Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 17:1-18:12, Acts 20:1-38, Psalm 148:1-14, Proverbs 18:6-7
Israel is conquered and deported to Assyria in today’s reading. The kings and people of Israel ignored the warnings of the prophets, turned away from God, disobeyed His instructions and worshiped other gods, as recorded in 2 Kings 17:7, 13.
7 This disaster came upon the people of Israel because they worshiped other gods. They sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them safely out of Egypt and had rescued them from the power of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.
13 Again and again the Lord had sent his prophets and seers to warn both Israel and Judah: “Turn from all your evil ways. Obey my commands and decrees—the entire law that I commanded your ancestors to obey, and that I gave you through my servants the prophets.”
The king of Assyria sent people from other nations to occupy Israel so that the land would not be overrun. Initially they were killed by lions, until they learned to worship the true God, having been instructed by a priest from Israel, but even then, these newcomers did not worship God alone, as recorded in 2 Kings 17:34.
34 And this is still going on today. They continue to follow their former practices instead of truly worshiping the Lord and obeying the decrees, regulations, instructions, and commands he gave the descendants of Jacob, whose name he changed to Israel.
In contrast, Hezekiah, king of Judah, was fully devoted to God, moreso than any other king in the history of Israel.
5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. 6 He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the Lord had given Moses.
The distinction is very clear. God wanted Israel and Judah (and us) to follow Him and Him alone.