Although it is difficult to imagine… things have gone from bad to worse for the once blessed nation of Israel, God’s chosen people. For the northern 10-tribes of Israel, they are in such constant turmoil and violence that is almost unheard of in our modern world. Their continual choice to “do evil in the sight of the Lord” has caused their once prosperous kingdom to slowly and methodically descend into barbaric chaos. Assassinations and treachery rule the day – with kings even going as far as to rip open pregnant women in an effort to secure their power and fortune (2 Kings 15:16). Each king, presented with the option to return the kingdom back to the ways of God and their ancestors – instead chooses to follow the path of recent generation – causing the people to creep further into sin and chaos. (I find it disheartening that each King is referenced to Jeroboam, the son of Nebalt, in level of evil committed. That is what Jeroboam was remembered for years. This causes me to consider what my legacy will be remembered for…).

The southern 2-tribes of Judah are not fairing much better. Although they are not quite as evil as their northern brothers, (some even being described as “doing right in the eyes of the Lord”) – it seems with them as well there is only partial obedience. For with each king of Judah we see the same label… “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord… EXCEPT he failed to remove the high places and allowed the people to burn incense there”. (paraphrase mine). What this indictment is saying is that, although the kings of Judah seemed to follow the Lord a bit more closely then their northern counterparts – they still allowed idolatry and the worship of foreign false gods to permeate the land. This resulted in longer reigns for the kings (52 years for Uzziah – also known as Azariah), yet still kept them from experiencing the full blessing of obedience – and ended with their future total destruction by Babylon.

During these years of evil and barbaric sin – there were Prophets who were speaking the Words of God… warning (sometimes even pleading with) God’s people to change, turn their hearts back to God, repent, and again walk in His favor. As we read through the short accounts of these evil kings – keep in mind that the prophetic books of Isaiah, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Jonah, and Micah were all written during this time.

At the end of 2 Kings 15 we see a foreboding sign which should serve as not only a foreshadowing, but also a warning for us today. Right smack dab in the midst of evil kings and murder and treachery… we see the first mention of Assyria coming to power and beginning to invade the land of Israel. While God’s people were busy rejecting God’s ways and gallivanting in sin – a powerful enemy kingdom was growing stronger to the east – multiplying and consuming land around them. Assyria is beginning to encroach on the Promise Land which God had given to His people years before… and would eventually overtake God’s people and destroy them.

Sin brings death… and the enemy silently plots while we abandon our posts to dabble in it.

Be Fruitful & Multiply,