August 17, 2020 Calvary Baptist Temple

2 KIngs 15-16: Honoring God

2 KIngs 15-16: Honoring God

By Allan Bosson

We are now into our thirty-third week of outlined Bible readings as we read through the Bible in one year. This week our readings cover portions from five books. Some of the readings are found in the Old Testament and some in the New. I want, however, to cover only the first of the outlined readings that we find in 2 Kings 15-16. These are sad chapters in the history of the Jewish people. As you read them, if you are like me, it is very easy to become upset and annoyed at the behavior of these Israelites. It is easy to ask the question, why are these people living like this when they know the practice of their lifestyle is so dishonoring and offensive to God? Also, God had made it clear, “If you honor Me I will honor you, but if you dishonor Me by your lifestyle, I will judge you severely” 1 Sam 2:30. We continue to notice, however, as these people stumble along doing their own thing in defiance of God their national and personal situation only gets worse. So why do they not stop and turn back in repentance to God? Why will they not seek the help of the God who got them out of 400 years of slavery in Egypt? Their God had provided miraculously for them for forty years in the wilderness and then enabled them to defeat the Canaanites and possess the land they were promised.

Notice in this passage also, that we are dealing with a divided nation. Gone were the days when the Jews were one people under the Godly leadership of King David then later King Solomon. Now we have two nations of Jews: ten tribes called Israel in the North, and two tribes called Judah in the South. As we know, Judah, the southern nation, for many years, was the more godly of the two nations because, at times, they had good, God honoring leadership. But ultimately both groups failed. Israel ended up in captivity in Assyria in 721 BC, while Judah was conquered by the Babylonians in 606 BC and taken as captives to Babylon.  The big question is how could this happen to a nation of people who had the God of all creation as their God, along with His laws and commandments to guide them and protect them?

The answer is actually very simple and should be most enlightening to all Christians today, but alas, in many cases it is not. Listen, just because a person knows about the God of all creation and His sovereign promises to all mankind, and even has in his possession God’s infallible Word, that in itself is not a means of eternal security. You can be raised in a Christian home, go to a God fearing, Bible teaching church, be surrounded by “good Christian influences” all during your young life, but unless you personally believe in the God of the Bible and prove it in living by His commandments and standards (1 Jn 5:1-5)  you are nothing more than a well-educated, well informed, confident and comfortable sinner carrying out the wishes of the god of this world. That was the problem with the nations of Israel and Judah. It was not that they did not have a grip on the right information. The problem was the right information never had a grip on them and their eternal soul. What a word this is for us today.