THE STORY OF KINGS AND PROPHETS #5:
THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF ISRAEL
(Pastor Chris Jordan – Beausejour Church)
To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
INTRO TO THE STORY:
Discuss the nation of Israel through King Saul, David and Samuel. The Divided Kingdom: The Northern Kingdom of Israel (20 bad kings) and the Southern Kingdom of Judah (8 good kings, 12 bad kings). God sent prophets calling His people to repent.
BACKGROUND TO THE STORY: THE FALL OF ISRAEL:
“1 Hoshea son of Elah began to rule over Israel in the twelfth year of King Ahaz’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria nine years. 2 He did what was evil in the LORD ’s sight, but not to the same extent as the kings of Israel who ruled before him. 3 King Shalmaneser of Assyria attacked King Hoshea, so Hoshea was forced to pay heavy tribute to Assyria. 4 But Hoshea stopped paying the annual tribute and conspired against the king of Assyria by asking King So of Egypt to help him shake free of Assyria’s power. When the king of Assyria discovered this treachery, he seized Hoshea and put him in prison. 5 Then the king of Assyria invaded the entire land, and for three years he besieged the city of Samaria. 6 Finally, in the ninth year of King Hoshea’s reign, Samaria fell, and the people of Israel were exiled to Assyria…” (2 Kings 17:1-6, NLT).
- Hoshea was the twentieth and final evil king in Israel.
- After 208 years, God said, “Enough is enough!”
“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.” But the Israelites would not listen. They were as stubborn as their ancestors who had refused to believe in the LORD their God.” (2 Kings 17:13-14).
- v.15-17 – they worshipped false idols, copied the world, rejected God’s commandments, practiced witchcraft, sorcery and fortune telling and sacrificed their children.
- “Because the LORD was very angry with Israel, he swept them away from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah remained in the land.” (v.18).
- The 10 tribes of Northern Israel were scattered and became the “lost tribes.”
THE BIG IDEA: The story of Hezekiah teaches us that when we honour and obey God, He blesses us. But when we choose to rebel and reject Him, there are always negative consequences.
1. HEZEKIAH: ONE OF THE GOOD KINGS IN JUDAH:
“Hezekiah son of Ahaz began to rule over Judah in the third year of King Hoshea’s reign in Israel. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. He did what was pleasing in the LORD ’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done.” (2 Kings 18:1-3, NLT).
- It’s important to note that Hezekiah’s dad, Ahaz, was an evil king.
- Note: Just because you may have had bad parents or a bad past doesn’t mean you can’t do something great for God! Forget the past, and move forward into your destiny!
“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. He remained faithful to the LORD in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the LORD had given Moses. So the LORD was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did. He revolted against the king of Assyria and refused to pay him tribute.” (2 Kings 18:5-7).
- What a great example King Hezekiah is for us to follow!
- He trusted God, was faithful to the Lord, and God was with him and prospered him.
- Hezekiah refused to give in to the evil king of Assyria and give him tribute.
- “In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, King Sennacherib of Assyria came to attack the fortified towns of Judah and conquered them.” (2 Kings 18:13).
- Sometimes, like we saw with Israel, when we disobey God, there are great consequences.
- However, sometimes, like Hezekiah, we might do what’s right and still face opposition!
2. HEZEKIAH’S GREATEST CHALLENGE:
“Then the Assyrian king’s chief of staff told them to give this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the great king of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you so confident?” (2 Kings 18:19).
- When you go through challenging or impossible situations, what are YOU trusting in?
- What did Hezekiah do in his day of trouble?
a. Hezekiah humbled himself:
“When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes and put on burlap and went into the Temple of the LORD.” (2 Kings 19:1).
- When we go through hard times, we need to humble ourselves and look to God for help.
- If you have sinned, confess that sin and ask God for forgiveness: So important!
b. Hezekiah sought help from God’s people:
“And he sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, all dressed in burlap, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.” (2 Kings 19:2).
- When we go through tough times, we can find help from God’s family – His church.
c. Hezekiah found comfort from God’s words:
“And Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.” (2 Kings 19:6, NKJV).
- When we go through challenging trials, we can find comfort from the Bible.
d. Hezekiah prayed:
“15 And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the LORD: “O LORD, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. 16 Bend down, O LORD, and listen! Open your eyes, O LORD, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God. 17 “It is true, LORD, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. 18 And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. 19 Now, O LORD our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O LORD, are God.” (2 Kings 19:15-19, NLT).
- When you pray: Remind yourself who God is, tell God what you need Him to do for you.
- “Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer about King Sennacherib of Assyria.” (2 Kings 19:20).
3. HEZEKIAH’S VICTORY FROM THE LORD:
“That night the angel of the LORD went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. When the surviving Assyrians woke up the next morning, they found corpses everywhere. Then King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and returned to his own land. He went home to his capital of Nineveh and stayed there.” (2 Kings 19:35-36).
- Because Hezekiah humbled himself and prayed, God fought his battle for him!
Why did Israel fall to Assyria, but God gave Judah victory over the same enemy?
“15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20, NKJV).
- When we honour and obey God, He blesses us.
- But when we choose to rebel and reject Him, there are always negative consequences.
Pastor’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/