The New Testament says that all scripture was written for our learning. In the history of Israel, we can see our own personal history and the history of all peoples.
2 Kings 17 gives an interesting recounting of Israel’s history. In particular three things are repeated throughout the chapter and/or stood to me.
- God brought Israel out of Egypt. Egypt symbolized the world. Like Israel, God has brought out of the world all that believe in Jesus And, that is his desire for all that don’t believe yet. Because God brought us out of Egypt, he is to be worshiped. 2 Kings 17 actually says he is to be feared, or held in awe.
- Israel feared other gods. Even though they had been brought out of Egypt by God in great power, Israel feared other gods, the gods of the people in the lands around them. As Christians, God has brought us out of the world. But, are we still fearing other gods? Are we trying to mix the fear of these other gods with obedience to the Lord? What are the things I fear, or hold in awe? It’s as simple as looking at what I spend most of my time on. Or, what do I devote myself to that isn’t Jesus? By the way, God hates mixture. He wants us pure.
- God sent prophets to warn Israel. The chapter says that every prophet and every seer was sent to warn Israel that they were not fearing God or keeping his commandments and that Israel should repent. What did Israel do to these prophets? They killed them. They didn’t want to hear what they were saying. God has sent us Jesus to tell us to repent because the kingdom of God was here. Are we listening? Or do we seek to kill Jesus so we don’t have to hear what he is saying? Are we listening to those Jesus uses to speak a word of repentance to us? Or do we hate them, mock them, laugh at them, tell them they are wrong, etc.? Am I willing to listen to a word of correction that God brings however he brings it? Because in addition to the prophets, when Israel failed to listen to them, God brought them Assyria and Babylon to persecute them. Let us listen to his word so he doesn’t send us an oppressor.