Summary: The nation is divided, the end is near, but God is faithful!
• SLIDE #1
• The whole premise of The Story has been that since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden that God has been in pursuit of man. God has been pursuing us with His love!
• Part of God’s pursuit of us was that He established a nation, a notion like no other.
• The nation from a lower story perspective has been a huge disappointment, but in God’s Upper Story, the constant rebellion of His choose people served as an opportunity of us to see the depth of the love that God has for us.
• The rebellious nation showed the depths of which God will go to keep the door open for you to be with Him.
• When the nation began, God was the king, but as we have seen that was not good enough for the people, they wanted a king so they would be like the other nations.
• God told them what would happen if they chose a king over Him, and over time it happened.
• After David, came Solomon, then after Solomon, because of his sin against God, the nation was divided into two weaker nation.
• SLIDE #2
• This division took place in 931 BC. The Northern Kingdom consisted of 10 tribes while the Southern Kingdom was comprised of 2, Judah and Benjamin.
• The split was foretold by God to Solomon as punishment for Solomon drifting away from God.
• His Son Rehoboam facilitated the divide by not listening to the counsel of the older advisors.
• Both Northern and Southern kingdoms had their issues, both were a mess. The Northern Kingdom was in particularly bad shape spiritually while the South would have a mixture of good and bad kings.
• As we look at the harsh story of the fall of Israel, we always need to keep an eye on God’s upper story of faith and love.
• These nations were as they were by choice, God sent several Prophets in to try to warn the people of what would happen if they continued on their respective paths.
• Here is the thing to remember, GOD still LOVED them.
• I pray that we NEVER lose sight of the fact that no matter how far we have drifted, God has not turned His back on you.
• Let’s begin our journey into chapter 16 of The Story by first examining…
• SLIDE #3
I. The fall of the Northern Kingdom.
• The nation of Israel split in 931 BC. During that time the Northern Kingdom had 19 kings, none of which were any good.
• All 19 were evil in the sight of God. As we get close to the fall of the North it is 721 BC. Hoshea would be the last of a long line of terrible Kings.
• Throughout the time of the Divided Nation, they were surrounded by very powerful massive nations.
• To the Southwest was Egypt, to the Southwest, Babylon was on the rise and to the northeast was the biggest meanie on the block, the Assyrians!
• In order for some of the smaller nations not to get overtaken by the big bullies on the block, they would form an alliance with the more powerful nations and they would pay tribute to them.
• Well the Assyrian king found out that Hoshea had decided to no longer pay tribute to Assyria and instead Hoshea was aligning himself with Egypt.
• Shalmaneser, (SHALL A ME SER) the king of Assyria attacked, took Hoshea and laid siege to Samaria for three years before finally dropping the hammer on them in 722 and deporting many of the Northern Kingdom people to Assyria.
• They did this in order to help curtail the chance of rebellion, to dilute the population.
• The reason God allowed this to take place is found in verses 7-9 in 2 Kings 17.
• SLIDE #4
• 2 Kings 17:7–9 (NIV) All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods and followed the practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced. The Israelites secretly did things against the LORD their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns.
• What happened was not a result of Assyria being stronger, it was a result of the evil the nation had participated in, and the kings was the ringmasters.
• God shows a lot of patience, the Northern kingdom lasted about 202 years, 202 years, 19 kings and none could get it right.