Tuesday, 2nd November 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-6 Walk into Destruction
The more we read about the history of Israel in the Books of I Kings and II Kings, the more we see how God is so real and faithful, He walked in front of the Israelites all this time, guided them, and led them. However, the Israelites were stubborn, faithless, rebellious, and corrupted. Let us learn from the era of the kings, do not follow the mistakes of the Israelites, but to gather our treasures in Heaven. God led Moses and Joshua to build up the nation of Israel, through the promise God had given to Jacob. It started as a nation full of hope, promises and blessings, but the people turned away from God and walked into their own destruction.
V1 ‘In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years.’ The name of Hoshea means ‘to save’, why would anyone name their children like this? It showed how the era was not peaceful, therefore, they needed a king to come and save them. But it was God, who they should rely on, not people. God continued to delay the time of destruction of Israelites, because He wanted to give them the opportunity to turn back from their wicked ways. Yet, the Israelites did not want to face God, they still lived in their own lifestyles, worshipped the false gods, and relied on people instead of relying on God. Again and again, God gave them grace, but they refused to repent; we are also like this, we choose to live our lives according to our own ways, even though we have heard the teaching of God through our authority.
God’s promise was great, but the life of the kings stayed the same, they did not want to be elevated by God. They still wanted to be the king of Israel but did not want to live according to God’s standards. We are often like this, as Christians, we want to inherit the blessings of God, but we are running away from our responsibilities to live according to God’s ways and principles. How can we become the light and salt of this generation? How can we be seen as a positive influence in our surroundings? To let go of our own stubbornness and rebellious ways, but to follow God’s way.
This is the end times, we must face it with boldness, not to hide in the dark or run away from our responsibilities. The judgement will come, and God will deal with us, so what is our attitude? King Hoshea was born with the expectation to save the Israelites, but when he chose to seek help from the world instead of from God, he failed Israel.
Section Two V7-23 The Reason of Destruction
V7-8 ‘For so it was that the children 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 they had feared other gods, and had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.’ The Israelites chose to separate themselves from God. Separation is a painful process, but God continued to give them opportunities to return and repent; to send great prophets, such as Elijah and Elisha, to the kings of Israel and serve them. But the ten tribes of Israel were in complete stubbornness. Their eyes were so blind, and their ears were so deaf that they could not see or hear any of God’s doings for them!
Section Three V24-41 Carry the Name Without its Values
V34 ‘To this day they continue practicing the former rituals; they do not fear the Lord, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances, or the law and commandment which the Lord had commanded the children of Jacob, whom He named Israel.’ The name Israel means ‘God’s Presence’, God was with the Israelites, but the people bought in the earthly religious rituals into the promised land of God. A lot of times, when we come to church, we still bring with us the earthly values and teachings. We want to change the world as Christians, but instead, we were changed by this world.
God loves us and He is continuing to give us opportunity to return, but what is our choice? To live in God’s promise or live in our old ways?
列王纪下 17 – 无神的国
V2-4 何细亚 身为被神所拣选的十个支派的王，竟然去服侍外邦人亚述王，而他不仅没有向耶和华求助，竟然还违背神的规定回到埃及求埃及王的帮助。
这一段开头（V7 ）就解释了以色列败亡的原因。以色列原本是跟神在一起的，但他们选择“脱离”神。这个脱离是让神很痛的，然而神还是派下很多有能力的仆人（比如以利亚、以利沙）去服事以色列的君王，给他们机会回转。可惜，以色列完全的顽梗叛逆，选择去拜自己的金牛犊，建筑丘坛在上面烧香，又立了不同的偶像、敬拜假神（v9-12, 14-17）。以色列从耶罗波安到何细亚所行的每一件事, 神都知道。神一路的施怜悯慈爱，以色列一路的试探神的底线，结果失去神的应许。无神的国是会败亡的，所以“以色列人从本地被掳到亚述，直到今日”（V23）。