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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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Pastors Pen - April 26, 2007
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April 26, 2007

II Kings 15-17
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II Kings
Chapter 15
  1. In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign.
  2. Sixteen years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned two and fifty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem.
  3. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done;
  4. Save that the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places.
  5. And the LORD smote the king, so that he was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house. And Jotham the king's son was over the house, judging the people of the land.
  6. And the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
  7. So Azariah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.
  8. In the thirty and eighth year of Azariah king of Judah did Zachariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria six months.
  9. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his fathers had done: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
  10. And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him before the people, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.
  11. And the rest of the acts of Zachariah, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
  12. This was the word of the LORD which he spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation. And so it came to pass.
  13. Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the nine and thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned a full month in Samaria.
  14. For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and smote Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.
  15. And the rest of the acts of Shallum, and his conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
  16. Then Menahem smote Tiphsah, and all that were therein, and the coasts thereof from Tirzah: because they opened not to him, therefore he smote it; and all the women therein that were with child he ripped up.
  17. In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria.
  18. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
  19. And Pul the king of Assyria came against the land: and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand.
  20. And Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not there in the land.
  21. And the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
  22. And Menahem slept with his fathers; and Pekahiah his son reigned in his stead.
  23. In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years.
  24. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
  25. But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king's house, with Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room.
  26. And the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
  27. In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years.
  28. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
  29. In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.
  30. And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.
  31. And the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
  32. In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel began Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah to reign.
  33. Five and twenty years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.
  34. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done.
  35. Howbeit the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burned incense still in the high places. He built the higher gate of the house of the LORD.
  36. Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
  37. In those days the LORD began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah.
  38. And Jotham slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead.


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II Kings
Chapter 16
  1. In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.
  2. Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father.
  3. But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel.
  4. And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
  5. Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him.
  6. At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day.
  7. So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me.
  8. And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria.
  9. And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin.
  10. And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.
  11. And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus.
  12. And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon.
  13. And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar.
  14. And he brought also the brasen altar, which was before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar.
  15. And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering, and the king's burnt sacrifice, and his meat offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the brasen altar shall be for me to enquire by.
  16. Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded.
  17. And king Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brasen oxen that were under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones.
  18. And the covert for the sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king's entry without, turned he from the house of the LORD for the king of Assyria.
  19. Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
  20. And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.


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II Kings
Chapter 17
  1. In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years.
  2. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him.
  3. Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him presents.
  4. And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison.
  5. Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years.
  6. In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
  7. For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,
  8. And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.
  9. And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
  10. And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:
  11. And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger:
  12. For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.
  13. Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.
  14. Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.
  15. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.
  16. And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
  17. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
  18. Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.
  19. Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.
  20. And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.
  21. For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the LORD, and made them sin a great sin.
  22. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;
  23. Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.
  24. And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.
  25. And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the LORD: therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which slew some of them.
  26. Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.
  27. Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.
  28. Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.
  29. Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.
  30. And the men of Babylon made Succothbenoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima,
  31. And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.
  32. So they feared the LORD, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places.
  33. They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.
  34. Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the LORD, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law and commandment which the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel;
  35. With whom the LORD had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them:
  36. But the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.
  37. And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods.
  38. And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods.
  39. But the LORD your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.
  40. Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner.
  41. So these nations feared the LORD, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children's children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.


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Thought for the day:
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 In today's passage we see the continuation of Israel's rebellion against God. Because of this, God ultimately sends the Assyrians against Samaria, and the Jews are taken into captivity. Beginning in chapter 17, verse 7, the Lord once again spells out for us why His divine wrath had to fall upon His own people. Several items are mentioned, all of which should serve as warnings to us today.

 First, the Lord reminds the Jews that He had brought them up out of Egypt. This was something that the nation of Israel continually forgot, or at least acted like they had forgotten. Had they been focusing on what God had done for them in the past, it is doubtful that they would have rejected God's instructions in the present. However, God's past graciousness to them was ignored, so they chased after other gods. How applicable this can be to the Christian. God bought us out of the slave market of sin. He took us from being children of the Devil and made us children of the King. He took us off the path to Hell and placed us on the road to Heaven. How could we fail to follow Him! Yet we often do fail, because we are not constantly meditating on the great love that our Lord has for us. Once we push God out of our thoughts, there becomes plenty of room for false gods to enter in, such as lust, self, pleasure, and materialism.

 I find it interesting to note the terminology that is used to describe Israel's sin in verse 9:

"And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God."
This indicates to me that while Israel was behaving as if it had forgotten God, the reality of His judgement was not far from their minds. If the gods of the heathen were the real gods, then why would they need to be worshipped in secret? The answer is that the Jews did not want Jehovah to find out what they were doing. In other words, their worship of pagan deities was not based upon ignorance, but upon rebellion. They wanted to serve false gods because they wanted to be free of the requirements of serving the Lord. According to verse 15, they also made this choice because they wanted to be like the heathen around them. This is also applicable to the believer. Christians plead ignorance about what God expects from them, but the truth normally is that they simply don't want to surrender their lifestyle to God. In addition, they don't want to appear different from the world around them. They want to be accepted by the ungodly so that they will not be ridiculed or rejected. It does not matter to them that God told them to "Love not the world," for they are more concerned about earthly acceptance than they are about pleasing God.

 Going along with this is the fact that the Israelites had to know what they were supposed to do because God sent prophets to both instruct and warn them. Yet verse 14 tells us that "they would not hear." The problem was never lack of ability, nor lack of knowledge - it was always lack of desire. They hardened their own necks, they chose not to believe, they rejected God's instructions, they became filled with vanity, and they left the commandments of the Lord ( vs. 14-16). No man can blame God for his own spiritual condition. Christ has drawn all men unto Himself ( John 12:32), and He is the light that lighteth every man ( John 1:9). If my spiritual condition isn't God's fault, then who's fault is it? It is mine, and only I can take the steps necessary to make it right so that the Lord does not have to deal with me as He did with Israel.

Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery

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