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Summary: A promise given to David centuries ago led to the birth of a baby in Bethlehem.

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A CHRISTMAS PROMISE

Text: 2 Kings 16:1 – 9

Introduction:

• Title of sermon is “A Christmas Promise”

• What does this text have to do with Christmas?

• Israel was ruled by Saul for 40 years, by David for 40 years, and then by Solomon for 40 years.

• Following the death of Solomon, Israel split into 2 kingdoms:

o 10 tribes in the north formed the northern kingdom and retained the name “Israel”, also referred to as “Ephraim”

 Immediately fell into idolatry and rebelled against God

 At this time, northern kingdom had been ruled by 17 kings, all evil

 Pekah, 18th king, had become king by conspiring against and killing the previous king

o Two tribes in the south formed the southern kingdom, retaining the name of the larger of the two tribes, “Judah”

 Ruled by several good kings

 Ahaz was not one of those good kings

2 Chronicles 28

o He sacrificed his own children to an idol by burning them alive

o Cut the vessels of the House of God into pieces and shut up the temple

o Made pagan altars in every corner of Jerusalem

o Provoked the Lord God of his fathers to anger

o v. 22 – “…and in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord: this is that king Ahaz.”

o North of the northern kingdom was Syria, ruled by king Rezin

 Throughout her history, Syria had been a foe to the Israelites

 David had defeated them, but Solomon lost control over the region

 Following kings had problems with Syria

o North of Syria was Assyria, ruled by Tiglath-Pileser III

 Assyrians were becoming the new super power, replacing Israel

 Assyrians known for their ruthlessness and cruelty to prisoners (that’s why Jonah didn’t want to go the capital city – Ninevah)

• Syria and northern kingdoms were enemies, but both were being threatened by the growing power of the Assyrians

o Decided to form a confederacy to fight against the Assyrians

o Ahaz invited to join the confederacy, but refused

o Northern kingdom and Syria invade Judah to conquer Jerusalem and put a puppet king on the throne that would join their confederacy

o 2 Chronicles 28:5 says that God allowed this invasion to take place to punish Ahaz for his wicked deeds

o In one day 120,000 of the people of Judah were killed, including the son of Ahaz and Ahaz’s second in command

o Also, 200,000 women and children taken into captivity

o The Edomites and Philistines were raiding Judah as well

o 2 Chronicles 28 also says that all this still did not cause Ahaz to turn to God – instead, he chose to ask the Assyrians for their help

• That’s where the Christmas promise comes in

I. A promise was made to David

o Rewind 300 years

o 2 Samuel 7:11b – 16

 David would have a child, who would succeed him and establish his kingdom (fulfilled about two years later with the birth of Solomon)

 This son would build the temple instead of David (fulfilled when Solomon completed the temple about 40 years later)

 The throne will not be taken away from him even though his sins justify it (fulfilled when Solomon died as king of the united kingdom)


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