Fasting Devotional – Day Nineteen Text: II Kings 17:1-41
Written by: Sarah Hale
In II Kings 17, Hoshea is the 20th and final king in the history of Israel before they were taken into exile by Assyria. Israel (northern kingdom) came to an end more than a century before Judah (southern kingdom) ended. The main reason for this early destruction is that Israel never had any kings that ‘did right in the eyes of the Lord’. God allowed Israel to be taken captive because Israel would ‘not listen’. In fact, ‘not listening’ is basically the theme for Israel. Each new king and the people as well had a chance to follow God and change the course of the nation by doing ‘right in the eyes of the Lord’. Why would they not listen? God even sent a long line of prophets and seers to warn the people. (v 13) Still they would not listen.
When Israel first conquered the land years before, they were told to completely destroy the pagan influences that could lead them away from God. This ‘not listening’ to God had been going on for years and years. The Assyrian resettlement plan happening in this chapter, had the Israelites scattered among people from all different nations. The Israelites’ unfaithful hearts tended to worship the pagan gods of their neighbor’s even though God had commanded them, “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them.” (v 35)
What are you tempted by that you see others doing? What attitudes or actions are holding you captive?
Each of us has the chance to listen to and follow God wholeheartedly and ‘do what is right in the eyes of the Lord’. As we move into Freedom Weekend, I challenge each of us to have malleable hearts that are open to listening to God’s teaching.
Prayer Lord, help us to listen to you and to follow you with all my heart, that I might do what is right in your eyes. In Jesus’ name, Amen!