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The Fall of the Northern Kingdom

In 841BC, King Jehu was the new King in Israel, ordained by a prophet and ordered to finally rid the earth of the house of Ahab on account of the sins of Jezebel. Jezebel met her end thrown out of the palace window by a pair of eunuchs, so another royal dynasty went the way of Jeroboam and Baasha and a new one was created. Would this one be any better? 2 Kings 10:18 appears to set the tone for this man's rule: 'Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much', he declared. But this was a clever deception to flush out the priests of Baal, who were done to death. Despite this Jehu didn't completely turn away from the dark side.

Israel carried on being cursed by a string of maniacal monarchs, each adding their misdemeanours to the pool of judgment that was growing and growing. That judgement had a name, Assyria.

Assyria had been one of the leading players in the Near East, but it had been too far east to trouble the folk of Israel and Judah. This was beginning to change during the reign of Jehu and particularly his son, Jehoahaz, a particularly nasty piece of work. God showed His displeasure with this latest wicked King of Israel by allowing the Syrians in the north to kick up some bother. Amazingly, Jehoahaz had the cheek to turn to God for help and, even more amazingly, God listened to his pleas and sent help. The rulers and people of Israel, although under increasingly imminent judgement, were still able to call upon the Lord, who was still willing to listen to them, despite their sins.

Jeroboam II was the grandson of Jehoahaz. Although just as wicked as his forbears, his reign saw the restoration of the northern borders of Israel. The people of Israel became very complacent and boastful about this, mistakenly believing that they were a nation under God's blessing. The prophets Amos and Hosea quickly put them right on this: 'The Sovereign LORD has sworn by Himself - the LORD God Almighty declares: " I abhor the pride of Jacob and detest his fortresses; I will deliver up the city and everything in it" (Amos 6:8). 'Do not rejoice, O Israel; do not be jubilant like the other nations. For you have been unfaithful to your God; you love the wages of a prostitute at every threshing-floor'. (Hosea 9:1). The clock was ticking ...

In Hosea 13:9-11 God proclaims the epitaph for the Northern Kingdom of Israel, reminding them that Kings were what they demanded (back in the day of Samuel) and it was to be Kings that brought their downfall: 'You are destroyed, O Israel, because you are against Me, against your helper. Where is your king, that he may save you? Where are your rulers in all your towns, of whom you said, 'Give me a king and princes'? So in My anger I gave you a king, and in My wrath I took him away."

Steve Maltz
November 2013

(This is an abridged extract from Steve's book Outcast Nation)

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