Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Jewish Exile

ISRAEL (northern 10 tribes) - Summary account - 2 Kings 17  - about 722 BC

1.  The Seige (3 years)

2.  The fall of the capital city of Samaria

3.  Deportation of the Jews

4.  Importation - of other conquered peoples into the land

5.  Melding (merging/mixing) - of beliefs & practices

6.  Samaritans - from this mixing - of Jesus' day.

JUDAH (southern two tribes) - Summary account - 2 Kings 24 & 25

605 BC - (Jehoiakim) - 1st attack by Babylon and deportation - this included Daniel.   Then Judah becomes a vassal kingdom and THEN they rebelled

597 BC - (Jehoichin) - took the throne during the siege after his father's rebellion - at age 18 - reigned 3 months and 10 days!!
Then the 2nd. attack by Babylon & deportation - this one included Ezekiel.  The temple was stripped!!  and Zedekiah, Jehoichin's uncle, was placed on the throne by king of Babylon.

586 BC- Zedekiah rebelled - siege, famine, fall.  His sons were all killed, he was blinded and deported to Babylon along with another group of the people.  Jerusalem was destroyed!!  All the Babylonians left behind were the very poorest of the poor.

All along, the prophet Jeremiah told the kings they'd better not rebel as this was God's hand of retribution.

2 Kings 25:21 (b) - "so Judah went into captivity away from her land" - the land God had promised to them, but because of continued sin - exile.


GOD IS FAITHFUL - we like to think that God's faithfulness is all nice, sugar and spice.  No, God is righteous, just, etc.
"God is Faithful" could be the lesson of every sermon:
         The Patriarchs - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, 12 sons
         Egypt - seeking relief from famine
         The Exodus - around 1450 BC - God sends Moses into Egypt to free his people
         The (40 years) Wandering (the rebellion) - after came out of Egypt - 1st. generation refused to go in and take the land
         The Conquest - leadership passed to Joshua - 2nd generation went in and settled the land, although were still pockets of the original inhabitants
         The Judges - no strong leader - the people fell into sin, God let them be conquered by the neighboring peoples, they cried out for help, God raised up a judge who led them into conquest, they prospered, the judge died, they fell back into sin, etc., etc., etc.
         The Kings - Saul, David, Solomon - under Solomon, Israel reached the golden age.  When Solomon died his son, Rehoboam took over - he was tougher than Solomon.
               The Divided Kingdom - The 10 northern tribes pulled away from Rehoboam and set Jeroboam up as king.  He established two temples of worship - one in the north at Dan and one in the south at Bethel and set up golden calves so the gods who led them out of Egypt.  The next 200 years saw Israel (the northern 10 tribes) slide down, down, down.  20 kings - all did evil in the sight of the Lord.
722 BC - taken over by Assyria - deported & imported.
             The 2 southern tribes, Benjamin and Judah (Judah) - held on longer but started the downhill slide as well.  586 BC - conquered by Babylon.  Had a few good kings who brought reform but the downward slide couldn't be stopped.

I.  God is Faithful to His WORD - Lam. 2:17 (a) - Remember???  Renewal of the Covenant??? - Mt. Gerizim/Mt. Ebal - blessings and cursings - Deut. 28:45-52 - promise in God's word.
So..... read John 3:18 - Take it serious!!  Because God is faithful to His Word!!
Not our place to revamp, re-apply, revise it.
Example:  recent popular bumper sticker:  "God said it, I believe it, that settles it"  Not true!!  "God said it, that settles it"  Makes no difference if we believe it or not.

II.  God is faithful to His Purpose -
Which is:  draw all men to Him  - example:  John 12:32   ie:  reveals Himself to draw men

Question:  How does the exile accomplish this??? - Ezek. 6:8-10, 12-14
Point being:  He reveals Himself in discouragement, tragedy, as well as in blessings/prosperity.
The exile is for the salvation of Israel - couldn't teach it in the prosperity

(Having said I & II, we can now say...)
III.  God is Faithful to His People - this has to come after I & II
means He is faithful, dependable, trustworthy in His dealings with you .... what we need.
Does not mean He is faithful to give what you want, desire, assume, think you should have.
Example:  Jesus - John 2:23-24 - "I will be your king, but I will not do what you want me to do."  He is not obligated to your idea of faithfulness.

On one hand, this is hard to accept.  However, Heb. 12:5-12

SUMMARY:  Jeremiah said "exile" - false prophets said "no way!  God is faithful!!"  They were, in fact, denying God's faithfulness!!!  Because He is faithful to His Word and His purpose.

APPLICATION:  God is Faithful!  You CAN depend on Him.... BUT, best get in line with Him ... not faithful to do what the masses say, TV preachers say, etc.
Because He IS faithful to His Word, His purpose, Him self first.  2 Tim. 2:13  Also, trust that if you Don't accept the Son, there is NO other way to the Father.

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