Bible Verse for Today:
“At that time the Lord began to make Israel smaller…” 2 Kings 10:32 NCV
This brief statement important not to overlook. In some ways it seems strange in terms of its timing. King Jehu of Israel led one of the few revivals. He ended Baal worship, destroyed the family of wicked King Ahab but even with these reforms, the Lord began to reduce Israel’s territory.
Israel was the “northern kingdom” consisting of ten tribes of Israel. Solomon’s kingdom was divided into two nations following his death, due to his idolatry. Israel established its capital city as Samaria but failed to follow the Lord whole-heartedly.
In these days the strength and economic well-being of a nation was tied to its size and how many other cities that it ruled. This represented economic, military and political power.
At the end of Jehu’s reign Syria began to capture some cities and regions that belonged to Israel. But this was not a prolonged downward slide. Over the reigns of nine more kings, battles would be won by Israel, territory would be reclaimed, but it would end one day with Assyria taking Samaria and the people of Israel captive.
2 Kings 17 gives the indictment against Israel, All these things happened because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God…They lived as their evil kings had shown them, secretly sinning against the Lord their God… And they refused to listen to his warnings. They worshiped useless idols and became useless themselves. 2 Kings 17:7-15 (for full description)
What is important to understand is that the people did not totally reject the Lord. There were many who were faithful. Prophets spoke God’s message and sounded the warnings. There were times of repentance and revival, but there was not a serious and prolonged commitment to follow the Lord’s ways. Instead they were more influenced by the culture of the day and the customs of other nations.
As I view current events, I wonder if America is at one of these turning points. I believe we can observe many “water shed” moments in our nation’s history and in culture. But as a friend recently commented, “I didn’t think I would see things change so drasticallty and so fast as they have in recent months.”
I recall after the 2018 election in Colorado and seeing significant changes in the political structure as a reult of the election, a more politically astute friend of mine commented optimistically that “we will see things shift back.” My response was “I hope so, but I see this as a more significant change than just normal political cycles.”
How should we respond? What does this mean? We need to remember, the Lord is in control. The scripture says, “the Lord began to reduce the size of Israel.” We must keep our eyes on the Lord and seek to understand what is happening from a spiritual and eternal perspective.
We need to be a voice. Just as the Lord’s prophets spoke truth to power and to a culture in decline. We must do the same.
We need to be on guard against the downward spiral of culture. Paul gave these admonitions,
Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. Colossians 2:8 NLT
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Romans 12:2 NLT
But all this is only possible when we follow the Lord completely, whole-hearedly. No compromise. No accomdation. So we pray for a spiritual turning point. One back to the Lord and His ways.