.
Instead when we are Noah and have collapsed in alcohol, we will cry out to Jesus as Lord and pray for strength. We will not shrug and give up on our children's futures like Hezekiah did, and we will ask Jesus for His steadfast Love and mercy and diligently ask Him. We will pray not to succumb like David in temptation and ask Jesus the Lord to offer us His shelter. We will pray to expect the goodness of Father God like Abraham spoke up and sought the mercy of God. We will ask in prayer like David did when told God had answered and have a sneaking suspicion of God's Grace with His compassion.
David knew like Job. Like Paul, Like Peter. Like John. God's mercy is without fail in Jesus. We will not hope to cause Father God pain.
Instead seeking to give the one gift Father God did not give us first - gratitude. Gratitude for Jesus, without compare. And in His Vast Love we will find our strength rise up like Hezekiah and Isaiah to find strength in times of need.
LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans.
Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar.
When we come to the time for decisions, the best choice is to Trust the Lord God. God's nature does not change.
19"God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? 20 "Behold, I have received a command to bless; When He has blessed, then I cannot revoke it.
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.
18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things
in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.
19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.
The question is never that we are good enough. The answer is God's grace is unearned. The answer eternal is The Name of Jesus - the fulfilling of God - is what has become our righteousness. And we should never hope to forget or be ungrateful for the Extreme Mercy of God Father Almighty, who has given Himself - for us.
Father God, please cover me with Your Name and Your Righteousness. We ask for blessings and give thanks for Your Healing Word. Please cover the one's I love. Cover this nation in Jesus Christ. We will continue to be saved. We believe You, Father God. Thank You in Jesus! Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †