God-Rejecting Consequences

26 July 2020 PM – 2Kings 13-17 – Kings20 – Scott Childs
Introduction: As a teenager, I hit my thumb very hard with a hammer. The consequences were blood, great pain, and the loss of my thumbnail. Those are normal consequences for such an accident.
Transition: When a nation or a person rejects God, sad consequences will always follow. As we look at the sad consequences Israel’s kings from Jehu to Hoshea, we must take heed and not follow that path.
The first consequence of rejecting God was that …
  1. God said they were evil in his sight
a.         God saw each of their hearts and actions
1)         God’s view is better than an x-ray or ultrasound. Nothing hides from His eyes.
2)         We remember God’s words to Samuel as he evaluated the sons of Jesse. (1 Samuel 16:7) “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
3)         Proverbs also states, (Proverbs 15:3) “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
4)         Jeremiah adds, (Jeremiah 23:24) “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.
5)         You know, if we would just truly believe that God sees all that we do, it would keep us from many foolish actions.
b.         In God’s sight, the kings were evil
1)         Repeatedly God said that each king “did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD”. The only exception was King Shallum, but he only reigned for one month. He did not have time to do much evil.
2)         We must constantly cleanse our minds of the relative thinking of our day. Right and wrong is not in the eyes of the beholder. An action cannot be sin for one person and perfectly fine for another person. That makes no more sense than to say that 2+2 = 5 if you think it does.
3)         God is the standard of good and evil. God’s Law, particularly the Ten Commandments, reveal his moral standard. God said (Leviticus 20:7) “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
4)         Other people may think that you are a very good person, but only what God knows counts.
The second consequence of rejecting God was that …
2.        God’s prophets could not help them
a.         In compassion, God sent many prophets
1)         Elisha ministered during the reigns of Joram, Jehu, Jehoahaz, and Jehoash. Jehoash paid him some respect before Elisha died, but he did not turn from his evil ways.
2)         Sons of the Prophets. Elisha taught scores of men God’s word and prepared them to become prophets. We have no idea what happened to them, but it shows us God’s compassion on the nation.
3)         Jonah appears to have been Elisha’s immediate successor. He likely ministered to kings Jehoash and Jeroboam II.
4)         Amos preached during the reign of Jeroboam II.
5)         Oded rebuked King Pekah for capturing the people of Judah (2Ch 28:9).
6)         Hosea had a long ministry that extended during the reigns of Jeroboam II until well into Hoshea’s reign.
7)         Though Isaiah and Micah lived during these same years, they ministered primarily to Judah.
b.         They rejected God’s prophets
1)         (2 Kings 17:13-14) “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. 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.
2)         Little did they know that by rejecting God’s prophets they were actually corrupting the nation, hastening their death and sealing their eternal doom!
3)         Even the great miracle-working Elisha must have felt frustrated with the limited impact that his ministry had no the nation as a whole.
4)         May we never become hardened to the preaching of God’s word so that it runs off us like water on a duck! God has ordained that the preaching of His word might “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:2).
The third consequence of rejecting God was that …
3.        They accomplished nothing lasting
a.         None of them prepared for eternity
1)         Jeroboam II reigned for 41 years, longer than any other king in the northern kingdom. He was a powerful military ruler, yet he did nothing to help the spiritual sickness of his ailing nation.
2)         Not one of these kings turned back to the Lord. They rejected the Lord and continued to follow the golden calf sins set up by Jeroboam I hundreds of years earlier.
3)         Each king seems to have gotten more and more pagan. For example, it is said of cruel King Menahem, (2 Kings 15:16) “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.
b.         Selfishness and greed brought more corruption
1)         The civil strife was rampant in those days. Hatred raged. Greed conquered. Pride ruled. There was a constant struggle for power.
2)         The kings Zechariah, Shallum, Pekahiah and Pekah were all assassinated in the struggle for authority. (Proverbs 11:19) “As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.
3)         Bridgeway Bible Dictionary states, “During the reigns of Jeroboam II and Uzziah, Israel and Judah enjoyed political stability, economic prosperity and territorial expansion greater than at any time since the days of David and Solomon (2Ki 14:23-27; 2Ki 15:1-2; 2Ch 26:1-15). This development, however, brought with it greed and corruption on a scale that neither Israel nor Judah had experienced previously. The two prophets who began to attack the social injustice and religious corruption of the age were Amos and Hosea.”
The fourth consequence of rejecting God was that …
4.        God allowed them to be taken captive
a.         The Assyrians overpowered Israel
1)         At first, Hoshea submitted and paid tax to the Assyrians (2Ki 17:3).
2)         Hoshea secretly rebelled against the Assyrians and tried to hire help from Egypt (2Ki 17:4). For this rebellion, the Assyrians bound him and put him in prison.
3)         The Assyrians then besieged Samaria for three years before taking it (Read 2 Kings 18:10-12).
4)         No more is heard of Hoshea. He disappeared like “foam upon the water” (Hos. 10:7). That was in 722 B.C.
b.         God’s longsuffering ran out
1)         One of God’s outstanding attributes is His longsuffering. However, even that has a limit (Hosea 1:4).
2)         The Apostle Peter wrote, (2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” However, in the next verse, he added, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10)
3)         As in Israel 2700 years ago, God’s longsuffering may be nearly exhausted with our wicked world. Judgment day is approaching. We must be ready.
Conclusion: Here are a few takeaway challenges. Seek to live godly not evil in God’s sight. Listen and obey God’s word and His preachers. Live for eternity not for self. Obey God to avoid His discipline.
Song: His Way with Thee – 367