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.